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Christmas Sugar Cookies: the easy recipe for making ultimate Christmas cookies

Total time: 50 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 6 people
By Cookist
for the sugar cookies
unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup
Granulated sugar
1 cup
Large egg
All-purpose flour
2 cups
pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp
Baking powder
1/3 tsp
a pinch
for the icing
Confectioner’s sugar
1 cup
pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp
gel food coloring
light corn syrup
1 tsp
Water at room temperature
2 tbsp
a pinch
for the cookie decorations (optional)
sugar pearls
small candies

Christmas sugar cookies are an easy recipe to make and enjoy during the Christmas holidays. With a buttery, sugary flavor and a fancy look, they add a festive twist to vanilla sugar cookies. They're soft on the inside, slightly crisp on the edges and cut in original shapes – trees, stars, snowmen, gingerbread men, and Christmas stockings.

To make this flavorful, cut-out cookie recipe from scratch is very easy. Just mix simple pantry ingredients, roll and work the dough. Next up, use a cutter shape making sure the cookies keep their shape and don't spread in the oven during baking. Finally, to make them more fun, decorate the cookies with a thin, colored icing that is firm and dries well, without worrying that it will break your teeth at the first bite. You can even use royal icing if you get the right texture to pipe and set it appropriately.

Ideal for breakfast or as snack, these perfectly cut-out Christmas sugar cookies are a great make-ahead recipe. Customize them as you want to get into the holiday spirit and serve them to Santa!


Christmas Sugar Cookies Ingredients

To make these Christmas sugar cookies you need very simple ingredients.

Butter – use the unsalted one and make sure it is enough soft before starting the recipe, but not too melting.

Sugar – granulated sugar is perfect for giving that classic cookie flavor and keeping cookies from spreading.

Egg – it's necessary for all ingredients to mix well while kneading

Flour – the best one to use is all-purpose flour.

Vanilla extract – it gives flavor to cookies. You can also use almond extract.

Baking powder – use just a small amount of baking powder to make soft-center cookies with crisp edges.

Salt – just a pinch is enough to balance all the flavors.

How to make Icing for Sugar Cookies

Instead of making a traditional royal icing, you can make a perfect sugar cookie icing for this recipe. It should be thin, and firm when dried out. The ratio of confectioner's sugar and water keeps the icing thick enough for decorating, while corn syrup make it shiny. The icing should dry very well and be slightly crunchy, but not too much to avoid breaking teeth.

Tips for the Best Rolled Sugar Cookies

To get as many cookies as possible, cut out shapes close together. Once you're done, form a ball with the leftover dough and roll it back up adding a little flour.

For thin, crisp sugar cookies, make sure to roll the dough about 1/8″ and bake them longer.  If you want to make them thicker and softer, roll the dough to about 1/4″.

Weigh the doses of flour well otherwise the cookies will become crumbly.

Extend cooling time if your dough is too sticky once rested in the fridge. Otherwise you can add a little bit of flour.

If your icing is too thin, add more confectioner's sugar. If it's too thick, add more water.

You can also make icing with milk instead of water.

For flavorful Christmas sugar cookies, you can mix different extracts or emulsions to the dough.

Customize this recipe by cutting your cookies in different shapes and decorating them with sanding sugar, candies, pearls and sprinkles.

Use different kind of gel food coloring to make your sugar cookies funny. Use a holiday color palette – green, red, white – for the perfect Christmas dessert tray to serve.

How to store Christmas Cookies

You can store Christmas cookies in a cookie jar at room temperature for up 3 days.

If you leave it in an airtight container, sugar cookies can last for up to 3 weeks.

How to make Christmas Sugar Cookies

In a large bowl, beat the butter with a stand mixer for about a minute or until creamy and smooth. Add the sugar and blend for about 3 minutes, or until fluffy ann light. Add the egg, vanilla extract and mix again. Scrape down the sides and bottom if necessary.

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix on low speed. Add the rest of the flour and mix until combined. If the dough is too soft, add a tablespoon of flour.

Knead the dough until smooth. Divide the dough in two parts, roll it out on a piece of parchment until it is at least 1/4″ thick. Stack the pieces with the paper on a baking sheet, cover and let them chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours to a maximum of 2 days. Don't skip this step.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, sprinkle the countertop with a little flour and roll the dough out. Cut it using cookie cutters with Christmas motifs like trees, stars, or stockings. Roll the leftover dough again and cut it until all is used.

Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies are golden brown, rotating the baking sheet halfway. Once ready, let them completely cool on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, make the icing for the sugar cookies. In a bowl, add the confectioner's sugar, vanilla, corn syrup, water and salt. Whisk until thick. To check if your icing is ready to be used, you can lift the whisk and let the icing drip. If it keeps its shape for a few seconds as soon as it touches the bowl, it means the texture is right. Divide the icing into several bowls according to the food coloring you want to use. Dye each one, mix and transfer into different piping bags.

Decorate the cooled cookies as you like, using a piper bag. Also use the toothpicks to define the edges.

Garnish with sprinkles, candies, and sugar pearls. Let the Christmas sugar cookies dry. Serve and enjoy!


These homemade sugar cookies can be a perfect Christmas gift.

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