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Sugar Cookies

Jamie Stolper

These wonderfully simple sugar cookies become Chanukah cookies by virtue of their shape and decoration. Choose dreidel, menorah, and Jewish star cookie cutters, available in many kitchen and Judaica stores. Decorate the cookies before baking with colored sugars or after baking with prepared or homemade icing. Make this a family project - children love rolling the dough, cutting out the shapes, and decorating the cookies. Everyone loves eating them!

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt


In a medium-sized bowl, beat the butter or margarine with the sugar until creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the larger bowl, beating until smooth.
Pat the dough into a ball and wrap it in plastic wrap. Place the dough in the freezer for 15 minutes or in the refrigerator for at least one hour. (At this point you may also store the dough in the freezer to defrost and use at a later date, or you may keep the dough in the refrigerator for up to a day.)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (325 degrees in a convection oven). Grease a cookie sheet with cooking spray or extra butter or margarine. Roll out the dough on a floured surface until it is 1/8 inch thick. Sprinkle the cookies with plain or colored sugar (put sugar and a few drops of food coloring in a blender or food processor and process until color is even).
Gently remove the extra dough between the cookies. Use a floured spatula to lift the cookies and place on the cookie sheet, leaving space to separate. Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes (7 minutes in a convection oven) or until the edges start to brown. Remove to a cooling rack.
Instead of sprinkling with sugar before baking, you may decorate the cookies when cool. To make your own icing, mix 1 cup powdered sugar with 1/4 teaspoon vanilla or other flavored extract, and 1-2 tablespoons milk, orange juice, or water. Divide into small bowls and mix a few drops of food coloring into each to make different colors. Spread the icing on the cookies or paint with a paintbrush or pipe on using a small metal tip. You may decorate the icing with colored sprinkles before it sets (work quickly!).
This recipe makes 2-3 dozen cookies, depending on the size of the cookie cutters.

Sugar Cookies


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