I asked on Facebook and Twitter for your favorite sugar cookie recipe and decided to go with Dorothy's suggestion of a Land O Lakes recipe. Once I googled, I saw that there's a few but I picked the "Best Ever Butter Cookies". They were good, but not the best ever, in my opinion. It's quite possible I floured them too much when rolling them out. I'm still searching so if you have a favorite, please share it with me!
Land O Lakes
Reindeer Idea - Pinterest, though I don't have an original source
Makes: About 30 cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Ghirardelli baking chips, melted
mini red M&M's for the noses
frosting to "glue" the noses to the cookies (I used the kind in the squirt can, something like this)
Sugar lights (I found them at Target)
Combine 1 cup softened butter, sugar and egg in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy.
Add orange juice and 1 tablespoon vanilla. Continue beating, scraping bowl often, until well mixed.
Add flour and baking powder; beat at low speed until well mixed.
Divide dough into thirds. Shape each third into a ball; flatten slightly. Wrap each in plastic food wrap; refrigerate 2 to 3 hours or until firm. (I prepped mine the night before)
Heat oven to 400°F.
Roll out dough, one-third at a time, on lightly floured surface (keeping remaining dough refrigerated), to 1/8- to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with 3-inch cookie cutters. Place 1 inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets (I used a Silpat - my new best friend).
Bake 6-10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
Let stand 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to cooling rack. Cool completely.
To decorate - I melted the chocolate in the microwave (30 seconds, stir, 30 seconds stir) then put in a ziplock bag. I snipped the tip (tiny cut) and "piped" the chocolate for the antlers, eyes and light cord.
Dot a small dot of frosting for the nose and attach the M&M.