These days you can find colored sugars in just about any color you can think of. Match the holiday, match your decor, or just make them with your favorite color. Or, if you're not looking for color, you can top them with white sugar or just leave them plain.
There are probably millions of recipes for sugar cookies, but not all of them get it right. You shouldn't break a tooth on a cookie. This recipe gets it right.
This recipe is from the Food52 Cookbook by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, with contributions from the Food52 community.
This particular recipe is from the early days of the site, and was contributed by Merrill's mother, Veronica.
Adapted from The Food52 Cookbook by Amanda Hesser and Merril Stubbs
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the yolks and vanilla, and mix well. Add the flour and combine completely.
Use a teaspoon or scoop to make balls, the round them with your hands. Place them on ungreased cookie sheets. then flatten the dough with the bottom of a glass dipped in colored sugar
Bake for 10 minutes, watching carefully towards the end of cooking, since they can burn easily. The cookies should be just barely golden around the edges.
Let the cookies rest for a minute or two on the cookie sheet (they're very fragile while warm) before removing them to a rack to cool.
The cookbook says that the flavor of these cookies improves over time. Can't say that I could vouch for that - they didn't last that long.