Christmas had never been exciting for us until the kids came along and they started celebrating it in school. For the past few years we started forming our own little family traditions that we follow during the holiday season. Among them making these sugar cookies are one of the tradition. For the past couple of years I have been giving people edible gifts for Christmas. These cookies work great as gifts and the best part is the kids help me decorate these little treats.
This recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart
Preparation time – 15 mins plus 20 mins in the freezer
Cooking time – 10-18 mins per batch (depending on the size of the cookies)
Difficulty level – easy
Ingredients to make Sugar Cookies – (makes around 3 dozen)
- All Purpose flour – 2 cups
- Baking powder – ½ tsp
- Salt – ¼ tsp
- Unsalted butter – ½ cup (1 stick) in room temperature
- Granulated sugar – 1 cup
- Egg – 1 large
- Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
- Assorted sprinkles or colored sugars – for decorating (optional)
- In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Keep aside.
- In an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. (About 8 mins). To this add the egg and vanilla and beat well.
- Gradually add the flour in the mixer and beat well until combined.
- Remove the dough on the counter and bring it together to form smooth dough. Divide the dough into 2 and wrap in plastic and freeze until firm. (about 20 mins). At this stage the dough can be frozen for up to 3 months. When ready to use, thaw the dough in the refrigerator overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Remove one disk at a time and let it stand out for 5 mins. Sprinkle some flour on the counter and roll the dough to about 1/8th inch thick. I used the plastic wrap on top of the dough when rolling to prevent the dough from sticking on the roller and also to ensure smooth top cookies.
- Cut out shapes using cookie cutters and using a spatula carefully remove it and transfer it to the baking sheets. Reroll the remaining dough and make more cookies. If the dough gets too soft, chill in the refrigerator for about 10 mins and roll again.
- Bake the cookies for about 10 -18 mins, rotating half way through. Keep an eye on the cookies from about 10 mins, because they can burn easily. Once the edges starts becoming brown, remove it.
- Cool it completely on wire racks.
- Once the cookies are cooled completely, use icing to decorate as you wish. Let the icing dry for about 4 hrs before stacking the cookies into air tight container.
To make icing –
- Sift 1 ½ cups of icing sugar in a bowl.
- Slowly add about 3 or 4 tbsps of water and mix well until smooth. Use desired color and mix it well.
- Use the back of a spoon to spread the icing on the cookies.