- In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter with the sugar for two minutes or until creamy with an electric mixer.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract.
- In a large sifter, measure the flour, baking soda, and salt.
- Sift this over the egg mixture and beat on medium speed until a soft dough forms.
- If the dough seems a little sticky, beat in two to three additional tablespoons of flour. Scrape the dough out of the mixing bowl and form it into two balls. Cover and chill for one hour.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator about 10 to 15 minutes before you plan to use it.
- Knead briefly on a floured work surface. When the dough is fairly pliable, roll it out with a floured rolling pin to about 1/8-inch thickness.
- Cut out cookies using a tree-shaped cookie cutter.
- Using a spatula, transfer the cookies to the baking sheet. Sprinkle the cookies with red and green colored sugar.
- Bake the cookies for eight to 10 minutes, rotating the pan once, or until the bottoms of the cookies are golden and the tops are barely firm. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool.
- Continue rolling, cutting out, and baking cookies until all the dough is used.
- For Decoration:
- Frost the cookies with a plain vanilla icing and sprinkle colored sugar or chopped hard candies on top of the icing.
- You can also decorate with gumdrops cut into tiny pieces.