Sugar cookie dough is very easy to make and adaptable for any occasion.
This recipe calls for shortening but you can substitute the same amount of butter. The dough made with the shortening is a little easier to roll out and use.
2/3 cup shortening (or unsalted butter)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 teaspoon milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
With a hand mixer or stand mixer, cream the shortening and sugar until well combined and fluffy.
Add the orange peel, egg, milk and beat to incorporate.
Mix together the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Add them to the wet mixture slowly as you beat until a dough starts to form. Do not overbeat.
Divide the dough in half and form two discs. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for one hour (you can also make this two to three days in advance or freeze it for two months).
Rolling and baking
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Lightly flour your counter and the top of the dough and roll out to about 1/8 of an inch. (Roughly the thickness of two quarters stacked on each other.)
Cut out whatever shapes you desire using cookie cutters. Dipping the cutters into flour first will help with sticking. Transfer the cookies onto a baking sheet lined with parchment. Reroll the dough scraps and reuse.
Bake for six to eight minutes until the cookies are starting to get golden but are still pale.
Cool and decorate.