Sugar cookies are a tricky business. They can either be really dry and hard to eat without copious amounts of milk, or they can be so sweet that you can't get past the second bite, or, they are so thin that decorating them is a major challenge.
If I plan to ice and decorate a cookie, I'll make the cookie batter less sweet, so that the sugar in both the cookie and the icing is balanced and doesn't leave me with a cloying dessert.
Now, when I make cookies that I plan to decorate, I try to roll them thicker than the average, undecorated cookie so they can withstand the baking, cooling and decorating process without breaking.
Have you ever bought a cookie cutter that just looked so cool, until you tried to use it - and there is always one small corner that breaks off? This is exactly what I wanted to avoid.
I chose a recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction because it was designed for decorated cookies. I modified her recipe to make it dairy free by replacing the butter with earth balance buttery sticks. I also rolled my cookies to about 1/3-inch thick, which is much thicker than her delicate cookies. I did that because I needed at least a 3" flat surface to decorate for my class. We were planning to use buttercream icing (not common for cookies) instead of royal icing (most common on cookies), and so I wanted to make sure the cookie could hold up to the decorations.