This is the best sugar cookie recipe that is perfect for Christmas Cookie decorating or for just eating.
These cookies are soft and buttery, which is why they are the Best Christmas Sugar Cookie Recipe. Make them and see.
Welcome back to my 25 Days of Christmas blog series where I am sharing with you appetizers, desserts, and dish ideas that are perfect for the holiday season. To make sure I keep you engaged and interested, I also said that I would share with you stories about my family or myself as it relates to the holidays. To be honest, a family story doesn’t come to mind and that is a good thing because I would like to discuss with you guys some common mistakes when baking cookies, that most of us may not know and could help us in this season of extreme cookie baking.
So if you are anything like me, you love baking. But you particularly love baking around the holidays. The holidays (in my opinion) is the perfect conduit for loading up on all things sugar. I mean that is why we go on extreme diets and detox at the beginning of the year, right? So why not live a little? You won’t do this again for another eleven months. Now that I have convinced you that you shouldn’t feel bad about eating a ton of cookies, let’s make sure that you are implementing best practices to create the perfect batch of cookies.
- Be sure to measure all ingredients accurately. I know this seems to be common sense but often times we may feel that it’s okay if we have a little extra flour, sugar, salt, or baking powder or soda. The truth is, having a little extra of one ingredient can take what is supposed to be an awesome cookie, into a cookie that is too hard or too soft. Be sure to measure everything accurately for best results.
- You overworked the dough. This mistake is particularly important when making this sugar cookie recipe because it can be very easy to do. Flour contains gluten, which is a protein that can become tougher and tougher the more the dough is worked. It is important when combining the dough for this recipe, you bring the dough together just until combined. No need to knead this cookie dough like bread.
- You’re using cold butter. First of all, when you make cookies (unless the recipe says different) you should always use room temperature and unsalted butter. The reason you want room temperature butter is that it is easier to cream the butter with the sugar. This process is important because when you cream the butter it allows air to get incorporated into the butter and sugar, which makes for a light cookie. The reason you want to use unsalted butter is that it controls the salt in the cookie. Sometimes I use salted butter but I will use half of the salted butter and half of the unsalted just so I don’t have to worry about adding the salt to the recipe. It really just depends on your preference. Also, I must say this…DO NOT USE MARGARINE IF THE RECIPE CALLS FOR BUTTER! Margarine is those sticks of “butter” wrapped in foil. Margarine also contains oil, which can completely ruin a cookie or any baked good. Also, it is higher in saturated fat. There are some things you can bake and get away with it, but I NEVER USE MARGARINE when I am baking. To learn more about the pros and cons of using butter versus margarine, read this post by the Huffington Post. For best results, use a high-quality butter such as Finlandia Imported Butter. I used this brand when making this sugar cookie recipe, and I might sound crazy, but I definitely tasted a difference. The buttery flavor really came through the cookie. I definitely use this brand as much as I can.
4. Use fresh leavening agents. This is a common killer in most fail baked goods without people knowing. Whenever you are baking, you should always make sure you aren’t using old and stale baking soda and baking powder. If it has been longer than 6 months since you have purchased either of these ingredients, do not use them. Pitch them and buy a fresh batch. Every now and then, I get mean comments (yep) from people who have made something of mine and said it came out horrible. I test all of my recipes, at least, twice before I post the recipe. In addition, I write down everything I am putting my dishes for accuracy. So, when I get an unfortunate comment such as this, I always ask about the baking powder and soda. Most of the time, that is the culprit of a failed recipe.
5. You opened the door too often. This is something that I can sometimes be guilty of doing. It is important to trust the recipe and trust the process. If you are too anxious, turn on your oven light and just continue to peek through the glass door. Every time you open the door, the internal temperature of the oven drops, which can cause the cake or cookies to deflate and lose its body.
There are more rules and tips you should follow when making cookies. For the full article, click here.
I hope that you have learned something new that will help you create some of the best cookies this season. Now, I can tell you all day long about how to make the Best Christmas Cookie recipe, but I cannot tell you how to decorate them. I mean look at my attempt at these pictures. Pretty crappy, huh? I will be the first to say, I am not a decorator. You will not find beautiful cakes on this blog like you will on The Cake Blog, or detailed decorate baked goods like My Bakingdom. If you are into that, those two blogs are perfect for you. What you will continue to get on my blog is good food that looks good enough that will make you want to make it yourself. So the best thing about this sugar cookie recipe is the recipe itself. You can decorate these cookies however you want and use whatever cookie cutters you want. For an easy tutorial on how to decorate Christmas cookies, click here. Have fun! This sugar cookie recipe is simply the canvas, you will make them a work of art.
- 16 oz. Finlandia Imported Butter, unsalted and room temperature
- 2 c. sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp. Vanilla extract
- 4 c. flour
- 1 tsp. Baking powder
- 1 tsp. Salt
- In a large bowl, add the butter and begin to cream the butter using a handheld or standing mixer. Add the sugar to the butter and mix until well combined. Add the two eggs, one at a time, and add the vanilla extract and mix well.
- Add the baking powder, salt, and one cup of flour at a time until well mixed. Continue to mix until a ball of cookie dough is formed. Form the cookie dough into one ball and separate into two balls. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for, at least, one hour.
- Preheat oven to 325 Degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Coat the surface with powdered sugar. Unwrap one ball of dough and begin to work to flatten the dough using a rolling pin. Roll the cookie dough to about ¼ inch thick. Use the desired cookie cutters and place the cookie on the baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes and move to a cooling rack until ready to decorate.
- For tips on how to decorate cookies, click here.