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1. Use Full fat, real ingredients. That means REAL butter (no margarine etc) and whole milk
2. Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature; and let them come to room temperature naturally. Don't try to microwave your butter to soften it.
3. You'll get better results if you use a stand mixer. Scrape your bowl often.
4. Chill your dough. 2 hours at least...I leave mine overnight
5. Don't over roll your dough. Try to get as many cookies from the first roll out as you can.
6. Above all else: DON'T OVER BAKE THEM!! If you wait until the cookies look done...they will be OVER done. You want to take them out at the moment you ask yourself, "are they done?" and as long as they are slightly firm to the touch in the center.
The collage below shows the various stages of mixing the dough. Starting with the top left:
Cream butter and sugar, then add the egg. It will look like a curdled mess; and that is ok. Bottom left picture shows the mixture after you've mixed the butter, sugar and egg mixture on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Finally, once you add the flour, you'll see the mixture start to come together as in the last photo on the left.
I hope you have as much fun baking these as I do. Throw on some Christmas music and get your kids involved for a fun afternoon! Enjoy!