Christmas Sugar Cookies with Simple Icing

These are fan-favorite cut-out Christmas sugar cookies! My recipe for sugar cookies guarantees flavorful cookies with tender and thick facilities, barely crisp edges, and flat tops for adorning. The dough comes along with 8 easy elements and the cookies maintain their cookie cutter form within the oven. Enhance them with my straightforward glaze cookie icing, an exquisite various to royal icing. Get out your rolling pin and favourite cookie cutters and have enjoyable!

decorated Christmas sugar cookies including Christmas tree, red mittens and candy canes, ornaments, and snowflakes with icing.

The vacation season and a batch of embellished Christmas sugar cookies go hand-in-hand. Right now’s recipe is a basic staple, and has been a well-liked favourite since I first revealed it in 2014. It’s principally my favourite sugar cookie recipe, however all dressed up for the vacations. And I like that you just don’t must mess with royal icing! The cookie icing beneath is unfussy and low upkeep, which is unquestionably appreciated for those who’re baking loads of cookies in December. 😉

One reader commented: “These are the BEST cookies! The dough is very easy to place collectively and to work with. They style superb; buttery and never too candy. They cooked up excellent, similar to you stated, crispy on the perimeters with a pleasant tender center!! And the icing…oh the icing! It’s the right consistency for utilizing a squeeze bottle and but it units up agency and shiny so you’ll be able to stack the cookies or pack and ship them. ★★★★★”

Right here’s Why You’ll Love These Christmas Sugar Cookies

  • Comfortable, thick facilities with barely crisp edges
  • Irresistible buttery vanilla taste
  • Made out of easy elements
  • Depart plain or taste with extras like maple, cinnamon, peppermint, and extra
  • Maintain form whereas baking
  • Icing is manageable for younger bakers and newbies
  • Freeze superbly
  • Simple-to-follow recipe utilized by newbie and professional bakers alike

By the best way, for those who love sugar cookies, however aren’t up for adorning with icing, you’ll take pleasure in my stained glass window cookies, Christmas sparkle cookies, or drop Christmas sugar cookies as a substitute.

stack of snowflake sugar cookies with icing and silver sprinkles.

Make Christmas Sugar Cookies

You want 7–8 elements for the dough. With so few elements, it’s essential to comply with the recipe intently, as a result of every one has an essential job. Creamed butter and sugar kind the bottom of the dough. Egg and flour present construction, and vanilla provides taste. I virtually all the time add a contact of almond extract for extra taste, and extremely advocate that you just attempt it too! You may additionally use peppermint extract or one other taste extract as a substitute. Baking powder provides raise, and salt balances the candy.

So many little elements doing massive jobs to create an ideal cookie:

flour, sugar, butter, baking powder, egg, salt, and vanilla on marble counter.

Success Tip: Be sure to begin with correct room temperature butter. Room temperature butter is cool to the contact and about 65°F (18°C), which can be cooler than your kitchen. To check the butter to verify it’s able to cream, poke it along with your finger. Your finger ought to make an indent with out sinking down into the butter. The butter shouldn’t be shiny or greasy.

stick of room temperature butter

This can be a recipe that requires some planning forward.

After you make the cookie dough, it should chill for 1-2 hours and as much as 2 days. Chilling is a compulsory step. With out chilling, these cookie cutter sugar cookies gained’t maintain form. You don’t need your snowman-shaped cookie turning into the Keep-Puft Marshmallow Man (although that might work for Halloween cookies).

Additionally, the icing recipe beneath wants no less than 24 hours to dry/set (however you’ll be able to definitely eat them previous to the icing drying!). That is for much longer than royal icing, which often dries in 2 hours. So though we’re not messing with finicky royal icing, we do have to attend longer to stack/transport the cookies.

After you make the cookie dough, divide it in half:

dough in bowl and shown again divided in two on counter.

After which roll out every portion of dough earlier than chilling:

rolled out sugar cookie dough on brown parchment paper.

Let’s speak about rolling out this dough as a result of it’s an uncommon order of steps.

3 Tips to Rolling Out Christmas Cookie Dough

  1. Trick #1: Take note of the order of the steps. Discover how I roll out the dough BEFORE chilling it within the fridge? That’s crucial trick! Let me clarify why I do that. Similar to once you’re making chocolate chip cookies, to forestall the cookies from over-spreading, the dough should chill. When you’ve ever tried rolling out chilled sugar cookie dough, chances are you’ll bear in mind how tough it’s to roll out chilly, stiff dough. So, roll out the dough whereas it’s nonetheless tender (proper after mixing it collectively) after which chill the rolled-out dough.
  2. Trick #2: Divide the dough in half earlier than rolling it out. Why? Smaller sections of dough are simpler to roll out.
  3. Trick #3: Roll out the cookie dough instantly on a silicone baking mat or parchment paper so you’ll be able to simply switch it to the fridge. Choose the entire thing up, set it on a baking sheet, and place it within the fridge. When you don’t have sufficient room for 2 baking sheets in your fridge, merely stack the items of rolled-out dough on high of one another, with parchment paper or silicone baking mat in between. You’ll be able to see me doing this within the video tutorial beneath.

After the rolled out dough chills for no less than 1-2 hours, use cookie cutters to chop out shapes and re-roll your scraps. Keep in mind, you’ve got two slabs of dough.

two slabs of rolled out dough on parchment paper with cookie cutters cutting out shapes.

Prepare cookies on a lined baking sheet. I often get about 2 dozen 3-inch cookies from this recipe. Right here’s a number of the cookies earlier than baking:

sugar cookies in various shapes on silicone mat-lined baking sheet including stars, candy canes, and snowflakes.

And after baking:

sugar cookies in various shapes on silicone mat-lined baking sheet including stars, candy canes, and snowflakes.

How Thick Do I Make Sugar Cookies?

These sugar cookies stay tender as a result of they’re rolled out fairly thick. Roll out the cookie dough to about 1/4 inch thick, or simply below (about 6mm). Sure, that is on the thicker facet and, sure, this produces further thick and tender cookies! If in case you have problem evenly rolling out dough, do that adjustable rolling pin. Talking from expertise, it’s extremely useful!

Use My Simple Cookie Icing

My straightforward cookie icing recipe beneath is a good various to conventional royal icing. It’s like a really thick opaque glaze and comes collectively rapidly with a fork and a mixing bowl. That is one in all my favourite methods to brighten sugar cookies as a result of it’s low upkeep, however nonetheless delivers fairly (and attractive) outcomes. I’ve a separate Cookie Icing web page devoted to it, and it may be used on just about any cookie cutter cookies like gingerbread cookies and chocolate sugar cookies.

Right here’s why you’ll love this cookie icing:

  • 5 fundamental elements
  • Can tint the icing totally different colours
  • Can use squeeze bottle or piping tricks to embellish
  • Manageable for everybody
  • Doesn’t dry into onerous cement texture
  • After it dries, you’ll be able to stack, freeze, and transport cookies

You want confectioners’ sugar, water, vanilla extract (change with water to maintain the icing stark white), a contact of corn syrup, and a bit of salt. The corn syrup offers the icing sticking energy and creates an attractive sheen when the icing dries. After 24 hours, the icing dries, so you’ll be able to simply stack these Christmas sugar cookies for storage, transport, and even transport.

decorated Christmas sugar cookies including Christmas tree, red mittens, ornaments, and snowflakes with icing.

Sure, you’ll be able to create gourmet-looking Christmas cookies like those above with out royal icing!

Christmas Sugar Cookie Instruments

Earlier than I depart you with the recipe, let me counsel some helpful sugar cookie instruments. These are the precise merchandise I take advantage of in my very own kitchen:

  • Electrical Mixer: Stand Mixer or Handheld
  • Baking Sheets: I take advantage of and love these Baking Sheets.
  • Parchment or Baking Mats: Silicone Baking Mats or Parchment Sheets (for rolling out & transferring the rolled out dough, and for baking the cookies).
  • Rolling Pin: That is my favourite Rolling Pin.
  • Cookie Cutters: When you’d like options for cookie cutters, I like Ann Clark model. (Not sponsored, only a real fan!) The pictured shapes got here from this vacation cookie cutter set.
  • Meals Coloring: Liquid meals coloring can alter the consistency of the icing, so I like to recommend gel meals coloring. I like Americolor model.
  • Squeeze Bottle: To make adorning a breeze, use a squeeze bottle. They’re much less intimidating than piping suggestions and really straightforward to make use of. If you wish to use a piping tip, I like Wilton #4 for adorning sugar cookies. (You’ll additionally want a disposable or reusable piping bag if utilizing a piping tip.)

You too can take a look at my really useful 10 Finest Cookie Baking Instruments.

Cookie Adorning Occasion

Are you internet hosting a cookie adorning day or social gathering? Right here’s my Host a Cookie Adorning Day information with my finest success suggestions, really useful provides, and timeline for prep. This web page is particularly helpful for those who’re internet hosting a cookie adorning day for teenagers!

Iced snowflake sugar cookie broken in half.

Craving Extra Christmas Cookies?


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Lower-out Christmas sugar cookies with crisp edges and tender facilities. This icing recipe is so easy, making adorning hassle-free!

  1. Be sure to have allotted sufficient time (and sufficient counter area!) to make these cookies. The cookie dough wants to relax, the cookies want to chill utterly, and the icing wants 24 hours to utterly set. If having fun with instantly and hardened icing isn’t a priority, you’ll solely want about 3-4 hours to make these.
  2. Make the cookie dough: Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt collectively in a medium bowl. Put aside.
  3. In a big bowl utilizing a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar collectively on excessive velocity till utterly easy and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla, and almond extract (if utilizing) and beat on excessive velocity till mixed, about 1 minute. Scrape down the edges and up the underside of the bowl and beat once more as wanted to mix.
  4. Add the dry elements to the moist elements and blend on low till mixed. Dough shall be comparatively tender. If the dough appears too tender and sticky for rolling, add 1 extra Tablespoon of flour.
  5. Divide the dough into 2 equal elements. Place every portion onto a chunk of frivolously floured parchment paper or a frivolously floured silicone baking mat. With a frivolously floured rolling pin, roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness. Use extra flour if the dough appears too sticky. The rolled-out dough will be any form, so long as it’s evenly 1/4-inch thick.
  6. Calmly mud one of many rolled-out doughs with flour. Place a chunk of parchment on high. (This prevents sticking.) Place the 2nd rolled-out dough on high. Cowl with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then refrigerate for no less than 1-2 hours and as much as 2 days.
  7. As soon as chilled, preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 2-3 giant baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Rigorously take away the highest dough piece from the fridge. If it’s sticking to the underside, run your hand below it to assist take away it. Utilizing a cookie cutter, lower the dough into shapes. Re-roll the remaining dough and proceed slicing till all is used. Repeat with 2nd piece of dough. (Word: It doesn’t look like loads of dough, however you get loads of cookies from the dough scraps you re-roll.)
  8. Prepare cookies on baking sheets 3 inches aside. Bake for 11-12 minutes or till frivolously browned across the edges. In case your oven has scorching spots, rotate the baking sheet midway by way of bake time. Permit cookies to chill on the baking sheet for five minutes then switch to a wire rack to chill utterly earlier than adorning. No must cowl the cookies because the cookies cool.
  9. Make the icing: Utilizing a fork, stir the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, corn syrup, and 4.5 Tablespoons (67ml) of water collectively in a medium bowl. It is going to be very thick and virtually unimaginable to stir. Swap to a whisk and whisk in 1/2 Tablespoon (8ml) of water. When you raise the whisk and let the icing drizzle again into the bowl, the ribbon of icing will maintain form for just a few seconds earlier than melting again into the icing. That’s when you understand it’s the suitable consistency and is able to use. If it’s too thick (typically it’s), whisk in one other 1/2 Tablespoon (8ml) of water or a bit of extra till you attain the consistency.
  10. When you’re tinting the icing one other coloration, stir within the meals coloring. You’ll be able to pour some icing into totally different bowls if utilizing a number of colours. When tinting icing, solely use 1-2 drops at first, stir it in, then add extra as wanted to achieve your required coloration. Keep in mind, coloration darkens as icing dries.
  11. Enhance the cookies: You’ll be able to dip the cookies into the icing or use squeeze bottles or piping luggage fitted with piping suggestions (I often use Wilton Piping Tip #4). Enhance your cookies as desired. If utilizing the squeeze bottles or piping suggestions, I often define cookies with icing first, then fill within the center. If including sprinkles on high of the icing, add them proper after making use of icing in your cookie.
  12. Let icing dry/set: Be happy to take pleasure in cookies earlier than icing utterly dries. Icing dries in 24 hours. No must cowl the embellished cookies as you watch for the icing to set. If it’s useful, embellish the cookies instantly on a baking sheet so you’ll be able to stick the whole baking sheet within the fridge to assist barely velocity up the icing setting. As soon as the icing has dried, these cookies are nice for gifting or for sending.
  13. Cowl and retailer embellished cookies for as much as 5 days at room temperature or as much as 10 days within the fridge.


  1. Freezing Directions: Plain or embellished sugar cookies freeze nicely as much as 3 months. Look ahead to the icing to set utterly earlier than layering between sheets of parchment paper in a freezer-friendly container. To thaw, thaw within the fridge or at room temperature. You too can freeze the cookie dough for as much as 3 months earlier than rolling it out. Put together the dough by way of step 4, divide in half, flatten each halves right into a disk as we do with pie crust, wrap every in plastic wrap, then freeze. To thaw, thaw the disks within the fridge, then deliver to room temperature for about 1 hour. Roll out the dough as directed in step 5, then chill rolled out dough within the fridge for 45 minutes – 1 hour earlier than slicing into shapes and baking.
  2. Particular Instruments (affiliate hyperlinks): Electrical Mixer (Stand Mixer or Handheld) | Baking SheetsSilicone Baking Mats or Parchment SheetsRolling Pin | Vacation Cookie Cutter Set | Squeeze Bottle for adorning
  3. Room Temperature Butter: Room temperature butter is important. If the dough is simply too sticky, your butter might have been too tender. Room temperature butter is definitely cool to the contact. Room temperature egg is most popular so it’s rapidly and evenly combined into the cookie dough.
  4. Flavoring the cookies: I like flavoring this cookie dough with 1/2 teaspoon almond extract as listed within the elements above. For lighter taste, use 1/4 teaspoon. As an alternative of the almond extract, attempt utilizing 1 teaspoon of maple extract, coconut extract, lemon extract, or peppermint extract. Or add 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or floor cinnamon. Together with lemon extract, it’s also possible to add 1 Tablespoon lemon zest.
  5. Corn Syrup: Corn syrup offers the icing sticking energy and creates an attractive sheen on the dried icing. I don’t advocate skipping it, however you’ll be able to if completely wanted.
  6. Salt: I do know salt isn’t a typical ingredient in cookie icing, nevertheless it helps offset its sweetness. You simply want a small pinch.
  7. Yield of icing: This quantity of icing is sufficient for icing 2 dozen cookies. You’ll have lots if you wish to divide it and tint the batch a number of colours, too. Icing can simply be halved by halving the entire elements. (Nonetheless add a tiny pinch of salt.)
  8. Be sure you take a look at my high 5 cookie baking suggestions AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking instruments.

Key phrases: christmas sugar cookies

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