Some tasty decorated sugar cookie recipes include Alton Brown's sugar cookies on the Food Network and Martha Stewart's Ideal sugar cookies. Another good recipe is Chewy sugar cookies from Real Simple.
To make Alton Brown's sugar cookies, cream together 1 cup of softened unsalted butter and 1 cup of sugar. In a separate bowl, sift together 3/4 teaspoon of baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 3 cups of all-purpose flour. Beat in one egg and 1 tablespoon of milk into the butter and sugar mixture, then slowly add in the dry ingredients. Wrap the dough in waxed paper, then chill.
Roll the dough out on a surface sprinkled with powdered sugar, then cut into shapes. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for seven to nine minutes. Allow to cool before frosting.
Martha Stewart's recipe also begins with combining the dry ingredients in one bowl: 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder. Beat together 1/2 cup of unsalted butter and 1 cup of sugar before adding one egg, 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract, and either 2 tablespoons of milk or brandy. Chill the dough for one hour before rolling it out on a floured surface and cutting out shapes. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes.