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Sunday, November 27, 2022

Christmas Sugar Cookies with Easy Icing

These are fan-favorite cut-out Christmas sugar cookies! My recipe for sugar cookies guarantees flavorful cookies with smooth and thick facilities, barely crisp edges, and flat tops for adorning. The dough comes along with 8 easy substances and the cookies maintain their cookie cutter form within the oven. Embellish them with my simple glaze cookie icing, an exquisite various to royal icing. Get out your rolling pin and favourite cookie cutters, watch the video tutorial, and have enjoyable!

The vacation season and a batch of adorned Christmas sugar cookies go hand-in-hand. At present’s recipe is a traditional staple, and has been a preferred favourite since I first revealed it in 2014. It’s principally my favourite sugar cookie recipe, however all dressed up for the vacations. And I like that you just don’t must mess with royal icing! The cookie icing under is unfussy and low upkeep, which is certainly appreciated if you happen to’re baking a variety of cookies in December. 😉

Right here’s Why You’ll Love These Christmas Sugar Cookies

  • Smooth, thick facilities with barely crisp edges
  • Irresistible buttery vanilla taste
  • Created from easy substances
  • Depart plain or taste with extras like maple, cinnamon, peppermint, and extra
  • Maintain form whereas baking
  • Icing is manageable for younger bakers and novices
  • Freeze superbly
  • Straightforward-to-follow recipe utilized by newbie and professional bakers alike

By the best way, if you happen to love sugar cookies, however aren’t up for adorning with icing, you’ll take pleasure in my stained glass window cookies or drop Christmas sugar cookies as a substitute.

stack of snowflake sugar cookies with icing and silver sprinkles.

How you can Make Christmas Sugar Cookies

You want 7–8 substances for the dough. With so few substances, it’s essential to comply with the recipe carefully, as a result of every one has an essential job. Creamed butter and sugar kind the bottom of the dough. Egg and flour present construction, and vanilla provides taste. I virtually at all times add a contact of almond extract for added taste, and extremely suggest that you just strive it too! You possibly can additionally use peppermint extract or one other taste extract as a substitute. Baking powder provides carry, and salt balances the candy.

So many little substances doing large jobs to create an ideal cookie:

flour, sugar, butter, baking powder, egg, salt, and vanilla on marble counter.

Success Tip: Be sure you begin with correct room temperature butter. Room temperature butter is cool to the contact and about 65°F (18°C), which can be cooler than your kitchen. To check the butter to verify it’s able to cream, poke it together with your finger. Your finger ought to make an indent with out sinking down into the butter. The butter shouldn’t be shiny or greasy.

stick of room temperature butter

This can be a recipe that requires some planning forward.

After you make the cookie dough, it should chill for 1-2 hours and as much as 2 days. Chilling is a compulsory step. With out chilling, these cookie cutter sugar cookies gained’t maintain form. You don’t need your snowman-shaped cookie turning into the Keep-Puft Marshmallow Man (although that might work for Halloween cookies).

Additionally, the icing recipe under wants no less than 24 hours to dry/set (however you possibly can actually eat them previous to the icing drying!). That is for much longer than royal icing, which often dries in 2 hours. So although we’re not messing with finicky royal icing, we do have to attend longer to stack/transport the cookies.

After you make the cookie dough, divide it in half:

dough in bowl and shown again divided in two on counter.

After which roll out every portion of dough earlier than chilling:

rolled out sugar cookie dough on brown parchment paper.

Let’s discuss rolling out this dough as a result of it’s an uncommon order of steps.

3 Methods to Rolling Out Christmas Cookie Dough

  1. Trick #1: Take note of the order of the steps. Discover how I roll out the dough BEFORE chilling it within the fridge? That’s a very powerful trick! Let me clarify why I do that. Identical to whenever you’re making chocolate chip cookies, to stop the cookies from over-spreading, the dough should chill. In the event you’ve ever tried rolling out chilled sugar cookie dough, you could keep in mind how troublesome it’s to roll out chilly, stiff dough. So, roll out the dough whereas it’s nonetheless smooth (proper after mixing it collectively) after which chill the rolled-out dough.
  2. Trick #2: Divide the dough in half earlier than rolling it out. Why? Smaller sections of dough are simpler to roll out.
  3. Trick #3: Roll out the cookie dough straight on a silicone baking mat or parchment paper so you possibly can simply switch it to the fridge. Decide the entire thing up, set it on a baking sheet, and place it within the fridge. In the event you don’t have sufficient room for 2 baking sheets in your fridge, merely stack the items of rolled-out dough on prime of one another, with parchment paper or silicone baking mat in between. You may see me doing this within the video tutorial under.

After the rolled out dough chills for no less than 1-2 hours, use cookie cutters to chop out shapes and re-roll your scraps. Keep in mind, you have got two slabs of dough.

two slabs of rolled out dough on parchment paper with cookie cutters cutting out shapes.

Organize cookies on a lined baking sheet. I often get about 2 dozen 3-inch cookies from this recipe. Right here’s among the cookies earlier than baking:

sugar cookies in various shapes on silicone mat-lined baking sheet including stars, candy canes, and snowflakes.

And after baking:

sugar cookies in various shapes on silicone mat-lined baking sheet including stars, candy canes, and snowflakes.

How Thick Do I Make Sugar Cookies?

These sugar cookies stay smooth as a result of they’re rolled out fairly thick. Roll out the cookie dough to about 1/4 inch thick, or simply beneath (about 6mm). Sure, that is on the thicker facet and, sure, this produces further thick and smooth cookies! When you have issue evenly rolling out dough, do that adjustable rolling pin. Talking from expertise, it’s extremely useful!

Use My Straightforward Cookie Icing

My simple cookie icing recipe under is a superb various to conventional royal icing. It’s like a really thick opaque glaze and comes collectively rapidly with a fork and a mixing bowl. That is one among my favourite methods to brighten sugar cookies as a result of it’s low upkeep, however nonetheless delivers fairly (and attractive) outcomes. I’ve a separate Cookie Icing web page devoted to it, and it may be used on just about any cookie cutter cookies like gingerbread cookies and chocolate sugar cookies.

Right here’s why you’ll love this cookie icing:

  • 5 primary substances
  • Can tint the icing totally different colours
  • Can use squeeze bottle or piping tricks to enhance
  • Manageable for everybody
  • Doesn’t dry into exhausting cement texture
  • After it dries, you possibly can stack, freeze, and transport cookies

You want confectioners’ sugar, water, vanilla extract (change with water to maintain the icing stark white), a contact of corn syrup, and a bit of salt. The corn syrup offers the icing sticking energy and creates a fantastic sheen when the icing dries. After 24 hours, the icing dries, so you possibly can simply stack these Christmas sugar cookies for storage, transport, and even transport.

decorated Christmas sugar cookies including Christmas tree, red mittens, ornaments, and snowflakes with icing.

Sure, you possibly can create gourmet-looking Christmas cookies like those above with out royal icing!

Christmas Sugar Cookie Instruments

Earlier than I go away you with the recipe, let me counsel some helpful sugar cookie instruments. These are the precise merchandise I take advantage of and belief in my very own kitchen:

  • Electrical Mixer: Stand Mixer or Handheld
  • Baking Sheets: I take advantage of and love these Baking Sheets.
  • Parchment or Baking Mats: Silicone Baking Mats or Parchment Sheets (for rolling out & transferring the rolled out dough, and for baking the cookies).
  • Rolling Pin: That is my favourite Rolling Pin.
  • Cookie Cutters: In the event you’d like ideas for cookie cutters, I like Ann Clark model. (Not sponsored, only a real fan!) The pictured shapes got here from this vacation cookie cutter set.
  • Meals Coloring: Liquid meals coloring can alter the consistency of the icing, so I like to recommend gel meals coloring. I like Americolor model.
  • Squeeze Bottle: To make adorning a breeze, use a squeeze bottle. They’re much less intimidating than piping ideas and really simple to make use of. If you wish to use a piping tip, I like Wilton #4 for adorning sugar cookies. (You’ll additionally want a disposable or reusable piping bag if utilizing a piping tip.)

It’s also possible to take a look at my really useful 10 Greatest Cookie Baking Instruments.

Iced snowflake sugar cookie broken in half.

Craving Extra Basic Christmas Cookies?


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Minimize-out Christmas sugar cookies with crisp edges and smooth facilities. This icing recipe is so easy, making adorning hassle-free!

  1. Be sure you have allotted sufficient time (and sufficient counter area!) to make these cookies. The cookie dough wants to relax, the cookies want to chill fully, and the icing wants 24 hours to fully set. If having fun with immediately and hardened icing isn’t a priority, you’ll solely want about 3-4 hours to make these.
  2. Make the cookie dough: Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt collectively in a medium bowl. Put aside.
  3. In a big bowl utilizing a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar collectively on excessive pace till fully easy and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla, and almond extract (if utilizing) and beat on excessive pace till mixed, about 1 minute. Scrape down the edges and up the underside of the bowl and beat once more as wanted to mix.
  4. Add the dry substances to the moist substances and blend on low till mixed. Dough will probably be comparatively smooth. If the dough appears too smooth and sticky for rolling, add 1 extra Tablespoon of flour.
  5. Divide the dough into 2 equal elements. Place every portion onto a chunk of flippantly floured parchment paper or a flippantly floured silicone baking mat. With a flippantly floured rolling pin, roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness. Use extra flour if the dough appears too sticky. The rolled-out dough might be any form, so long as it’s evenly 1/4-inch thick.
  6. Calmly mud one of many rolled-out doughs with flour. Place a chunk of parchment on prime. (This prevents sticking.) Place the 2nd rolled-out dough on prime. Cowl with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then refrigerate for no less than 1-2 hours and as much as 2 days.
  7. As soon as chilled, preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 2-3 giant baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Rigorously take away the highest dough piece from the fridge. If it’s sticking to the underside, run your hand beneath it to assist take away it. Utilizing a cookie cutter, minimize the dough into shapes. Re-roll the remaining dough and proceed chopping till all is used. Repeat with 2nd piece of dough. (Be aware: It doesn’t appear to be a variety of dough, however you get a variety of cookies from the dough scraps you re-roll.)
  8. Organize cookies on baking sheets 3 inches aside. Bake for 11-12 minutes or till flippantly browned across the edges. In case your oven has sizzling spots, rotate the baking sheet midway by bake time. Permit cookies to chill on the baking sheet for five minutes then switch to a wire rack to chill fully earlier than adorning. No must cowl the cookies because the cookies cool.
  9. Make the icing: Utilizing a fork, stir the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, corn syrup, and 4.5 Tablespoons (67ml) of water collectively in a medium bowl. It is going to be very thick and virtually unimaginable to stir. Change to a whisk and whisk in 1/2 Tablespoon (8ml) of water. In the event you carry the whisk and let the icing drizzle again into the bowl, the ribbon of icing will maintain form for just a few seconds earlier than melting again into the icing. That’s when you recognize it’s the suitable consistency and is able to use. If it’s too thick (generally it’s), whisk in one other 1/2 Tablespoon (8ml) of water or a bit of extra till you attain the consistency.
  10. In the event you’re tinting the icing one other coloration, stir within the meals coloring. You may pour some icing into totally different bowls if utilizing a number of colours. When tinting icing, solely use 1-2 drops at first, stir it in, then add extra as wanted to succeed in your required coloration. Keep in mind, coloration darkens as icing dries.
  11. Embellish the cookies: You may dip the cookies into the icing or use squeeze bottles or piping baggage fitted with piping ideas (I often use Wilton Piping Tip #4). Embellish your cookies as desired. If utilizing the squeeze bottles or piping ideas, I often define cookies with icing first, then fill within the center. If including sprinkles on prime of the icing, add them proper after making use of icing in your cookie.
  12. Let icing dry/set: Be happy to take pleasure in cookies earlier than icing fully dries. Icing dries in 24 hours. No must cowl the adorned cookies as you look forward to the icing to set. If it’s useful, enhance the cookies straight on a baking sheet so you possibly can stick the complete baking sheet within the fridge to assist barely pace up the icing setting. As soon as the icing has dried, these cookies are nice for gifting or for sending.
  13. Cowl and retailer adorned cookies for as much as 5 days at room temperature or as much as 10 days within the fridge.


  1. Freezing Directions: Plain or adorned sugar cookies freeze effectively as much as 3 months. Look ahead to the icing to set fully earlier than layering between sheets of parchment paper in a freezer-friendly container. To thaw, thaw within the fridge or at room temperature. It’s also possible to freeze the cookie dough for as much as 3 months earlier than rolling it out. Put together the dough by step 4, divide in half, flatten each halves right into a disk as we do with pie crust, wrap every in plastic wrap, then freeze. To thaw, thaw the disks within the fridge, then deliver to room temperature for about 1 hour. Roll out the dough as directed in step 5, then chill rolled out dough within the fridge for 45 minutes – 1 hour earlier than chopping into shapes and baking.
  2. Particular Instruments (affiliate hyperlinks): Electrical Mixer (Stand Mixer or Handheld) | Baking SheetsSilicone Baking Mats or Parchment SheetsRolling Pin | Vacation Cookie Cutter Set | Squeeze Bottle for adorning
  3. Room Temperature Butter: Room temperature butter is crucial. If the dough is just too sticky, your butter might have been too smooth. Room temperature butter is definitely cool to the contact. Room temperature egg is most well-liked so it’s rapidly and evenly combined into the cookie dough.
  4. Flavoring the cookies: I like flavoring this cookie dough with 1/2 teaspoon almond extract as listed within the substances above. For lighter taste, use 1/4 teaspoon. As an alternative of the almond extract, strive utilizing 1 teaspoon of maple extract, coconut extract, lemon extract, or peppermint extract. Or add 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or floor cinnamon. Together with lemon extract, you may also add 1 Tablespoon lemon zest.
  5. Corn Syrup: Corn syrup offers the icing sticking energy and creates a fantastic sheen on the dried icing. I don’t suggest skipping it, however you possibly can if completely wanted.
  6. Salt: I do know salt isn’t a typical ingredient in cookie icing, but it surely helps offset its sweetness. You simply want a small pinch.
  7. Yield of icing: This quantity of icing is sufficient for icing 2 dozen cookies. You’ll have a lot if you wish to divide it and tint the batch a number of colours, too. Icing can simply be halved by halving the entire substances. (Nonetheless add a tiny pinch of salt.)
  8. Remember to take a look at my prime 5 cookie baking ideas AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking instruments.

Key phrases: christmas sugar cookies

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