Christmas Sugar Cookies

“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”.

Here we are, three days away from Christmas, and I am still completely baffled at how quickly it came.  Maybe that’s because I had my head buried in profuse amounts of flour, sugar, butter and old family cookbooks this entire month.  I truly believe we set a personal record for amounts of sweets made during the holiday season.  Now if you can only imagine, spending all my spare time prepping confections for this coming weekend had me a bit crazed.

And as much as I love spending time in the kitchen, transforming sugary elements into something you can sink your teeth into, I am so glad that this week is bake free!  Now I get to spend the next few days cramming in everything I love about Christmas and haven’t yet had the chance to do.  Watch Christmas movies old and new, read The Polar Express next to a fire, take a walk around the neighborhood admiring the sparkle of carefully affixed Christmas lights, and exchange gifts and great laughs with dear friends.  Oh, and of course, blog a traditional Christmas recipe….

When I think of Christmas, I instantly think of my Mother’s sugar cookies.  When I was little, I would sit and watch her decorate them, each one a little different than the next, but all equally whimsical.  They were almost too pretty to eat (The secret is the frosting. It sets so perfectly!).  I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to make them on my own.   In fact, during my time working for J.CREW, I never made it home for the holidays and making these sugar cookies gave me that sense of home I was missing, as small as it was.  It just wouldn’t seem like Christmas to me without these brightly colored cookies.  I do hope you all get a chance to make these, if not for this holiday but another, and enjoy them as much as my family does.  You won’t be disappointed!

Wishing you all the best, and a very Merry Christmas!

-Lauren

christmas-sugar-cookies-16christmas-sugar-cookies-16-close-upchristmas-sugar-cookies-16-on-table-with-milk

Christmas Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

  • • 1 cup sugar
  • • 1 cup butter, softened
  • • 3-0z cream cheese, softened
  • • ½ tsp salt
  • • ½ tsp almond extract
  • • ½ tsp vanilla
  • • 1 egg yolk
  • • 2 ¼ cups all purpose or unbleached  flour

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, butter, cream cheese, salt, almond extract, vanilla and egg yolk; blend well.
  2. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup and stir in flour until well blended.  Chill dough for 2 hours
  3. Heat oven to 375F.
  4. On lightly floured surface, roll out dough, one third at a time, to about an 1/8 inch thickness, or a little more.
  5. Cut into desired shaped with lightly floured cookie cutters.
  6. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
  7. Bake for 7-10 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.
  8. Cool completely.  Frost and decorate as desired.

Frosting

Ingredients

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 tsp milk (may need to add more if needed)
  • 2 ½ tbsp light corn syrup
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp almond extract

Directions

  1. Mix all ingredients together until desired consistency.
  2. Separate in small bowls and add desired food coloring, based on that you need for decorating.
  3. Place in small Ziplock bag with.  Cut small hole at the corner and use to pipe frosting for more detailed decorating.

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