* 2/3 cup butter, softened
* 3/4 cup sugar
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 egg
* 1 tablespoon milk
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* Powdered Sugar Icing (optional)
* Decorative sprinkles and/or small candies (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg, milk, and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour. Divide dough in half. If necessary, cover and chill about 30 minutes or until dough is easy to handle.
2. On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the dough at a time until 1/4 inch thick. Using a 4-1/2- to 6-inch cookie cutter, cut dough into desired shapes. Place 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
3. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are very lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack; cool.
4. If desired, prepare Powdered Sugar Icing. Spread and/or pipe the icing (if using) onto cookies. If desired, top iced cookies with sprinkles and/or candies. Makes 14 to 16 cookies.
5. Powdered Sugar Icing: In a small bowl, combine 2 cups powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in 2 tablespoons milk. Stir in additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until icing reaches spreading consistency. If desired, tint with paste food coloring.
6. Candy Windowpane Cutouts: Prepare as directed, except roll dough until 1/8 inch thick and use a 2-1/2-inch cookie cutter to cut dough into desired shapes. Place on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Cut small shapes out of the cutouts' centers. Finely crush 3 ounces hard candy (about 1/2 cup). Fill each center cutout with candy. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes; cool cookies on foil. Makes about 36 cookies.
7. Sugar Cookie Pizza: Prepare dough as directed. Spread into an ungreased 12-inch pizza pan. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until edge is firm but not brown. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Frost with homemade or canned cream cheese frosting and decorate with candy-coated milk chocolate pieces or other small candies. Use a pizza cutter to cut cookie into wedges. Makes 16 cookie wedges.
(Thanks Better Homes and Gardens !)