This time, next week, will be Christmas Day! Can you believe it? Now that I have all my gifts wrapped, and the house decorated, I kind of feel like I have nothing festive left to do, besides bake cookies. Since Santa is coming next week, I figured I'd get started on sugar cookies for him. I remember when I was younger, and my mom and grandmother would always bake sugar cookies for the holidays. Once the cookies were cool enough, my siblings and I would help decorate them, usually by covering them in colored sugar (you know, the red and green stuff). We would leave out some cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve night, with a glass of milk, and without fail, the cookies and milk would be gone before we woke up. Even after we were all old enough to know that Santa wasn't real, and it was our mom and dad eating the cookies, we still left them out. Traditions are traditions. I must say, I really don't see these lasting all the way until Christmas Eve, unfortunately (they're really tasty), so Santa may be out of luck! Between myself, Winston, and Christopher, we ate like six of them straight out of the oven. Now, that I've frosted them, there is no hope.
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- 1¼ cups (2½ sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into ½” pieces
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Place racks in lower and upper thirds of oven; preheat to 325°. Whisk salt, baking powder, and 3 cups flour in a small bowl. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter and sugar until well combined (butter does not need to be fluffy), about 3 minutes. Add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla; beat just to combine. Reduce speed to low and gradually add dry ingredients; mix just to combine. Form dough into two ¾”-thick disks; wrap in plastic. Chill at least 2 hours.
- Let 1 disk of dough sit at room temperature until softened slightly, about 5 minutes. Roll out on a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper until about ¼” thick, dusting with flour as needed (if dough gets soft or sticky, chill on parchment until firm). Cut out shapes with floured cookie cutters; transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets.
- Bake cookies, rotating baking sheets halfway through, until edges are golden, 12–16 minutes, depending on size. Transfer to wire racks and let cool. Repeat with scraps and remaining dough.
- Decorate cooled cookies as desired.
DO AHEAD:Cookie dough can be made 1 month ahead; freeze instead of chilling. Cookies can be baked (left undecorated) 2 weeks ahead; wrap tightly and freeze.
For the icing
- 3 1/4 cups (or more) powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 large egg whites
- Assorted food colorings (optional)
- Using electric mixer, beat 3 1/4 cups powdered sugar and egg whites until thick and shiny, adding more powdered sugar by tablespoonfuls if mixture is too thin to spread, about 3 minutes. Add lemon juice. Divide icing into portions, if desired, and add different food coloring to each. Cover until ready to use.
This recipe produces really great cookies! They are a perfect balance of soft, and crispy, and not too sweet. They are also very addictive, frosted or not, so beware. I had to share this recipe because, I honestly feel like a good sugar cookie recipe is hard to come by. Seriously, I've tried several recipes over the years, and they were never quite what I was looking for. If you're on the hunt for a delicious (and simple) roll-out recipe for sugar cookies, this is the one! This will definitely be my go-to Christmas cookie recipe from now on! I hope you all get to try these out, please let me know if you do!
Photos & Editing by Me & Christopher