2 cups salted butter (softened but still cold)
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
4 teaspoons baking powder
6 cups all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Add the 2 cups of butter and 2 cups of sugar to your mixer. The butter needs to be softened but still cold. A prime culprit for dry sugar cookie dough is butter that is too warm and soft. Let the butter sit out on the counter for about an hour before starting to make the cookies. The butter should still be cool to the touch, but you should easily press into it with your fingers.
Cream the butter and sugar until it is completely mixed (3 minutes on medium-high with a paddle attachment in your mixer).
Add 2 tablespoons of vanilla and 2 eggs.
Mix the cookie dough until light and fluffy (approx. 3 more minutes).
Add 4 teaspoons of baking powder and mix.
Mix in the 6 cups of flour two cups at a time. Don't over-mix -- mix only until the flour is incorporated into the dough.
After you have added the 6 cups of Flour, the dough should be firm but not dry or crumbly. If the dough seems to dry, add a tiny bit of vanilla or milk (start with a teaspoon) and mix again.
Roll a handful of the dough out on a prepared surface until it is about 3/8" thick.
Cut out shapes with cookie cutters.
Bake for 6-8 minutes. Do not over-bake! The cookies should be set and just starting to lightly brown around the edges.
Let your cookies cool and then they are ready for frosting.