These Christmas Sugar Cookies are the best cut-out cookies! This 30-minute recipe makes thick, soft, and perfectly sweet cookies that hold their shape perfectly with no chilling.
Table of Contents
- Ingredients for Christmas sugar cookies:
- How to make Christmas sugar cookies
- Do you have to chill the dough?
- What thickness is best for cut-out cookies?
- Tips and tricks for cut-out sugar cookies
- Can sugar cookie dough be made ahead of time?
- How to store
- More Christmas cookie recipes to try
- Christmas Sugar Cookies Recipe
It’s the holiday season! That means it’s time to get going on holiday baking. And you can bet I will be baking a lot of Christmas treats…and at least a lot of Christmas cookies! 😉
These Christmas Sugar Cookies are one of our favorites! Unlike a lot of cut-out cookies, these are thick and soft. They can be cut out into whatever festive shape you like and topped off with homemade frosting or enjoyed as is.
Ingredients for Christmas sugar cookies:
- Unsalted Butter: bring the butter to room temperature so it incorporates easily with the sugar.
- Granulated Sugar: you can’t have sugar cookies without the sugar! 😉
- Sour Cream: this makes the cookies soft and provides a bit of tang to contrast the sweetness of the sugar.
- Vanilla Extract
- All-Purpose Flour: for the best results, I recommend spooning the flour into the measuring cup and leveling it off with your finger. This prevents it from getting too packed in. If you add too much flour, the dough will be dry. You can also weigh it for more accurate results.
- Baking Powder: gives the cookies a lighter texture.
- Salt: cuts the sweetness and enhances flavor.
How to make Christmas sugar cookies
These cut-out sugar cookies are an easy holiday staple that comes together in a total of 30 minutes! See the detailed recipe down in the recipe card.
- Combine wet ingredients
- Mix in dry ingredients: mixing the wet ingredients and then adding the dry means we can make these cookies with just one mixing bowl!
- Shape the cookies: Roll the dough out onto a large piece of wax paper to 1/4″ thickness — dust the wax paper lightly with flour and dust the dough as you are rolling as necessary. Cut out desired shapes and place onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake: Bake at 350ºF for 8-10 minutes — just until set! You don’t want them too dark around the edges.
Do you have to chill the dough?
I pretty much always skip this step, because we don’t like to wait for cookies. I wanted a rolled sugar cookie that could be cut out and baked right away and still hold their shape. These are perfect!
However, chilling the dough can make it easier to roll and cut.
If you aren’t chilling, you may need to dust your work space and the dough very lightly with flour so that it doesn’t stick. Do not add too much!
What thickness is best for cut-out cookies?
That depends on the texture you prefer. I like to roll the dough to about 1/4″ – 1/3″ thick for softer, thicker cookies. If you like sugar cookies that are a little bit thinner and crunchier, roll the dough closer to 1/8″ thick and bake for 6-8 minutes.
Keep in mind that different thicknesses will cook at different rates. The key is to keep an eye on the cookies so they don’t overcook. Take them out as soon as the edges are starting to turn lightly golden.
Tips and tricks for cut-out sugar cookies
- Use the excess dough. After you do the first set of cut-outs, you can re-roll the excess dough to make more cookies. Repeat that process until you don’t have any more dough left.
- Check for doneness. I say 8-10 minutes as a guideline, but it’s more important to keep an eye on the cookies to check when they’re done (it will depend on the thickness). You want to take them out just before they are browning. If they are browned on the bottom, they will still be delicious but less soft.
- Cool before frosting. Let the cookies cool completely before adding the frosting. If they’re too warm it will just melt off.
- If you’re adding sprinkles, make sure you add them right away after you add the frosting so they stick. If the frosting sets, they will just slip off the top of the cookies.
Can sugar cookie dough be made ahead of time?
Absolutely! Prepping the cookie dough ahead of time is a great way to get ahead on holiday baking.
To prepare ahead of time, assemble as directed then store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. When you’re ready to use it, thaw it in the fridge if frozen, then proceed with the recipe as instructed!
How to store
Baked and frosted cookies will last in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week or in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
You can also freeze them, but you will want to do so unfrosted. They will last in the freezer for up to 3 months.
More Christmas cookie recipes to try
Ready to do more holiday baking? Here are a few more of my favorite Christmas cookie recipes:
- Christmas M&M Cookies
- No-Bake Christmas Tree Cookies
- Chocolate Peppermint Icebox Cookies
- Fudgy Mint Chocolate No-Bake Cookies
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Christmas Sugar Cookies
- ½ cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 2 cups granulated sugar (400 grams)
- ⅔ cup sour cream (5-14%)
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 cups all purpose flour (520 grams)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- ¼ cup melted butter
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla (optional: will darken the frosting slightly)
- In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar together until light and creamy, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add sour cream, egg and vanilla and beat until combined, scraping down the sides as necessary.
- Add flour, baking powder and salt and mix until combined. A slightly soft dough should form.
- Optional: you can chill this dough for 1 hour or overnight if you prefer, and it will be a little easier to work with. This isn't necessary though, and the cookies will still keep their shape even if baked right away.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Roll out cookie dough on a large piece of wax paper to ¼"-⅓" thickness (you can dust with a tiny bit of flour if necessary — don't overdo it! If it is too sticky to roll, sprinkle a little flour on top — the smallest amount possible). Cut out desired shapes and place on parchment-lined baking sheets.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes, until they look slightly puffed and dry but are not yet browning at the edges. Don't overbake or they will become hard — they may look slightly underdone in the center but will set up as they cool.
- Let cool completely before frosting.
Sugar Cookie Frosting:
- In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, melted butter, milk and vanilla extract until smooth.
- Spread over cooled cookies and decorate as desired. The frosting takes 1-2 hours to set, but I still recommend placing wax paper in between layers for stacking.
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