The One and Only Christmas Sugar Cookie

I call this the One and Only Sugar Cookie because it’s the bestest ever for Christmas Cookie decorating.  It has the perfect texture to it…it’s not crisp (and in my opinion, shouldn’t be), but there’s a slight resistance when you bite into these soft, buttery cookies.  They’ve also got the nicest hint of almond and vanilla.  I recommend decorating these with a simple royal icing (confectioner’s sugar + water) and lots of colorful sprinkles, and hopefully you have more patience for decorating than I do.  The moment I begin to start icing these things they usually just get eaten.  Here’s how to make these cookies:

PS Sorry there was no post yesterday.  A family emergency occurred and I spent Wednesday at the hospital with my family and Thursday was a long day of traveling, beginning at 4am and ending at 6pm.  Cookies:

Yield: The number of cookies depends on how big your cutters are, but this makes about one sheet tray of cookies.  Easily doubles.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 extra large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
7.5 oz all purpose flour (1.5 cups)
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt (1/4 tsp)

Directions:
Cream together the butter and sugar with a mixer (read my creaming article if you need a review on how to do it properly).  Add the egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract, and beat until blended.

In a bowl, whisk to combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar and beat just until the flour disappears.  Scrape the dough out onto plastic wrap.  The dough may look slightly crumbly, but it should come together well as you shape it into a disk:

Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Flour your countertop, and roll the dough out to the desired thickness (I do somewhere between 1/8 inch and 1/4 inch thick).  Cut the dough with your cutters and place on your baking sheet (no need to grease the pan or use parchment if you don’t want to).

Refrigerate for 20 minutes, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake for 10 minutes until very faintly golden brown on the edges.  Cool on a wire rack completely before decorating.  Happy cookie making!

Click here for the printable recipe.

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21 Responses to The One and Only Christmas Sugar Cookie

  1. What kind of icing do you prepare?

    • Joanne says:

      I just did a simple royal icing, a mixture of confectioner’s sugar and water, and a tiny splash of vanilla. I didn’t even measure it, I just eyeballed it until I got the consistency I wanted, but you can find tons of recipes online.

  2. There are too many great cookie recipes floating around foodie cyberspace at the moment! I am going to put on far too much weight this season.
    🙂 Mandy

  3. Nydia says:

    I’m trying to find a recipe that can work for my kids, we like to make cookies during Christmas to give as a present to the family. The dough looks perfect, so this time we will try yours. Thank you very much for sharing.

  4. Apparently, we are completely opposite in our Christmas cookie tastes: I like them as thin and crisp as possible and restrict decorations to sugar only, rather than weighing them down with frosting. I just made Deb’s (Smitten Kitchen) maple syrup and nutmeg cookies and decorated them with colored sugar: in my opinion these are perfect sugar cookies.

  5. Nothing beats a classic sugar cookie. Hope everything’s okay with you.

  6. Sorry to hear about Wednesday, hope things are better. These look wonderful, so sharing!

  7. I think these cookies sound absolutely perfect… I agree about the texture and love that you describe it as the “bestest”! I hope that your emergency is over and everyone is well…

  8. anne says:

    These look really good ;D I just love buttery cookies ! Hope everything’s alright 😉

  9. Oh these sugar Christmas cookies look absolutely wonderful. You’ve done such a wonderful job. I can’t wait to make mine next week :).. you’ve definitely given me some ideas

  10. Cooking Healthy For Me says:

    The cookies look delightful! I hope everything goes well with your family member….I’ll be thinking of you.

  11. Raymund says:

    I love hints of almonds in baked goodies

  12. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for the recipe and I found the article on creaming extremely helpful too – I love that you explain WHY it is important employ certain methods! Hope all is well with your family now 🙂

  13. Karen says:

    There is something special about sugar cookies decorated with icing.

  14. Jenn says:

    Made these last night to bring to a kids Christmas party! I had to force myself to stop eating them (had at least 4, but if you can’t do it now when can you?) so there would be enough to share! So yum!!

  15. Love the creativeness of the candy-cane decoration. Hope all is well with the family.

  16. Don’t be cruel and send me a doz….

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