Santa's Sugar Cookies
from the December/January 2017 issue of Eat Drink Mississippi
1 cup butter, room temperature (do not use margarine)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
Cream butter and sugar in a mixer until light and fluffy.
Add egg and vanilla bean paste. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and add to the butter mixture. Mix well.
Cover and chill dough for 1 to 2 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F before baking cookies. Cover baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat mat to prevent cookies from spreading.
On a clean surface dusted with powdered sugar, roll dough to approximately 1/8-inch thick. Dust cookie cutters with powdered sugar and use to cut dough into shapes. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until just until the cookies begin to turn brown around the edges.
Place cookies on a cooling rack to cool. Decorate cooled cookies with icing and fondant, if desired.
Yield: 2 dozen cookies (depending on size of cookie cutter)