Sugar cookies are a staple treat for any holiday, but especially for Christmas. When I was younger, my family used to devote a whole day in December to baking and decorating sugar cookies. After our Advent bible study, the morning would be spent mixing, rolling, cutting and baking the cookies. They would cool during nap-time, and then the afternoon would be dedicated to icing and sprinkles.
While my younger siblings enjoyed eating the cookies with icing, my dad and I always preferred eating the cookies plain. The trouble then became finding a sugar cookie recipe that was sweet enough to eat plain, but not too sweet when icing and sprinkles were added.
It took us a long time to find a recipe that was just right, but we eventually did. I immediately wrote the entire recipe in my journal, and have been making tweaks and notations to it for years. I truly believe that at this point it is the best sugar cookie recipe out there, and I’m sure I’ll be using it for the rest of my life.
Before Baking the Sugar Cookies
- Normally I am a huge advocate of using all-natural/organic ingredients, but these sugar cookies will not work with all-natural ingredients. (Believe me, I’ve done a lot of experimenting with this.) It is necessary to used processed white flour and sugar, otherwise the dough falls apart when you’re trying to shape and cut the cookies.
- I usually use salted butter for this recipe. If you prefer to use unsalted, add a 1/4 tablespoon of salt when mixing in the flour and baking powder.
Sugar Cookie Cutters
When it comes to cookie cutters, there’s a ton of choices out there. You can even go to Dollar Tree and pick them up for a dollar each. But I have always and will always prefer metal cookie cutters to the cheap plastic ones. They last longer and cut better. My favorite are Ann Clark cookie cutters. They come in a large variety of cute shapes for multiple types of occasions. Some sets, like this one, even come with a cute little recipe book. I love these cookie cutters and highly recommend them to anyone who spends a lot of time baking, as they seem to last quite a while.
Sugar Cookie Recipe
- 6 tablespoons of butter, softened
- 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/14 cups white flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- Cream butter and sugar until smooth.
- Beat in egg and vanilla.
- Stir in flour and baking powder, add salt if using unsalted butter (see notes). Stir until dough forms one large lump. You may need to use your hands a little bit to get the desired consistency.
- Chill dough for at least one hour.
- Preheat oven to 400F/200C
- Roll dough out to 1/4 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface.
- Cut with cookie cutters or shape as desired.
- Bake 6-8 minutes on ungreased cookie sheet.
- If you are using icing, allow cookies to cool completely before decorating.
Makes about 30 cookies
We all have those recipes that we can’t imagine Christmas without. This is one of mine. What are some of yours?
Happy Christmas baking everyone!