The best Christmas sugar cookies

These no-fail cookies make a great gift for you neighbours, co-workers and any visiting relatives. They can be intricately iced or decorated with a few simple sprinkles. No matter what you put on them, they will look and taste great.

Nothing beats classic sugar cookies for Christmas. They can be wrapped up as a gift for the neighbours, packed up as a treat for the kids, or they can simply be served as a dessert to end your Christmas dinner.

Christmas sugar cookies are the simplest and tastiest cookies you can make. The key is to get the best sugar cookie recipe. This is a recipe that I’ve been using for over five years now and it has never failed me. Every year this recipe produces the tastiest, crunchiest Christmas sugar cookies.

Making Crispy Christmas Cookies

Although the recipe calls them Soft Christmas Cookies, I find that by rolling them out a little thinner and baking them for a few minutes longer, the cookies become crispy and solid, making them a great canvas to decorate on and much easier to package. I also like to reduce the amount of sugar I add to the dough, especially if I plan to ice them.

Christmas Sugar Cookie Recipe

Baking Time: 8 – 10 minutes

Serving: 48 cookies

Oven: 400 degrees

Ingredients

3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup margarine, softened (butter also works)

1 1/2 cups white sugar (I like to decrease this to about 1 ¼, less if I’m icing them)

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

Take a large bowl and beat together margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, then stir in vanilla.

Sift dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt) together in separate bowl. Then gradually blend in the sifted ingredients into the large bowl.

Cover the dough and chill for two hours.

Roll out dough to about one-quarter inch depending on how thick you like your cookies and cut out shapes with cookie cutters.

Bake the cookies on a greased or lined baking sheet for 8 to 10 minutes in a preheated oven until golden.

Icing the Christmas Sugar Cookies

Turn your cookies from plain to professional with a few simple ingredients. The best sugar cookie icing recipe I’ve ever used is the sugar cookie icing recipe from All Recipes. This sugar cookie icing recipe creates a firm, glossy icing on the cookies. You can make them any flavour you like by adding different extracts such as cinnamon, almond, vanilla or even orange.

Sugar Cookie Icing Recipe

Ingredients

1 cup confectioners' sugar

2 teaspoons milk (I find I need far more, so keep adding until it is a thick, gluey consistency)

2 teaspoons light corn syrup

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Assorted food coloring

Directions

In a small bowl, stir together confectioners’ sugar with milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and extract. Here you will find it is quite difficult to get the right consistency, so continue adding milk tablespoon by tablespoon until it forms a smooth, glossy mixture. Make sure the icing isn’t paste-like but make sure it isn’t runny either because they have to keep their shape on the cookie.

Decorating Your Sugar Cookies

Once the cookies are cooled you can start to ice them.  For a simple design you can just spread some icing on top and toss on a few sprinkles. If you’re looking to make a more complicated design, this icing works well in layers, You can spread the icing on for a background colour, then wait until it s completely dried and add a second layer of colour and designs.

Sprinkles and silver balls make great Christmas decorations for your cookies. A piping bag or just a plastic sandwich bag with the tip cut off make great icing tools.

Make sure you pop all the bubbles that may form when icing. Any lumps and bumps will smooth themselves out as the icing dries, but bubbles will stay and dry.  

Need ideas for decorating? Check out Martha Stewart's cookie page.

If sugar cookies aren't enough, shortbread cookies, gingerbread cookies are also great for gifting.

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