Quick and easy Christmas Sugar Cookies are so good either plain or decorated with royal icing!
These Christmas Sugar Cookies are soft and buttery, keep their shape while baking AND everyone loves them. The best part? No big mixer needed!
If you’re looking for a great sugar cookie recipe, whether you’re decorating or not, then this is the recipe for you!
What are sugar cookies made out of?
Simple ingredients you’ll find in your kitchen! You’ll be relieved to know there are no weird ingredients in this recipe. You’re just 5 ingredients away from the best sugar cookies of your life!
- Butter ✓
- Sugar ✓
- Pure vanilla extract ✓
- Egg ✓
- Flour ✓
How do you get sugar cookies to keep their shape?
What sets this recipe apart from the rest is no baking powder or baking soda. During testing, we found the addition of either of those or a combination of the two ingredients made for puffy sugar cookies that lost their shape while baking from puffing up too much. We also found that we preferred the flavour of these cookies without those two ingredients. They are absolutely not needed in this sugar cookie recipe.
Also, we chill the dough before rolling so that after you’ve cut them out, they’re easier to lift off of your bench and arrange onto your baking sheet, maintaining their shape while baking.
Perfect shaped cookies every single time!
Once they’re baked, you can decorate them with royal icing, a spread of Nutella, a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar, or whatever you like!
Now, because I don’t know the first thing about decorating, my beautiful friend and professional baker Di decorated these cookies with royal icing, edible cachous or pearls and glitter.
How do you make Christmas sugar cookies from scratch? Find out below!
Christmas Sugar Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1/3 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups all purpose flour (or plain flour)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon prepared royal icing mix, or more. The consistency should be thick and creamy)
- Preheat oven to 350°F | 175°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together with a thick wooden spoon or electric beaters, and beat until smooth (for about 3 minutes). Beat in the vanilla and the egg.
- Add in 2 cups of flour and salt. Mix until well combined. Then add the rest of the flour until the mixture becomes a stiff cookie dough. Turn dough out onto a clean surface. Lightly wet your hands and knead the dough until it forms a soft ball. Wrap dough with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Divide dough in half, then roll out about 1/4-inch thick onto a lightly floured surface. Cut using any cookie cutter shape you like, and transfer immediately onto baking sheet.
- Bake for 6-8 minutes or until just set. For crispier golden edged cookies, bake for up to 9 minutes. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet (they should be soft) for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Mix the water with the royal icing mix in a small bowl. Pour into a small piping bag with a round icing tip #5, outline and flood the cookies with silver or grey. Allow to set. Then, using round icing tip #1, pipe any other decorations you like over the top, or add edible pearls, edible cachous, edible balls, sprinkles, edible glitter, or whatever you like!Icing will completely set in the refrigerator for 20 minutes, or about 2 hours at room temperature.