I’m so excited about sharing this recipe with you guys today! It’s the recipe that my mom always used for cut sugar cookies at Christmas time. It comes from like an old church cookbook, and my mom and I both made little tweeks to it.
When I made the dough, I took a taste of it, and I was immediately seven years old in my parents kitchen stealing scraps as we made cookies as a family before Christmas, Christmas carols playing in the background.
And when I popped them in the oven, my house started smelling just like my mom and dads. It was awesome. I texted my brothers a picture of the cookbook and told them how great it smelled in my house. One brother texted back that just the photo of the cookbook brought back tons of memories, and the other texted that he wished there was an app to send smells.
Isn’t it amazing how many memories are evoked from taste and smell? Probably why comfort food is an actual legitimate thing.
And they were just as delicious as I remembered them being. I took these photos a full two weeks after making the cookies (because that’s just how my life is), and the ones that had been stored in an airtight container were still soft and delicious.
Full confession: These cookies are absolutely the best when smothered in frosting and then doused in sprinkles. However, I was afraid that they wouldn’t photograph as well that way, and I like my pictures pretty. So! I used this recipe for royal icing from Wilton.
EDITED TO ADD:
The above royal icing recipe seems to have disappeared. So you can use this one from Glorious Treats (her cookies always turn out beautiful!). As I mentioned, I used a royal icing for this recipe just because they were being photographed and I wanted the smooth look. If was making these friends and family, I would use Vanilla Buttercream Frosting.
This is the perfect recipe to make for friends and neighbors, soft but they’d hold up to travel. Or to leave out for Santa.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup shortening, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups sifted all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt (see note)
- powdered sugar
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Cream together the shortening, butter, and sugar until fluffy. About three minutes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla, until just combined.
- Slowly mix in the flour mixture until fully combined.
- Refrigerate the dough, covered, for at least two hours.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Dust your countertop with powdered sugar. Working with a small amount of dough, roll it out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutters and place on parchment paper or silicon lined baking mats. Put the scraps of dough back in the refrigerator for approximately 30 minutes before rolling out again.
- Refrigerate the cut dough for about 10 minutes.
- Bake until the edges of the cookies are just golden brown, about 7 to 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on the pans for two minutes before placing on cooling racks to cool completely.
This recipe contains a full teaspoon of salt. I love it that way and think it works perfectly with a sweet frosting. But if you don't like things too salty, I would cut it back to 1/2 tsp.
This recipe works really well because of the chilling of the dough. Make sure that the scraps are chilled before re-rolling them out. Work with small batches of dough at a time, so there is always some chilling and ready to roll.
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