Is there anything better than sugar cookies around the holidays? We've had a long and challenging week over here with a sick toddler who is determined to remind me of what the newborn stage will be like by keeping me up all night again! Poor little girl! So taking a moment to enjoy some strong coffee and my favorite snowflake shaped cookie was the little bit of solace I needed this morning!
And hey - I missed getting this post up in time for yesterday, but happy late National Cookie Day! Who knew that day existed? Not me, but I tend to celebrate on my own most days :)
So in the spirit of both Christmas AND National Cookie Day (as well as pregnancy cravings!) I decided to make, and share with you my favorite recipe for cut-out sugar cookies! And what better time than when I just found these perfect Christmas sprinkles while poking around Homegoods the other day! Let's get baking!
This recipe comes from Design Eat Repeat and I have been loving it for years!
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 egg (medium sized)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- Cream the butter and powdered sugar together with an electric mixer. Once mixed, add the egg, vanilla, almond extract, and baking soda and continue to stir on medium speed. Once incorporated, turn the mixer down to low speed and add the flour in one cup portions. When the flour disappears, turn off the mixer and transfer the dough onto a floured surface. Knead the dough until it forms a solid ball. If dough is sticky, add additional flour while kneading (do not be afraid to add ¼-1/2 cup more flour while kneading if sticky).
- Next, on a floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to ⅜ to ½ inch thickness. The thinner you go, the faster they will bake & the crispier they will be. I like them to be thick and soft, so I keep them around ⅜ inch thick and use a 2.5 inch circle cookie cutter or wine glass rim to cut them out.
- As you are cutting them out, transfer them to a parchment paper covered cookie sheet, leaving about 2 inches between them (to allow them to spread). Cover and refrigerate cut out cookie dough for 1-2 hours. (For more intricate cut out shapes, I highly recommend this refrigeration step. For regular circle cookies, refrigerating is not as important, but will result in a cookie that does not spread as much. For intricate shapes, I cut out the cookie shapes first and then refrigerate the entire trays. This helps so you do not have to work with a cold chunk of dough.)
- Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are very lightly browned. Do not worry if they look underbaked, as they will continue to bake on the hot cookie sheet after it comes out of the oven.
- Cool and frost with a vanilla icing of your choice. Have fun with colors & decorations to make these match any occasion.
I spaced these a little closer together than I would normally recommend if you're not using slip mats. As always, I highly recommend getting silicone baking mats, mine can be found here. The mats keep the dough from spreading. I spaced these close after chilling my dough for 2 hours and using the mats, if you chilled for less or are not using them, leave about 2 inches between each cookie.
And after baking, then comes the fun part! I made a simple Royal Icing recipe and had some fun with sprinkles! I've never been a master decorator, but especially while Josie is running around trying to steal cookie crumbs off the floor - I had to hurry!
I hope you love this recipe as much as I do, baking and eating sugar cookies around the holidays is one of my favorite traditions!
I would love to hear about some of your favorite holiday traditions in the comments, or favorite holiday recipes as well! It's such a wonderful time of year!
Have a relaxing and joyous weekend!