The recipe I used is from Madeline at Food, Fitness and Family. She was one of the people I received cookies from in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, and she sent a batch of truly wonderful sugar cookies. I knew I would have to try making them myself. You should too, they're amazing:
Sugar Cookies and Royal Icing (from here)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons light Karo syrup
3/4 teaspoon clear vanilla
Preheat oven to 350.
In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a separate bowl (or stand mixer) beat the butter and sugar on low speed until well blended and then on high speed until fluffy. Mix in your eggs and vanilla. Slowly add your flour mixture and mix until just blended.
Divide dough into 4 equal parts. Wrap in saran wrap. Place in freezer for 10 minutes.
On a floured surface roll one piece of your dough to about a 1/4 inch thickness. Using whatever cookie cutter you want cut out your cookies. Place on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper, 1 inch apart. I like to put the whole cookie sheet into the freezer for about 5 minutes. I think it helps the cookies keep their shape more :)
Bake for about 13 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.
While cookies cool prepare your royal icing. Using a mixer combine the powdered sugar, Karo syrup, water, and vanilla. You can keep adding water until you get your desired consistency.
Once cookies are completely cooled, decorate with icing and anything else you'd like to use (I went to town with red sugar and Valentine colored non-pareils)