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Christmas sugar cookies with simple icing

Cut out Christmas sugar cookies with sharp edges and soft centers.My frosting recipe is so simple that decorating cookies is no problem!

Let's go, year 2 of Sally’s Cookie Palooza! These are 10 new cookie recipes for your Christmas season. I've been a MAD WOMAN biscuit for a month to prepare for this festive, void inducing feast. Make sure your cookie jar is currently empty. Make sure you have a glass of milk handy. And make sure you have all the butter in the world because you are definitely going to need it. From sprinkles to mint chocolate, frosting, gingerbread, red velvet to peanut butter - I think you will all find a cookie you will love. Ready for?

We start with a classic Christmas cookie. There's nothing quite like a Christmas sugar cookie from scratch, unless it's a soft and buttery ice cream cookie from scratch. This particular sugar cookie surpasses all sugar cookie recipes I have ever tried. And I grew up with these cookies.

Trust me when i say that this is a sugar cookie recipe that you can have to try. It took me a while to find the perfectly soft-centered but slightly crunchy recipe. A cookie that keeps the shape of a cookie cutter in the oven has a nice flat surface, a recipe with no crazy ingredients, and a recipe that is simple and accessible to everyone.

I posted today's Sugar Cookies Recipe in May and received rave reviews. Since you may already be familiar with the all-star sugar cookie recipe itself, I'm focusing on the icing today. I changed the recipe for the icing slightly to make the job easier.

Royal icing can be painful at times, but it doesn't have to be. You can make delicious looking sugar cookies at home without losing your mind.

I don't use egg white powder or meringue powder in my frosting because I don't have any in my pantry either. What I use is powdered sugar, water, vanilla extract, and a touch of corn syrup. The corn syrup makes the icing nice and shiny, while the powdered sugar to water ratio keeps it thick. The icing dries hard and slightly crispy, so you can easily stack and travel with these decorated sugar cookies.

Like I said - this frosting is so easy to work with. To make decorating a breeze I started using empty plastic bottles. Plastic bottles are so much easier! You can find them for around $ 1 at Walmart, Target, Amazon, or your regular grocery store on the Kitchen Supply Alley. I fill each with a different colored icing and just press them onto the biscuit. That's all.

This is a recipe that needs to be planned ahead. First, the cookie dough needs to cool down. Cooling down is a mandatory step. Before decorating the baked cookies, make sure the cookies are completely cool. If they haven't cooled completely, the icing will melt. To fully harden on the biscuits, the glaze needs at least 24 hours to harden.

Before starting the recipe, be sure to check out a few step-by-step photos at the end of this post. Oh and don't let all of the steps overwhelm you, I'm just extremely thorough. Here is a video for you to see!

Would like more?



  • 3/4 cup (170 g) unsalted butter, slightly softened to room temperature
  • 150 g granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg 1
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (makes the taste great)
  • 2 and 1/4 cups (281 g) all-purpose flour (spoon and leveled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Simple icing

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (180 g) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon light corn syrup 2
  • 2 - 2.5 tablespoons (30-38 ml) of room temperature water
  • pinch of salt 3


  1. Make sure that you have planned enough time (and storage space) to create these cookies. The cookie dough needs to cool, the cookies need to cool completely, and it takes 24 hours for the icing to harden completely. If enjoying immediately and using hard ice is not a problem, it will only take you around 4 hours to make it.
  2. In a large bowl with a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, stir the butter until creamy and smooth - about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 or 4 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the egg, vanilla and almond extract and stir everything until completely blended (about 2 minutes). Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Turn the mixer on low and add about half of the flour mixture and beat until just barely mixed. Add the rest of the flour and continue mixing until just combined. If the dough is still too soft, you can add 1 tablespoon more flour until it has a better consistency for rolling.
  4. Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Roll each serving on a piece of parchment about 6 mm thick. Stack the pieces (with paper) on a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days. Cooling down is mandatory.
  5. After cooling, preheat the oven to 350 ° F. Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. The number of stacks depends on how big / small you are cutting your cookies. Take one of the dough pieces out of the refrigerator and cut them into shapes with a cookie cutter. Place the cut cookie dough on the prepared baking sheet. Roll the remaining dough again and keep cutting until it is all used up.
  6. Bake for 9-12 minutes, until very light colored on top and around the edges. Make sure you turn the baking sheet in the middle of the baking time. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then let cool completely before freezing. The biscuits do not need to be covered as they will cool.
  7. For the icing, whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla, corn syrup and 2 tablespoons of water in a medium-sized bowl. It should be pretty thick. If it's way too thick, add 1/2 tablespoon more water. If it's way too thin, add 2 more tablespoons of powdered sugar. If you sprinkle some of the glaze with the whisk, the glaze band will hold for a few seconds before it merges back into the glaze. Then you know it's the right consistency and ready to use. If desired, add liquid or gel-like food coloring. You can put some frosting in different bowls using multiple colors. If you don't decorate right away, cover the glaze tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
  8. Decorate the cooled cookies as you like. Squeeze bottles make decorating so easy. You can enjoy it right away, or you can wait 24 hours for the icing to set - you don't have to cover the cookies while the icing sets. Once the icing is on, these cookies are great for giving away or sending. I find they stay soft for about 5 days at room temperature.

Tip: Simple cookies can freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. I don't recommend freezing with frosting on top. You can refrigerate the rolled-out cookie dough for up to 2 days (step 4). You can also freeze the cookie dough for up to 3 months (before rolling it out in step 4). Then let thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before rolling out. In step 4, only cool for 30 minutes instead of an hour.

Recipe Notes:

  1. It is preferred that room temperature egg be readily dispersed in the cookie dough. Good rule of thumb: always use a room temperature egg if the recipe calls for room temperature or melted butter.
  2. Corn syrup gives the icing a fabulous shine. You can leave it out if you're not concerned about shiny, shiny icing.
  3. I know salt isn't a typical ingredient in icing, but my taste testers and I preferred that little pinch of salt. I use about 1/8 teaspoon. OR you can add 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the dry ingredients in the cookie dough. I like it better when used in the frosting, however.

Once the cookie dough has been prepared according to the instructions above, it will be slightly thick and not wet. Sticky and crumbly, but handy. I compare the cookie dough to the consistency of play-doh.

Roll out the cookie dough before cooling. Yes, the cookie dough before the Roll out to cool! In all of my recipe tests, I've learned that this method is so much easier than cooling the cookie dough as a whole and then trying to roll out a cold chunk of dough.

To make rolling easier, divide the sugar cookie dough in half, shape it into balls, and then roll it into two flat rectangles about 2mm thick on parchment paper. Stack on a baking sheet with parchment paper between each rectangle and refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours. As soon as the dough rectangles have cooled down, cut them into shapes.

Bake until the edges are very lightly browned. This is the secret of their soft centers! A slight underbake. You don't want to bake these biscuits unless you prefer a crunchy sugar biscuit.

Now the icing on the cake. This simple icing is thick; Thicker frosting is easier to work with. If you sprinkle a little with the whisk, the icing ribbon will stand for a few seconds before it goes back into the icing glass. Then you know it's the right consistency.

At this point you can color the glaze if you want. Or just start decorating. Have fun!