Sugar cookies sweeten up the season

- Contributed Photo

Include the whole family in the preparations for a holiday gathering by asking the children to help make a big batch of sugar cookies. The recipe is easy to follow, and the finished product is always a hit at parties.

This recipe yields about four dozen cookies.

• 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 cup butter, softened
• 1-1/2 cups sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 tsp. baking soda
• 1/2 tsp. baking powder
• 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla.
4. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients.
5. Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and place onto ungreased cookie sheets.
6. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden.
7. Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.

To add some more fun to the baking project, make the cookies in your favorite holiday shapes. Using a rolling pin and some extra flour, roll out the dough until it is about 1/4 inch thick all the way across. Then, use star, tree or gift-shaped cookie cutters to cut out the cookies. When you place them on the cookie sheet, don’t put them too close together, to give them plenty of room to expand.

Don’t forget about the decorations. Icing and colored sugar or sprinkles are easy ways to brighten up your cookies. Kids may also enjoy decorating their creations with red cinnamon candies, or the candy decorations that look like holly sprigs and berries.

This time of year, you can never add too much goodness and cheer, so finish off the decorated cookies with a candy on top. Chopped-up bits of candy cane are a nice seasonal touch.

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