I make decorated sugar cookies every year. It is a holiday staple on my baking list, a must, a requirement. This tradition started the year I bought $.50 plastic cookie cutters from Safeway my first Christmas in law school. The original cookie cutters were a tree, star, snowman, and bell. Since that first year of making Christmas cookies, I have gotten several other more extravagant, more expensive, metal, cushioned, and handled cookie cutters, but the originals are still my favorite.
The originals remind me of a time when I was just starting out with decorated sugar cookies, prior I had only done cakes. The originals remind me of a time when baking was my little escape from my first semester of law school exams.
This year I stayed true to the originals, but with some additional techniques I have learned over the years. Luster dust is my all-time favorite finish on a cookie to make it glow, sparkle, and just look like Christmas.
Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies
I used my favorite sugar cookie recipe for these cookies with one substitution. I instead of the princess flavor emulsion, I used 1 1/2 TBS of vanilla bean paste.