This sugar cookie recipe will always be dearest to me. Every time I tell students in my cookie workshops that these sugar cookies are fail-proof, they eye me suspiciously. But once they try it, they agree: Anyone can make them and everyone will love them.
Into a medium bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder. Set aside.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed, beat butter and sugar for about 1½ minutes, or until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla until well combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Turn the mixer speed to low and carefully add the flour mixture a little at a time, occasionally stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl.
Once all the flour has been incorporated, the dough should form a ball around the mixing attachment and feel soft but not sticky.
Wrap the dough ball in a piece of plastic wrap and press down to form a 1-inch-thick disk. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes before rolling or store for up to 7 days tightly wrapped.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured flat work surface to about ¼-inch thickness, using additional flour as necessary to prevent sticking.
Use cookie cutters to create desired shapes, and carefully transfer with a cookie spatula to a nonstick baking sheet, placing the cookies about ¾ inch apart.
Bake one sheet at a time in the middle of the oven until puffy, about 7-8 minutes. Allow the cookies to rest for 2 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Repeat with the gathered scraps and remaining disk until all the dough has been used. Decorate as desired once cookies have cooled!