Cookies made with cookie cutters are. festive, especially if before baking you decorate them with sprinkles, colored sugar, or nuts. Their shapes can be flowers, rounds, diamonds, rectangles, or holiday symbols; their sizes can vary from 1 to 5 inches or more.
On a floured surface, preferably one covered with a pastry cloth, roll dough uniformly to the thickness specified in the recipe. Dough rolled to 1/4 inch or slightly thicker makes chewy or soft cookies; thinner dough, 1/8 inch or less, will be crisp.
Dip the edge of the cutter in flour, and shake off excess. Set it level on the rolled dough, then press down firmly. Lift the cutter, set it close to the first cut, press and cut again. (If the cutter begins to stick, reflour it lightly.) Continue until all the dough is cut. Carefully lift away uncut dough, then, with a spatula, move cookies one by one to a baking sheet. Set aside all scraps and reroll them at one time; too much reworking adds excessive flour, which will make cookies tough.
Crisp sugar cookies
Preheat oven to 375°F Cream until fluffy 1 cup butter or margarine, 11/2 cups sugar, and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Beat in 2 eggs, adding them one at a time. Sift together 33/4 cups all-purpose sifted flour, 11/2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt. Add these to the creamed ingredients and stir the mixture just until blended. Wrap the dough in waxed paper and chill about 1 hour. Roll out one quarter of the dough at a time to a thickness of 1/8 inch or less. Cut shapes.
Space cookies 2 inches apart on a lightly greased baking sheet. If you sprinkle them with sugar, brush them first with milk. Bake in the top third of the oven 8 to 9 minutes or until pale golden. Transfer to wire racks. Makes about 7 dozen 2-inch cookies.