food coloring of your choice - red, yellow, green, etc.
Make Sugar Cookie Dough:
In a medium bowl, mix together the all purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Set the bowl aside.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar with a hand mixer. Butter should be soft and room temperature before doing this step.
Add in the vanilla and milk. Mix again.
Add in the egg and mix again.
Add ⅓ of the dry flour mixture to the wet bowl ingredients. Beat together on lowest speed.
Repeat with another ⅓ of flour mixture.
Repeat with the last ⅓ of flour mixture.
The dough will start to clump together. You can use your hands at this stage to mix and place into a large ball. Note: Don't over mix the cookie dough. Just do enough for it to all come together.
Now divide the dough into two sections and pat into balls. Cover each one with wrap or parchment paper and chill in the fridge for several hours or overnight (I chilled mine overnight).
Bake Sugar Cookies:
When you're ready to make the cookies, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.Tip: Use cooking spray on the baking sheet to help the parchment paper stick and stay in place.
Sprinkle flour over a clean counter space. Take one ball and pat between your hands, use your palms to help flatten it a little. Then use a rolling pin sprinkled with flour to roll the dough into a thin, even layer. Dough should be about ⅛" thick.Note: If dough is too hard and cold from chilling in the fridge, let it sit on counter for a few minutes and try rolling again.
Use your cookie cutters to create shapes. Press each one down evenly with the palm of your hand. Place the scrap dough in a ball, re-roll it out and make more cookies.
Place the cookies on the baking sheet. Use fingers to fix any edges that might need it. Bake for 6-8 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes on baking sheet.
Gently place each cookie on to a cooling rack to cool completely before icing.
Sugar Cookie Icing:
Note: Skip these next steps if you plan to use store-bought cookie decorating icing.In a medium bowl, add sifted powder sugar. Add in the light corn syrup and vanilla extract - mix together.
Add 2 tsp of milk and mix.
Add food coloring until you reach desired color.
Note: If needed, add 1 more tsp of milk at a time to reach desired thickness. The icing should still be thick and not too runny. Otherwise it will pour right off the cookie.
Optional: Pour into squeeze bottle using a funnel. Icing will be thick and take a few minutes to pour through funnel.
Decorate Sugar Cookies:
Gently use a knife to spread base layers onto cookie. Use squeeze bottles or store-bought candy icing pens for detailed decorating.
Add sprinkles and small candies to tops of cookies while the icing is still wet. This will help them stick.
For cookies with multiple icing colors, Spread one color over the whole cookie first. Add any candies to this layer if needed (I added the eyes, nose and buttons of snowman at this stage).Once icing is dry, you can add other colors on top. This is when I added the red hat and yellow scarf.
Let all icing dry completely before storing cookies. Place in an airtight container on counter or in fridge for up to 1 week. These cookies can also be frozen in an airtight container for 3 months.
Quick Tip Before You Start: Making the icing is time-consuming! It can be hard to get the right consistency too. If you want the challenge then definitely make it!If you don't, then use store-bought cookie decorator icing. Honestly, it's too time-consuming for me and I plan on using the store-bought versions next year. I loved making these with my daughter though! I plan on doing this every year with her. It's so fun!