This is the sugar cookie recipe that my mom always made when I was growing up. It was cross-stitched onto a cute little cookie-cutter holder that you could hang on the wall. As a child, I thought that was pretty nifty. Anyway, I continue to make these sugar cookies because of their familiarity (and their deliciousness), and thought I'd share. The recipe makes a soft, chewy sugar cookie that lends itself well to being frosted/decorated.
3/4 C. butter
1 C. sugar
1 t. vanilla
2 1/2 C. flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
Chill, roll, cut. Bake at 400 degrees for 7 minutes. (I have found that the chilling part is very important to the process - makes the rolling and cutting much easier!)
And this is the frosting recipe my mom always used (good for cupcakes and cakes too) - she has the recipe in her head so this is how she dictated it to me:
1 lb. powdered sugar (4 cups)
1 cube butter
1 t. vanilla
Milk - enough to make it the right consistency (probably a couple tablespoons)
Add 2-4 T. cocoa if you want chocolate frosting.
As a side note, here is a link to a recipe for Hungry Bear Sugar Dream cookies (which are also fabulous, but in a different class of sugar cookie, in my opinion - good for consuming with a large glass of milk, not so good for decorating).