Holiday Sugar Cookies

The holidays are upon us, which means baking aplenty! Every year during the holiday season I end up making dozens of cookies (last year I think the grand total was 13 dozen!!) and one of the biggest contributors is this holiday sugar cookies recipe which makes roughly 6 dozen cut-out cookies.

Holiday baking is typically my dad’s domain and I always fondly remember making cookies with him. Every year we make cut-out cookies, Russian tea cookies (or snowballs as we call them), chocolate drop cookies, Amish no-bakes, and a wide variety of other treats. But I think the one I always liked the most was this recipe and from making the dough to cutting out all the different shapes to decorating, this is one of the easiest recipes to do together as a family.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature (very important to be at room temp!)
  • 1 ½ cups sugar (the original recipe called for ¾ cup brown sugar and ¾ cup white sugar, but Dad has played with the ratio over the years)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

Combine butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat with a mixer until fluffy. Add the eggs, milk, and vanilla to the butter and sugar and beat well. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Stir all ingredients together until mixed, but make sure not to over mix.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap (or wrap dough in plastic or place in Ziploc bag). Chill dough 3 to 4 hours — chilling the dough is very important, don’t skip this!

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out 1/3 of dough to 1/8-inch thickness, keeping the remaining 2/3 of dough in the refrigerator. Cut dough into shapes with cookie cutters and return leftover scraps to refrigerator. (Keeping the dough chilled keeps it from sticking to the cookie cutters). Place cookies on a parchment or Silpat lined cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes until lightly golden.

Take out another 1/3 of the dough that has been chilling and repeat process until all the dough has been used. If you’re only using one cookie sheet, make sure to let the cookies cool a bit before removing from the sheet and keep in mind that it will still be warm when you place new cookies on it.

Once the cookies are cooled you can decorate with frosting and sprinkles, or just eat them as is!

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