Put your DIY baking skills to the test with this Christmas sugar cookie recipe perfect for the holidays!
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In this article:
A Classic Christmas Sugar Cookie Recipe for Everyone
What You Will Need:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Baking Tools and Equipment:
- Mixer and mixing bowl
- Baking pan
- Cooling Rack
- Rolling pin
- Measuring cups
- Cookie cutters of different Christmas-themed shapes
- Cookie sheets
- Dough scraper
- Cookie Spatula
- Parchment paper
- Before you start baking cookies, let your butter and egg sit on your counter and come to room temp, but you don't want to over-soften the butter. In case you forgot, chop it up into little pieces to speed it up, but never heat it in the microwave.
- You want to absolutely use real butter and no margarine for me, please. Margarine melts faster in the oven. Also, preferably unsalted, so you can adjust the amount of salt you want to add.
- This Christmas sugar cookie recipe should make enough dough for 18-24 cookies. However, yield will vary depending on how thick you roll your cookies, the size of your cookie cutter and/or its design.
- This Christmas sugar cookie recipe is best made using an electric or stand mixer but can be done entirely by hand.
Step 1. Mix Dry Ingredients
To make this perfect sugar cookie recipe, we always start with the dry ingredients. Sift all purpose flour with the baking powder into the bowl, then set aside.
Step 2. Beat Butter and Sugar
Using your mixer, combine your butter and sugar. Once well-combined and fluffy, whisk in the egg. Mix again, adding vanilla.
Step 3. Add the Flour Mixture
Mix in your dry ingredients, pouring gradually into the mixing bowl.
Step 4. Make the Dough and Knead
Next, knead the dough with your hands until it's nice and smooth. Roll it, then wrap it up with cling or plastic wrap.
Store in your fridge to chill for about 20 minutes or so. It should be firm but not hard, though.
In case it gets too hard, just let it sit out on the counter, or you can also knead it a tad with your hands to help soften it up. To further speed up the process, break it in two and knead each ball until they soften.
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Step 5. Preheat Oven
Now time to preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grab a large cookie sheet, then line it with parchment paper. Alternatively, you can use silicone baking mats.
Step 6. Roll Out the Dough
Roll out the dough in between a lightly flour-dusted sheet of parchment paper (on the bottom) and wax paper (on the top). However, you can definitely use two sheets of wax paper or parchment paper if you prefer—or if that's all you have.
Rolling the dough between the papers keeps the dough very smooth, preventing marks from the rolling pin (and not sticking to it either!).
The wax paper can wrinkle and leave marks on the dough. When you lay the ball of dough down, use your hands to push it flat, then lay the wax paper over it and use your rolling pin to roll it out smooth.
Step 7. Cut Out the Cookies
Now for the fun part: Cut out your perfect sugar cookies! Once the dough is rolled out, you can use cookie cutters to cut out the shapes.
Tip: For Christmas sugar cookie recipes, use the classic Christmas shapes cookie cutters like Christmas tree, candy cane, Santa, and gingerbread.
If the cookies are sticking in the cutter, you can lightly dust it with flour. The cookies will usually stay right in the dough where you cut them.
Once you're done cutting all the cookies, tear away the excess dough. You can gently lift the cookies by pulling up the edge of the parchment paper and gently transferring the cookie from the paper to your lined baking sheet by hand.
Another way of doing this is simply cutting the shapes out on the same surface they will bake.
Just remove the excess dough from each shape and bake right on the sheet. This keeps the cookies from stretching, but it limits the amount of dough you can use the first round.
And, the fewer times a dough has been rolled, the better. So unless you're cutting a really delicate cookie, it's usually best to carefully transfer them.
If you want to cut cute shapes all you'll need is the cookie cutters of your choosing!
Step 8. Freeze Cookies
Place the cookie sheet (with cut out cookies) into the freezer for about 2-4 minutes, depending on the size. This helps the cookies keep their shape.
Once they're chilled for a few minutes, pop them in the oven. Baking times really depend on the size of a cookie.
The cookies pictured were about 2.5 inches and baked perfectly at 7 minutes.
Turn your oven light on and set the timer for six minutes. Check them at six minutes, and proceed to add a minute or two as needed.
If you like your cookies super soft, pull them out right when you notice the very “moist look” of the dough is gone on top or if you notice the bottom turning golden brown at all.
Step 9. Warm the Baking Pan
After removing them from the oven, let them sit in the warm pan for a minute or two. This gives them a minute to firm up and bake a tiny bit more.
Carefully grab the edges of the parchment paper and slide them off, parchment paper and all, onto wire cooling racks. It helps a ton to pull them off while they're still on the parchment paper. Using a spatula, you can squish or even break them.
Step 10. Stack Them Up
Once the sugar cookies cooled down, you can use a spatula and gently stack them before you bake more. You may add sugar cookie frosting to make these Christmas cookies even more festive!
Watch this video from Haniela's and put your Christmas sugar cookie recipe to the next level with this soft sugar cookies with buttercream frosting tutorial:
Take on homemade Christmas cookie recipes these busy holidays. This way, you always have a comforting sweet treat ready for anyone dropping by, especially friends and family.
You can even give them away for gifts this holiday. We suspect your cookies might just be branded as the world's best homemade cookies by pleased visiting friends and company, kids and adult alike!
Will you give this Christmas sugar cookie recipe a try this holiday? Let me know how it went in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on November 14, 2018, and updated for quality and relevancy.
Can you use salted butter instead of the unsalted…I need a double batch but only have enough unsalted sticks for one batch…could do 1 stick salted and 1 unsalted ???