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Christmas Sugar Cookies with Simple Icing

These are fan-favorite cut-out Christmas sugar cookies! My recipe for sugar cookies guarantees flavorful cookies with mushy and thick facilities, barely crisp edges, and flat tops for adorning. The dough comes along with 8 easy components and the cookies maintain their cookie cutter form within the oven. Enhance them with my straightforward glaze cookie icing, a beautiful different to royal icing. Get out your rolling pin and favourite cookie cutters and have enjoyable!

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

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 really like that you simply don’t must mess with royal icing! The cookie icing under is unfussy and low upkeep, which is unquestionably appreciated for those who’re baking a number of cookies in December. 😉

One reader commented: “These are the BEST cookies! The dough is very easy to place collectively and to work with. They style wonderful; buttery and never too candy. They cooked up excellent, identical to you mentioned, crispy on the sides with a pleasant mushy center!! And the icing…oh the icing! It’s the right consistency for utilizing a squeeze bottle and but it units up agency and shiny so you’ll be able to stack the cookies or pack and ship them. ★★★★★”

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

  • Gentle, thick facilities with barely crisp edges
  • Irresistible buttery vanilla taste
  • Created from easy components
  • Go away plain or taste with extras like maple, cinnamon, peppermint, and extra
  • Maintain form whereas baking
  • Icing is manageable for younger bakers and inexperienced persons
  • Freeze fantastically
  • Simple-to-follow recipe utilized by newbie and professional bakers alike

By the way in which, for those who love sugar cookies, however aren’t up for adorning with icing, you’ll get pleasure from my stained glass window cookies, Christmas sparkle cookies, or drop Christmas sugar cookies as a substitute.

stack of snowflake sugar cookies with icing and silver sprinkles.

Tips on how to Make Christmas Sugar Cookies

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

So many little components 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 ensure it’s able to cream, poke it along 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 received’t maintain form. You don’t need your snowman-shaped cookie turning into the Keep-Puft Marshmallow Man (although that would work for Halloween cookies).

Additionally, the icing recipe under wants not less than 24 hours to dry/set (however you’ll be able to actually eat them previous to the icing drying!). That is for much longer than royal icing, which normally dries in 2 hours. So regardless that 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 speak about rolling out this dough as a result of it’s an uncommon order of steps.

3 Tips 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 crucial trick! Let me clarify why I do that. Identical to once 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 might bear in mind how tough it’s to roll out chilly, stiff dough. So, roll out the dough whereas it’s nonetheless mushy (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 immediately on a silicone baking mat or parchment paper so you’ll be able to 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 possibly can see me doing this within the video tutorial under.

After the rolled out dough chills for not less than 1-2 hours, use cookie cutters to chop out shapes and re-roll your scraps. Keep in mind, you’ve 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 normally 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 mushy 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 aspect and, sure, this produces further thick and mushy cookies! When you’ve got issue evenly rolling out dough, do this adjustable rolling pin. Talking from expertise, it’s extremely useful!

Use My Simple Cookie Icing

My straightforward cookie icing recipe under is a good different 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 embellish 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 components
  • 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’ll be able to stack, freeze, and transport cookies

You want confectioners’ sugar, water, vanilla extract (exchange with water to maintain the icing stark white), a contact of corn syrup, and a bit salt. The corn syrup provides the icing sticking energy and creates a wonderful sheen when the icing dries. After 24 hours, the icing dries, so you’ll be able to 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’ll be able to 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 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 recommendations for cookie cutters, I really 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 straightforward to make use of. If you wish to use a piping tip, I really like Wilton #4 for adorning sugar cookies. (You’ll additionally want a disposable or reusable piping bag if utilizing a piping tip.)

You may as well take a look at my advisable 10 Finest Cookie Baking Instruments.

Cookie Adorning Get together

Are you internet hosting a cookie adorning day or get together? Right here’s my Tips on how to Host a Cookie Adorning Day information with my finest success ideas, advisable provides, and timeline for prep. This web page is very helpful for those who’re internet hosting a cookie adorning day for youths!

Iced snowflake sugar cookie broken in half.

Craving Extra Christmas Cookies?


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

  1. Be sure you have allotted sufficient time (and sufficient counter house!) to make these cookies. The cookie dough wants to relax, the cookies want to chill utterly, and the icing wants 24 hours to utterly 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 utterly clean 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 perimeters and up the underside of the bowl and beat once more as wanted to mix.
  4. Add the dry components to the moist components and blend on low till mixed. Dough will probably be comparatively mushy. If the dough appears too mushy 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 evenly floured parchment paper or a evenly floured silicone baking mat. With a evenly 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 may be any form, so long as it’s evenly 1/4-inch thick.
  6. Flippantly 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 not 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 massive 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, lower the dough into shapes. Re-roll the remaining dough and proceed slicing till all is used. Repeat with 2nd piece of dough. (Notice: It doesn’t look like a number of dough, however you get a number 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 evenly browned across the edges. In case your oven has sizzling spots, rotate the baking sheet midway by bake time. Enable cookies to chill on the baking sheet for five minutes then switch to a wire rack to chill utterly 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. Will probably be very thick and nearly unattainable to stir. Swap 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 a number of seconds earlier than melting again into the icing. That’s when you understand it’s the precise 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 extra till you attain the consistency.
  10. In the event you’re tinting the icing one other coloration, stir within the meals coloring. You possibly can 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. Enhance the cookies: You possibly can dip the cookies into the icing or use squeeze bottles or piping baggage fitted with piping ideas (I normally use Wilton Piping Tip #4). Enhance your cookies as desired. If utilizing the squeeze bottles or piping ideas, I normally 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 at liberty to get pleasure from cookies earlier than icing utterly dries. Icing dries in 24 hours. No must cowl the adorned cookies as you look ahead to the icing to set. If it’s useful, enhance the cookies immediately on a baking sheet so you’ll be able to stick your entire 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 properly as much as 3 months. Look ahead to the icing to set utterly earlier than layering between sheets of parchment paper in a freezer-friendly container. To thaw, thaw within the fridge or at room temperature. You may as well 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 convey 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 slicing 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 important. If the dough is simply too sticky, your butter could have been too mushy. Room temperature butter is definitely cool to the contact. Room temperature egg is most well-liked so it’s rapidly and evenly blended into the cookie dough.
  4. Flavoring the cookies: I really like flavoring this cookie dough with 1/2 teaspoon almond extract as listed within the components above. For lighter taste, use 1/4 teaspoon. As a substitute 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 can too add 1 Tablespoon lemon zest.
  5. Corn Syrup: Corn syrup provides the icing sticking energy and creates a wonderful sheen on the dried icing. I don’t suggest skipping it, however you’ll be able to 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 all the components. (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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