For some people cookies are a treat, for me they are a nutritional need. Of course like most people I bake the most during the holidays, but why not do it year round? If you want to make a start here is my recipe for Basic Sugar Cookies.
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for shaping the cookies
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the egg and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the vanilla.
With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated (the dough will be stiff). Shape into a disk and refrigerate wrapped, for at least an hour and up to three days. If you don’t want to use the whole amount of dough, double wrap a portion in plastic wrap and freeze it.
Roll out dough on a flat, floured surface. Use cutters or a knife to cut out shapes. Bake at 350F on a lined baking sheet, spacing the cookies, until they just begin to brown (12-15 minutes). Transfer to wire racks to cool. Decorate with sugar or icing.
Making Royal Icing from scratch is a bit complicated (raw egg white, anyone?), so feel free to use ready made icings and sugar decorations.