These are my all-purpose sugar cookies, good for every holiday. The recipe comes from Martha Stewart's first book, Entertaining, and it is, like Martha, just perfect. The cookies above were rolled fairly thickly, so they are somewhat chewy, but if you roll them very thinly, they should be crispier - and a little more fragile.
Martha's Sugar cookies:
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 cups King Arthur all purpose flour
1/4 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. baking powder
1 large egg
2 T. brandy ( I used Courvoisier)
1/2 t. vanilla
Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer bowl, then add the salt, flour, baking powder, egg, brandy, and vanilla and mix until the dough forms a ball.
Pat the dough into a rough rectangle, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes.
When ready to roll out, preheat oven to 375F, then cut the rectangle in half, and proceed. You can gather the scraps up and use again - the dough is very forgiving.
Place cookies on foil covered cookie sheets fairly close together.
Bake cookies for 9 minutes, though if your cookies are small, keep your eye on them - they may bake faster, and these cookies should not be browned.
Remove cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely before icing.
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 egg white
2 drops lemon juice
2 drops red food color
Beat the egg white until frothy, then add the confectioner's sugar and lemon juice and food coloring. Brush on completely cooled cookies and let dry on racks. When the icing is completely dry, it should be shiny and hard - which makes these much easier to transport or package.