Christmas Sugar Cookies
Baking holiday treats with the family is a tradition in my house and these festive Christmas sugar cookies are some of the most fun and creative to decorate. The cookie dough in this recipe is firm enough to easily cut into holiday shapes, but incredibly buttery once baked to ensure that although these can be beautifully decorated, they’re definitely not JUST for decoration.
The PantryChic takes the guesswork out of the kitchen with precisely measured ingredients that ensure you’ll have consistent cookies in every batch you prepare, every holiday season.
This recipe is made easiest if you are using PantryChic SmartCanisters to store sugar, all-purpose flour, powdered sugar, baking soda, and salt.
If you are not already storing all of these ingredients in their own SmartCanister, you can always use the PantryChic's scale function to manually add an ingredient.
Cream the Butter and Sugar
Use the PantryChic to dispense the sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer. You can also use an ordinary mixing bowl (as seen in the pictures) if you have an electric hand mixer to beat the batter.
Then add 2 sticks of softened unsalted butter to the sugar and beat until smooth and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla extract and continue beating, until all is combined. I like to use pure vanilla extract in the cookies for the best flavor and just a touch of color.
Dispense the Dry Ingredients
In a separate bowl, use the PantryChic to dispense all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir together and then fold into the wet ingredients. Mix just until a well-combined, but slightly sticky dough has formed.
Chill the Dough
This cookie dough is best if you give it some time to rest before rolling it out and baking. To make the rolling process easier, separate the dough into two equal portions before chilling. Place each portion between layers of plastic wrap, rolling until about 3/4-inch thick. Fold the plastic wrap around the dough and refrigerate at least 1 1/2 hours. You can keep this dough refrigerated without baking for up to 4 days.
Roll and Cut
The process of rolling out the dough and cutting into cookies is all about controlling the temperature of the dough. If it’s too chilled when you roll it out it will crack. If it comes to room temperature it will be hard to cut and then arrange to bake clean cookie shapes.
This can be done easier if you remove the dough from the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes before rolling out to 1/6-inch thick on lightly floured parchment paper. Then transfer the dough on the parchment paper to the refrigerator for a few minutes to firm up before cutting with your chosen cookie cutters. You can use these same sheets of parchment paper to then bake the cookies.
Bake in Batches
Arrange the cookies at least 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper before baking on the center rack(s) of an oven preheated to 350°F. You’ll get the best results if you bake in 3 separate batches, but you can stack sheets on multiple racks.
Bake 10–12 minutes, just until the bottom edges of the cookies are lightly browned. Cool completely before icing.
Prepare the Icing
Start the cookie icing by using the PantryChic to dispense the powdered sugar into a large mixing bowl. Whisk in water and a little bit of corn syrup for an additional sheen on the final cookie. I like to use clear vanilla extract in the icing. While it doesn’t taste as good as the pure extract, it keeps the icing a stark white without any yellow tint.
You’ll want the icing thick enough to momentarily hold its shape but thin enough to smooth out for a clean layer over the cookies. You may need to add a tiny bit of extra water or extra powdered sugar until you find the perfect balance.
You can then split the icing into separate bowls to color with a few drops of gel food coloring, if desired. Transfer to pastry bags or use a spatula to spread over the cookies.
Whether you opt for a classic white icing approach or let your creativity run wild with sprinkles and decorations, these Christmas Sugar Cookies are sure to spread holiday cheer. The PantryChic ensures accuracy at every step, making this festive baking experience not only a joy to create, but also delicious. Get ready to savor the magic of the season, one perfectly crafted cookie at a time!
Recipe: Christmas Sugar Cookies
Active Prep Time: 1 hour ∙ Cook Time: 12 mins ∙ Makes: 36
1 cup (200g) sugar
2 1/2 cups (330g) all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon (2.6g) baking powder
3/4 teaspoon (4.5g) salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
2 teaspoons (10g) vanilla extract
3 cups (360g) powdered sugar
1 tablespoon (20g) light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon (2.5g) clear vanilla extract
1/4 cup (62.5g) water
Gel food coloring, optional
Sprinkles and cookie decorations, optional
- Place the bowl of an electric mixer or large mixing bowl on the PantryChic scale. Dispense 1 cup sugar over the softened butter.
- Beat the sugar and butter until creamed. Then beat in egg and vanilla extract.
- Place a separate large mixing bowl on the PantryChic scale. Dispense 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 3/4 teaspoon baking powder, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Stir together.
- Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, just until all is combined into a slightly sticky dough.
- Separate the dough into two equal portions and place between layers of plastic wrap, rolling until about 3/4-inch thick. Fold the wrap around the dough and refrigerate at least 1 1/2 hours.
- Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator for 10 minutes to make it easier to work with. Place oven racks in the center positions and preheat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough until 1/6-inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut into shapes and transfer to the lined cookie sheets, at least 2 inches apart. You’ll want the dough warm enough to roll out without cracking, but cold enough to cleanly cut. This can be done easier if you roll out on parchment paper, then refrigerate a few minutes before cutting.
- Bake 10–12 minutes, just until the bottom edges of the cookies are lightly browned. Cool completely before icing.
- Prepare the cookie icing by placing a large mixing bowl on the PantryChic scale. Dispense 3 cups of powdered sugar.
- Add the remaining icing ingredients and whisk until thick and shiny. Split into separate bowls and add gel food coloring for multiple colors, if desired. Use a spatula or pastry bag to ice the cooled cookies before decorating. Icing will set quickly so decorate as you go.