These Christmas sugar cookies taste amazing and hold their shape without spreading. Make them today to give as gifts or leave out for Santa!
Recipes like Christmas Sugar Cookies
A good cut out sugar cookie recipe is a staple for any baker and makes for a fun and tasty family tradition.
Each bite is soft and chewy with just the slightest crisp around the edges. Plus, the vanilla and almond flavors create a lightly sweet base for plenty of sugary icing.
Eggnog Cookies are another great addition to any cookie swap or dessert table.
Or, make Pecan Pie Christmas Crack Toffee for a perfect sweet and salty treat.
Christmas Sugar Cookies – Step By Step Instructions
Make The Dough
Start by creaming the softened butter and sugar together. The texture should be light and fluffy, and the color will change to pale yellow.
Mix in the eggs and extracts until just combined. Then, add the salt and flour and blend until smooth.
Divide the dough into two even discs. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least one hour.
Roll It Out
Working with one disc at a time, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface.
Use cookie cutters to cut out your shapes, then carefully transfer them to lined baking sheets.
Next, place the trays in the refrigerator to chill for another 15 minutes before baking. This helps them to hold their shape.
Bake And Cool
Transfer the baking sheets from the refrigerator straight to the oven, and bake until the cookies start to brown around the edges.
Let them sit on the pan for a few minutes to finish baking, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Finally, decorate them with my Sugar Cookie Icing for a beautiful glossy finish!
Helpful Tips and Tricks
- Skip the leavening. Our favorite baker told us this trick years ago. It’s the secret to get cut out cookies to hold their shape.
- Use all vanilla extract. You can skip the almond extract if allergies are a concern. Replace with more vanilla or another flavor like lemon or maple.
- How to Prevent Sticky Dough. Keep adding a little more flour until the dough is tacky, meaning it doesn’t stick to your finger when touched.
- Making Gluten Free Christmas Cookies: You can use any cup-for-cup all-purpose gluten free flour with this sugar cookie recipe, and they will turn out amazing!
- Dairy Free Alternative: Replace the butter with a plant-based alternative. Be sure to use baking sticks instead of spreads, as they tend to work better in cookie recipes.
- Make In Advance: Feel free to make the dough a day or two ahead of time and chill until you’re ready to cut and bake.
Kitchen Tools You Will Need
- Stand mixer or large mixing bowl with hand mixer for making the dough.
- Baking Sheets – Used for anything from cookies to roasting, a good baking pan will last for years.
- Silpat Mat – There are so many uses! Roll out doughs, cut out cookies and biscuits, or make other desserts. It even provides a non-slip surface for transporting pots and pans.
- Cooling Racks – I like these because you can cool a lot of treats without taking up a lot of counter space.
- Star Cookie Cutter – This is the cookie I have been making snowflake cookies with for over 10 years.
- Christmas Tree Cookie Cutter – The size of this cutter is impressive, and the comfort grip prevents sore hands.
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use salted butter instead of unsalted?
Using unsalted butter gives you more control over how much salt is in the overall recipe, which is why it’s recommended for any type of baked good.
If salted is all you have on hand, just omit the additional salt from the recipe.
Can I freeze homemade sugar cookie dough?
Absolutely! Form the dough into a ball, then gently flatten it into a disc. Wrap the disc tightly in plastic wrap and place it in a freezer-safe storage bag.
Thaw in the refrigerator and use within one month for best results.
How can I ship these sugar Christmas cookies to family and friends?
We got this brilliant tip for shipping cookies from our friend who owns a cookie shop, and it works so well.
Package the cookies in individual cookie bags and tape them to a piece of cardboard. Wrap the cardboard in bubble wrap, and then stack multiple layers of cookies in your shipping container.
With love from our simple kitchen to yours.
Sugar Cookie Recipe Video
To see us make the recipe from start to finish, watch the video at the top of this page.
Christmas Sugar Cookies + Video
- stand mixer OR
- 1 cup unsalted butter, 2 sticks, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Best Ever Sugar Cookie Icing
- Pearl Sugar Balls, dragees
- In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter and sugar, on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).
- Add the eggs, vanilla and almond. Beat until combined. Add the salt and 3 cups of flour; beat until you have a smooth dough. If the dough is sticky (meaning when you touch it and pull your fingers away the dough sticks to you), add more flour a tablespoon at a time until it comes together. Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about one hour or until firm enough to roll.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat mats.
- Remove half of the chilled dough from the refrigerator and, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch. (Keep turning the dough as you roll, making sure the dough does not stick to the counter.)
- Cut out desired shapes using a lightly floured cookie cutter and transfer cookies to baking sheet.
- Place the baking sheets with the unbaked cookies in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to chill the dough which prevents the cookies from spreading and losing their shape while baking. Note: If you are not going to frost the baked cookies, you can sprinkle the unbaked cookies with sparkling sugar at this point.
- Bake the cookies for about 9-11 minutes (depending on size) or until the edges are just starting to brown. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- Decorate the cookies with Best Ever Sugar Cookie Icing if desired. Be sure to let the icing dry completely before storing. (This may take several hours or overnight.)
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published December 2012, updated and republished November 2020
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