Pack a pretty mug with tea bags and homemade sweets. To make simple sugar cookies special, imprint an initial on each one with an alphabet cutter before baking. Show them off in cellophane tied with baker's twine and nestled in matching tissue.
Sugar Cookie Recipe
Makes About 8 Dozen
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Gel-paste food coloring in pink and green
Sanding sugar, for sprinkling
1. Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl; set aside. Put butter and granulated sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix until combined. Divide dough in half. Shape both pieces into disks.Wrap disks in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.
2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remove 1 disk from refrigerator; let stand at room temperature until slightly soft, 5 to 10 minutes. Roll out dough on a piece of lightly floured parchment to a 1/8-inch thickness, dusting with flour as needed. Cut out shapes with 2-by-1 1/2-inch fluted oval cutter. Lightly press 1-inch alphabet cutter into dough; do not cut all the way through. Re-roll scraps, and cut. (If dough becomes too soft, refrigerate 10 minutes.) Repeat with remaining dough. Space 1 1/2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with sanding sugar.
3. Bake, rotating halfway through, until edges are golden, 16 to 18 minutes. Transfer to wire racks; let cool completely. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 1 week.