I’m a huge fan of gourmet sugar cookies. But I’m not a huge fan of accumulating a bunch of cookie cutters that I have to store somewhere when not in use. So, I decided to whip up some holiday sugar cookies and surf Pinterest for a few decorating ideas. Wowza, it’s amazing what is out there. Some pretty creative bakers in the Pinterest world.
For this recipe I used a 3″ square cookie cutter. In the picture are just three examples of decorating ideas that we used for these cookies. These were all decorated with royal icing but many times you can buy Wilton decorating kits that will have a few of the needed accessories, like eyes or belt buckles. You get the idea. Or just go with sanding sugar to sprinkle on top. Doesn’t get any easier than that.
We used the same royal icing recipe as we used for the Halloween cookies. No change just different colors. For the Santa belt buckle we used the Wilton kit. We then frosted the belt buckle and dipped it in sprinkles. The original color was yellow and that just didn’t seem to be the color we were going for. And besides who doesn’t love a little sparkle on their belt buckle. If you didn’t want to go through the effort of decorating you could just sprinkle some sanding sugar on before baking and call it done.
The recipe makes two dozen cookies. You could cut it in half if you only wanted one dozen. It’s a simple recipe. A few ingredients and nothing fancy.
- Beat butter and sugar in stand mixer.
- Add vanilla and eggs.
- Stir in the dry ingredients. Not much to it.
When you first make the dough, it will be sticky and not very manageable. You are going to need to chill it for a few hours before rolling it out. The flavor of these is just delicious and worth the wait. They are soft and delicate. I stored them in an airtight container for a week after and continued to enjoy fresh cookies that entire time.
It’s important to not overcook sugar cookies. When the edges start (and by start, I mean barely light golden brown) to get brown you are done.
With all that said, you have the perfect base for frosting, sprinkles or other decorations.
Tips for making the perfect sugar cookie:
- When cutting out your cookies you want to keep the cuts as close as possible to avoid wasting any dough. You will reroll the scraps but then you must flour the surface again. Which is now adding too much flour to your cookies.
- For thinner, crispier cookies roll the dough to an 1/8 of an inch. And the edges will become golden brown.
- For thicker softer cookies (which are my favorite way to have this recipe) roll the dough to a 1/4 of an inch. Watch for the cookies to just begin turning lightly golden brown at the edges and remove from the oven. Cool on the pan. They will break if you try to move them too early.
I hope you enjoy these as much as we do. Please share if you end up making them. We always love to hear how it turns out. Happy holidays!
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Holiday Sugar Cookies
- 13.25 ounces sugar
- 12 ounces butter
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 23.5 ounces AP flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar and butter until pale and fluffy.
- Add the eggs and vanilla and continue to mix until incorporated.
- In a separate bowl stir together AP flour, baking powder and salt.
- Add the dry mix into the mixer bowl and hand stir until incorporated.
- Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap and put 1/2 of the dough onto the wrap.
- Cover with plastic wrap and mold into a disk. Do the same with the other half of the dough.
- Refrigerate for 3-4 hours.
- Once dough has finished chilling, heat oven to 350°F.
- Generously dust a clean surface with flour and roll the dough out to 1/4 inch.
- Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes and a spatula to transfer them to the baking sheet.
- Bake at 350° for 7-10 minutes or until edges begin to turn lightly golden brown.
- Remove from oven and let cool on the pan.