First of all, give up the idea of beautifully iced (with royal icing) and shaped cookies. Find a basic sugar cookie recipe and buy two kinds of decorative sprinkles. When you wake up in the morning lay out your butter and forget about it until later in the day. Mix up your dough then divide it equally onto two pieces of plastic wrap. Form into rolls and put into the refrigerator overnight.
The next day, when you have time, slice the dough. You can just lay it on the pan on parchment paper. Or you can roll each piece into balls. Lightly oil (only once) the bottom of a glass, dip in sugar, then use the glass to press down on the dough. Keep dipping it in sugar between cookies.
|Use Glass Bottom To Shape|
|Parchment Paper Prevents Sticking|
Change your sugar cookie recipe to a ginger cookie by replacing some of the sugar (about a 1/4 cup) with molasses. Replace the vanilla with 1 tsp. dried ginger, 1 tsp. grated ginger and 1 tsp. diced candied ginger.
Two lovely cookies baked while you are cleaning house or wrapping presents. Neither type takes much time or expensive ingredients. The sprinkles add that festive air.