Every family needs a tried a true Christmas cut-out Cookie recipe so today I’m sharing ours with you! To be honest, I’ll be sharing an adapted Martha Stewart Christmas Cookie recipe with you 😉 These cut out cookies don’t spread like other cookie recipes and are iced with an easy royal icing that drys quick so you can store them or package them up for friends and family.
This post was originally posted in 2009 and I’ve been making them every year since! Here’s the original post with updated photos.
Over the last few years I’ve tried several recipes for Sugar Cut-Out Cookies and this year I finally found ‘the one.’ Finding the right cookie recipe is like finding your spouse, once you find it you’re not going to let it go and you’ll spend the rest of your life with it. This recipe is just that good!
Many Christmas cut out cookie recipes taste good but the cookies spread out too much while baking causing the perfectly cut out tree to look like a indistinguishable blob. This Christmas cookie recipe originated from Martha Stewart and is a tried-and-true, the cookies taste good and bake beautifully.
How to make cut-out cookies that hold their shape
• chill the dough before rolling it out
• keep remaining dough and raw cut out cookies in the fridge as you work through the batch of dough
• start with a tried and true recipe (like a Martha Stewart Christmas cookie recipe)
How to make bakery style Christmas cut-out cookies
• start with a good cookie recipe of which the dough doesn’t spread
• use royal icing in several different frosting bags or plastic bags for decorating
• use a toothpick to help shape the icing around the edges of the cookie or for detailing
• pick out classy sprinkles
• don’t over do it! A few simple colors is all you need for a bakery-style Christmas cookie.
Every year I hope to have the tradition of making Christmas cookies. The last two years I have had a special opportunity to host International friends at my house to make cookies. With the exception of my German friend, it was their first Christmas cookie experience. This year we had several talented artists and cooks in the group. My friend from Taiwan proved to be an excellent icing decorator and my friend from Turkey proved her excellence in cooking by her technique to roll out the dough perfectly by using syranwrap in between the dough and rolling pin. She also brought with her some delicious lentil soup and homemade rolls to share with us. The rest of us enjoyed making the funniest looking cookies and eating the ones that didn’t look good enough to decorate.
It was a beautiful evening, celebrating culture and friendship. We toasted to our German friend who is going back to Germany and we enjoyed stories of Christmas and Winter holidays from around the world.
Christmas Cut-Out Sugar Cookies
For the Sugar Cookies
- 2 cups of all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 lb. butter, softened (1 stick)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoon of brandy, or apple juice
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, or maple syrup
For the Royal Icing:
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar*
- 2 egg whites
- 5-6 drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Food Coloring
- Sift together the dry ingredients.
- Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light; add the egg, brandy, and vanilla and beat well. Add the dry ingredients a little at a time and mix well until blended. Wrap and chill the dough for at least 30 minutes before rolling.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. On a lightly floured board, roll out one third of the dough at a time (keeping the rest in the fridge). Roll to about 1/4 to 1/6 inch thick and cut out with cookie cutters. x
- Put shapes on parchment lined (or greased) baking sheets (place in freezer in between batches) and bake for 6-8 minutes, depending on the size of the cookie. Cool on racks.
- Once completely cool decorate with Royal Icing.
For the Royal Icing
- Mix together the sugar, egg whites and lemon juice. Separate the icing out into however many colors you'd like to have (you can separate into bowls or zip lock bags.
- Add food coloring slowly until desired color is attained. If using zip lock bags you can cut off a small bit of the corner of the bag to pipe out the icing onto the cookie.
- Decorate the cookies with the icing, then quickly top with sprinkles before it drys.
- Store finished (and dried) cookies in a air tight container at room temp for 1 week. Or freeze.
old photos from 2009: