Basic Cut Christmas Cookies

Wittgenstein and his ilk will demand—in various languages—“Just what IS a cookie?” Eggheads steeped in negative logic will say, “It is easier to say what a cookie IS NOT than to say what a cookie IS!” and a resonant female voice will state, “A cookie is a cookie is a cookie.”

Flour, sugar, and butter with a leavening agent and eggs constitute the Ur-cookie. These can be topped with a sugar frosting or glaze or sprinkles, or chopped nuts. You can add food coloring to make them magenta, chartreuse or cyan. You can cut them into any shape using traditional cookie cutters or you can use a knife if you’re feeling (or are) artistic. For true inspiration, make them with children at your elbow.

1 c. butter
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

Cream butter with sugars; mix well. Add eggs, vanilla and then flour, sifted with salt and baking soda, a little at a time. Bake at 350 degrees on a flat, heavy baking sheet for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool thoroughly before frosting.

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