Tis the season for cookie decorating, fire roasting, tree trimming, carol singing, gift giving, most wonderful season of all!
One of my all-time favorite Christmas traditions and a must in our home is cookie baking and decorating! With the recipe below, Santa will be thanking you for the most delicious sugar cookies!! These cookies are seriously THE best, and the only recipe I use when baking sugar cookies. If you follow the recipe, they are thick (perfect for decorating), yet soft and perfectly sweet…and the best part is that they freeze beautifully!!!
With the hustle and bustle of the season, I hope you find time to gather in the kitchen with your family and create Christmas traditions that will be forever treasured! EnJOY!
You will need…
(Yield: 1 dozen large cookies; however, I always double or triple the recipe and freeze the dough that I do not use)
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Cream butter and sugar in a standing mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
In a small bowl, sift together flour and salt, and set aside.
Once the sugar + butter is light and fluffy, reduce the speed to medium and add eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla.
Beat for about a minute, then stop mixer and scrape sides of bowl.
With the mixer on low, add sifted flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time. Beat for about 2 minutes or until combined.
On a floured work surface, gently kneed the dough to form a ball.
Divide dough into 4 equal parts.
Wrap each quarter of dough with plastic wrap, and store in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
When ready to bake cookies, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Working with one section of the chilled dough at a time, roll dough onto floured surface until a little over 1/4″ in thickness (these cookies do not rise very much, so roll the dough according to the thickness you desire for your cookies).
Dip cookie cutters into flour just before cutting out shapes.
Place cookies on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet (again, these cookies do not spread very much, so leave about 1/2″ in between cookies). Chill cookies in refrigerator for about 30 more minutes. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
*SAVVY HINT: The key to these cookies is chilling the dough, and baking until they are slightly golden on the bottom of the cookies. The cookies will appear very soft when pulling out of the oven, but will harden as they cool.
Cool on parchment paper for a few minutes, then transfer cookies to a wire rack, and let cookies cool completely.
Decorate with royal icing, and enJOY!
*recipe inspired by Williams Sonoma
While our neighbors were decorating their Christmas trees this year, I gifted them cookie ornaments.
Simply cut round cookies and cut a small hole near the top of each cookie. Bake & tie ribbon through the hole. A precious ornament that is so delicious it won’t last long enough to hang on the tree!
This is also makes a very festive display for cookie swap parties.