I took a cooking class a few years ago and the teacher was the former owner of a well known Cincinnati bakery. She demonstrated a sugar cookie recipe in class, it was one of the cookies sold at her long closed bakery. This recipe is based on the bakery recipe. I like this recipe because the cookies come out rich and buttery, you get a ton of dough and it freezes beautifully, I have changed the recipe slightly as the teacher added grated lemon to the dough and icing. I prefer to have the butter speak for itself, I sometime add grated lemon or orange peel to the icing Tip: use a scale to get accurate measurements. It is also essential that a stand mixer is used to mix the dough. —Chez Jennifer
With a kitchen scale, weigh out the dry ingredients. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl and set aside.
In a stand mixer, cream together the butter and the sugar at low speed for 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple of times during this process.
Beat in two eggs and the vanilla.
Sift in the dry ingredients, one cup at a time until combined. Be careful, do not over mix the dough.
At this point, you can immediately roll the dough out and bake it. I prefer to shape the dough into a ball and refrigerate until chilled.
When you are ready to bake the cookies, roll the dough out onto a floured surface and cut into shapes. Roll the dough about 1/8" thick. I like to roll out a small amount of dough and cut out 4 -5 cookies at a time. Bake at 350 for approximately 10- 12 minutes or until the bottom of the cookies are light brown. Cool completely and frost as desired. I usually use Martha Stewart's royal icing recipe or a milk fondant icing to dip the cookies in.
The dough freezes well and will keep in the freezer for up to 8 weeks.