Holiday Cookie Recipes :: Classic Cut-out Cookies

This week we’ll be talking about cookies. Holiday cookies are a necessity in my world. I love desserts. We all love a fancy chocolate torte or impressive yule log, but in December you gotta have cookies. Shortbreads, gingerbreads, thumbprints and macaroons. I love them all.

Today we have the holiday classic–the sugar cookie for cutouts. Gotta have it. I have nothing but sweet, surgary memories of making them with my mom. We’d make a boatload of cookies for a family gathering at my grandmother’s house ever year. In fact, I have to email mom and ask for her recipe for coconut macaroon wreaths. I never ate them, but I LOVED making them. Go and make some cookies with your kids. It’s the right thing to do. I’ll be making them with my son later this week. If it doesn’t get too messy, we’ll post some pictures!

Sugar Cut-out Cookies

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. In a small bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or with hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy–about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla, beat until combined. Add the flour mixture and beat until you have a nice, smooth dough.

3. Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about one hour. It needs to be firm enough to roll.

4. Preheat oven to 350 and place rack in center of oven. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

5. Remove a half of the chilled dough from the refrigerator and roll out the dough on a lightly floured counter, to about 1/4”. Dip your cookie cutter in flour before cutting your shape. This way the dough will not stick, then transfer cookies to baking sheet. Place the baking sheets with the unbaked cookies in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to chill the dough. This will ensure that your cookies won’t spread or lose their shape while in the oven.

Bake cookies for about 10 minutes (depending on size) or until they begin to brown around the edges. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Decorate with royal icing and sprinkles as desired!

Here’s a good icing recipe for you, too.

Confectioners Sugar Frosting

2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons milk

In an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the milk and beat on high speed until frosting is smooth.