My cousin Kelley has reminded me from time to time that the only cookies I would eat at holiday get-togethers were my own mom’s cut-out cookies. I never touched any other cookies that were present.
What can I say?! I like what I like!
I’m happy to share this recipe with you today because this is the most delicious and light sugar cookie recipe for cut-outs. If you like a crunchy cookie, roll the dough thinner, and if you like a softer cookie, keep it a little bit on the thicker side.
They only take 5 minutes to bake so the frosting can start happening pretty shortly thereafter (as long as they are cool!)
I envisioned a sweet family time of making the cut-outs with the boys one evening, imagining us all laughing and enjoying one another while baking perfectly shaped cut-outs. As it turns out, they pretty much massacred the dough and hacked away at the shapes they used with a spatula, so I quickly decided I would make the cut-outs that we would actually frost later that evening, and we could frost them together!
That went much better, the boys loved shaking the sprinkles over the frosting and David kept “accidentally” breaking the arms of the ginger bread men and eating them! It was a fun time and I hope it becomes something we do annually!
So let’s get onto the recipe!
Christmas Cut-Out Cookies // makes 24 -30 cookies, depending on size of your cookie cutter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
–Preheat oven to 375.
Mix powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, almond extract and egg together in a mixer until combined. Stir in flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Refrigerate dough for at least 3 hours (do NOT skip this step).
After the dough is completely chilled, generously flour the surface you will be rolling the dough out on, flouring the rolling pin or pastry roller as you go. It’s okay to work a bit more flour into this dough. Work quickly, the colder the dough the easier it will be! The thickness I like is about 3/16th of an inch, which leaves me with a soft cookie that holds its shape well.
Using cut-outs of your choice, create the cookies and bake on parchment paper on a high rack in your oven for 5 minutes. Let cool on the baking pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
After they are completely cool, it’s time to frost!
Christmas Cut-Out Cookie Frosting
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
about 2-3 tbsp milk
Mix sugar and butter until it resembles small rocks, like a pie dough. Add vanilla and at least 2 tablespoons of milk, mix on high until the frosting comes together. Add more milk for a thinner frosting, or leave it on the thicker end by not adding additional milk. Generally, I add 3 tablespoons of milk to my frosting.
Add food coloring, and enjoy frosting the cookies! My tip is to shake the sprinkles onto the cookies over a large baking sheet so you aren’t vacuuming up sprinkles for the rest of your life!