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It’s that time of year! ‘All I Want for Christmas’ is on every radio station, people’s homes are decorated and festive, and the magic of the holidays is in the air. Christmas is around the corner, and that calls for sugar cookies!
I love these cookies because they are a classic, but you can make them to your own taste and have fun making little tweaks to the recipe! For instance, you can make these cookies thick or thin, chewy or crispy. I like adding a little vanilla extract and almond extract to give the flavor a nice extra touch. You could stick with just vanilla or experiment with another flavor of your choosing instead of almond. Not to mention all the fun you can have decorating, but we will get to that later! Remember that you’ll get the best flavor if you use real vanilla extract rather than imitation vanilla.
Should You Add Baking Powder or Baking Soda?
For my sugar cookies, I like to use baking soda and cream of tartar because this makes them turn out a bit softer, which is my preference. However, you can easily use baking powder instead, which is what most recipes use. You will want to use three teaspoons of baking powder if you are using it to replace the baking soda and cream of tartar.
If you’re unsure what consistency you like best, try making a couple of different batches to figure out how to make your perfect version of these festive cookies! I am sure they won’t go to waste since these classics are such a hit.
How to Decorate Your Sugar Cookies?
I will admit that I could improve when it comes to decorating Christmas cookies. I keep it simple: I use plain icing on some of my cookies and add a bit of food coloring to the icing for others. But there are so many fun ways to get creative with this!
The good news is that if you mess up, it’s easy to fix it (and it doesn’t make the cookie any less tasty). Just wipe off any icing with a slightly wet paper towel, and you can start again. I am sharing my icing recipe below. Mine is simple because I don’t use corn syrup, but don’t worry, the texture will still turn out well. If you’re looking for fun shapes, Amazon has some great, affordable cookie-cutter sets that you can check out.
If you want to make your cookies extra festive, you can jazz them up with food coloring, colored frosting, sprinkles, marzipan, edible gold flakes, or other candies. Cookie decorating is also an excellent activity for some holiday family fun. You’ll just have to be patient and resist the temptation of eating the cookies before decorating them!
Do Sprinkles go on Christmas Cookies Before or After Baking?
You can make Christmas sugar cookies with sprinkles by incorporating the into the dough before you bake them. If you also want to make sure you get a vibrant pop of color on top, you can also press some sprinkles into the top of the cookie dough before you bake them.
How Long Can You Keep Christmas Sugar Cookies?
Keep the holiday spirit alive well after Christmas by storing your festive sugar cookies for later. Sugar cookies can last for up to two weeks when they are kept in an airtight container. You can keep them at room temperature on the counter. If there is icing on your sugar cookies, you should consume them within 3 days as the icing can get messy and bleed into the cookie dough.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or use silicon mats.
Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until creamy using an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer. Add the eggs, vanilla, and almond extract and beat until combined.
Add the flour mixture into the butter mixture using your hand mix in the flour until the flour is incorporated. Don’t over-mix. The dough should be soft and firm but not hard.
Dust a work surface with flour, working in a couple of batches, roll the dough into the surface, sprinkle with flour under and over so it doesn’t stick.
Cut ⅓ inch for thicker, soft cookies or ⅛ inches for thinner, crispier cookies.
Bake for 10 minutes, rotating the tray halfway until the edges begin to golden. Allow the cookie to cook thoroughly before decorating them.
This part is easy. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl or electric mixer until the consistency is silky with no clumps – that’s it!
|3 ½ cups flour|
|1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature|
|1 ¼ cup granulated sugar|
|2 eggs at room temperature|
|1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract|
|1 teaspoon almond extract|
|1 teaspoon baking soda|
|1 ½ teaspoon cream of tartar|
|½ teaspoon salt|
|You can replace baking soda and cream of tartar with 3 teaspoons of baking powder if you prefer|
|2 cups powdered sugar|
|1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature|
|1 teaspoon vanilla extract|
|4 tablespoons heavy cream or milk|
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