Here is my famous "Best Sugar Cookie EVER'" recipe for those who love a delicious, pretty cookie. There will be a variation for diabetics so that they can enjoy them too.
   Feel free to make them and substitute various flavorings instead of just vanilla and almond but don't omit the vanilla. Maybe  lemon or lime or maple? How about coconut? Yum!!!
   These decorate beautifully and have a wonderful taste.  These are so easy to make cutouts of any shape then decorate with a hard icing and pretty royal  icing flourishes and sprinkles.

Jeni and Kylie don't love sugar as much so I didn't base theirs in icing before decorating.
                                                  The Best Sugar Cookies
prep time:20 min           total time: 28 min              yield: 3 dozen 2" cutter cookies or 6 8" cookies (hearts)


Cookie Ingredients
1 1/2 cups butter softened ( use margarine for diabetics only)
2 cups granulated sugar (substitute 1 1/2 cups Splenda and 1/4 cup sugar for diabetics)
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
5 cups all -purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

 Base Icing Ingredients
2 teaspoons milk
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
gel food coloring
1-2 cups confectioners sugar

1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla and almond extract one at a time. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Scoop and add to beaten mixture 1 cup at a time until smooth. Remove dough from mixing bowl and wrap into 2 "logs" in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight. (You can freeze this for up to 3 months in an airtight container).
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on a floured surface (I use my grandmothers "trick" of a clean cotton pillowcase as a pastry cloth. I have one in my baking cabinet just for this) 1/4 -1/2" thick. Cut into shapes with cookie cutter. Place cookies 1" apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
3. Bake for 7 minutes or until edges are just lightly browned. It doesn't take much to burn these so watch the time carefully. Thinner cookies take less time to bake.
4. Remove from cookie sheet and cool on rack. Place in gallon freezer bags with waxed paper inbetween cookies and seal edge to keep fresh. Cookies may be frozen for up to 6 months.

Mix all wet ingredients except colors in mixing bowl on med. speed. Add confectioners sugar 1/2 cup at a time. You may need more or less to make it still sheet off of the beaters when done. The right consistancy is that it will come off the beater but not run off like a glaze. It shouldn't be like frosting . I put mine into plastic food storage containers and mix the colors into each of them. When I am ready to use the icing, I put it from the storage container into a plastic squeeze bottle with a spatula. Squeeze a line all around the edge of the cookie with the icing. This is called "trapping" the center field. Then you can squeeze the icing in ribbons to fill the center and level with a frosting spatula. It will take several hours for this to harden. I do them at night and decorate them the next morning.

Decorative Piping-Royal Icing
3 Tablespoons of Wilton Meringue Powder
1 box confectioners Sugar
1 Teaspoon pure vanilla
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
4 Tablespoons milk or water
gel food coloring

Mix dry ingredients and add milk or water until the icing looks like toothpaste.
Put into a airtight container. Take out small portions and color as desired.
Put into piping bag with decorative tips and decorate cookies. Let dry until hardened. (About 4 hours.)

Diabetic "Icing"
 Egg yolk stirred until smooth
Small clean artists paint brush with fine tip (not those nasty "craft" paint brushes with the flat bristley black bristles ick!!!)
Food coloring

After cutting out cookie, place onto cookie sheet. Dip brush into colored yolk and load the brush. Decorate with name or swirls or design of your choice by "painting" the yolk onto the cookie surface. Sprinkle with Splenda for sparkle.
Bake as usual.