These frosted Christmas Sugar Cookies are my grandma’s best recipe, so buttery and sweet! A family favorite. No Christmas is complete without them.
These Christmas Sugar Cookies are legendary in my family.
My grandma makes them every year, without fail, and the family descends upon them like vultures. (I think she skipped them one year and there were riots).
It takes time and love to make and chill the dough, roll out the cookies, bake them, cool them, and frost them. But if my 90-year old Grandma can pull it off, so can you!
How to Make Sugar Cookie Dough
I definitely recommend using a standing mixer or hand-held electric mixer for creaming the butter with the sugar. However, you can definitely do it by hand if you have the motivation.
Once the butter-sugar mixture is pale and fluffy, beat in the egg yolks and vanilla. Then gradually add the flour mixture.
Chill the dough for at least 2 hours (so you can roll it and cut out of it easily) or up to 2 days in advance.
How do you make Homemade Frosting for sugar cookies?
Once you’ve baked and cooled your sugar cookies, make as many or as few colors of frosting as you like.
Once again I recommend an electric mixer of some kind. Thin the frosting with milk as necessary so you can put it in a piping bag and easily write with it.
Colored sugar and candies also make easy, fun decorations!
Christmas Sugar Cookies
For the cookies:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter softened (2 sticks)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup milk
For the frosting:
- 2/3 cup butter cold and firm
- 4 cups powdered sugar sifted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 to 3 tablespoons milk or cream, cold
- Food coloring
To make the cookie dough:
- In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a standing mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed, or with an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla.
- Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add flour mixture and milk until just incorporated. Scrape dough on to a floured work surface, shape into a ball, and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill at least 2 hours or up to 2 days in advance.
To bake the cookies:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
- On a floured surface, roll chilled dough between parchment paper or wax paper to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut with Christmas cookie cutters. Transfer to prepared baking sheets with an offset spatula.
- Repeat with the remaining dough. Scrape all remnants together and re-roll. If the dough becomes too soft or sticky, refrigerate an additional 10 minutes.
- Bake until the edges are lightly browned, about 8 to 10 minutes (if thicker than ⅛ inch, they may take 10 to 15 minutes). Transfer to wire racks and cool completely before decorating with frosting (recipe follows).
To make the frosting:
- In a standing mixer with the paddle attachment on high speed, or with an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together.
- Add vanilla and milk and beat until smooth. Add more milk as necessary to achieve the desired consistency for writing on cookies.
- Divide frosting into small portions and color each with food coloring as desired. Transfer to piping bags and decorate cooled cookies.