I know that you’ve seen my recipe for Christmas Sugar Cookie Cut Outs before, but I thought this would be a good time to bring them back around…you know…because Christmas is just around the corner. I wrote this article for the Everything Home Magazine December issue 2015:
The holidays are officially upon us… and I’m sure in most households, holiday baking is in full swing… because we all know that the holidays aren’t truly complete until our homes are brimming with cookies!
And the possibilities are endless… there are so many varieties, some of them laden with ingredients that just shout “flavor” of spices, nuts, chocolate, fruits, and mint… Among those varieties are the cookies with pretty strong personalities; the ones that almost always take center stage. They are flavorful, they are pretty, and they are photogenic. And of course, they are everybody’s first choice. But sometimes, it’s the simple cookie that makes an even stronger statement at Christmastime. It’s the old standby, and just like the girl next door, it’s the one that you knew was there all year round, but passed it by without a glance in its direction for some other cookie decked out in chocolate. But…it is also the cookie that made you do a double take after that first bite, when all of a sudden, you realized that you didn’t need to be dazzled with all of the elaborate ingredients that the other cookies had to offer, because this was the cookie that has been with you all of your life, the one that has never ever let you down.
It’s the sugar cookie.
The cookie that has withstood the test of time. And even though sugar cookies make an appearance all year round, it is truly Christmastime when they are the most adored, when they proudly wear their icing costumes made for them in every way imaginable…from dollops of icing and piles of sprinkles spread on by sticky two-year-old fingers…to the most intricate patterns by the culinary art professional. The simple cutout adorns cookie platters throughout every household. Placed ever so lovingly on a little plate with its partner, the carrot on Christmas Eve, the sugar cookie has had the honor of feeding Santa Claus in homes all over the earth throughout the ages.
And Santa? He never, ever tires of them, because in his eyes, Christmas…isn’t Christmas… without the beloved sugar cookie.
I always agree with Santa…
This recipe is perfect for cutouts. It keeps its shape, and doesn’t puff up and spread. They can be made weeks ahead, and will stay soft and chewy for days! They’re so versatile, you can change the flavor by substituting different flavored extracts for the vanilla, such as lemon, orange, almond or cinnamon, and add food coloring to the dough to give them a festive color! Frost them with regular icing and sprinkles, or use royal icing as shown here, or don’t use any icing at all, and sprinkle them with colored sugar before baking! It doesn’t matter how you make them, they’ll be well received no matter what!
Simple royal icing and very basic decorating were used to create this winter wonderland scene. It is so easy, the most novice baker can do this! No decorating tips are necessary (the wreath on the house was made with a star tip, but simple dots would be just as pretty!), and to make clean up easy, use inexpensive disposable decorators bags! In the end, the beauty of the sugar cookie is that it doesn’t matter how you decorate them. They don’t have to be perfect to be loved. It is truly the imperfection of the decoration that gives the cookie it’s warm and rustic Christmasy charm!
This recipe will make one winter wonderland scene as shown in the photo:
1 – 6″ x 4″ 3D sugar cookie house that sits on a 6″ base
3 – Snowmen on a sugar cookie base
2 – Large Trees
3 – Small Trees
10 – 2″ Snowflakes
2 – Small bushes for the house