My Favorite Sugar Cookies
1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup shortening or butter*
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/4 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Early in the day or the day before:
In a large bowl cream the shortening and the sugar. Add the eggs, extract, and milk. In a medium bowl mix the dry ingredients with a wire whisk. Add the dry ingredients to the large bowl. Mix with mixer until well combined. With hands, shape dough into a ball. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease cookie sheets. Roll** half or 1/3 dough at a time, keep the rest refrigerated. For crisp cookies, roll dough, paper thin. For softer cookies, roll 1/8 " to 1/4" thick. With floured cookie cutter, cut into shapes. Re-roll trimmings and cut.
Place cookies 1/2 inch apart on cookie sheets.
Bake 8 minutes or until very light brown. Remove cookies to racks; cool. Makes about 6 dozen cookies.
*You can also use 1/2 shortening and 1/2 butter instead of all butter. Shortening makes cookies sturdy and butter makes them tasty.