Updated: Nov 9, 2020
Nothing else says Christmas to me like a fresh batch of sugar cookies baking away in the oven! Nearly a decade ago I began cooking and baking for my family's Christmas Eve celebrations. It was then that I became determined to develop my own holiday recipes inspired by the ones I grew up with.
Sugar cookies are by far my favorite of all the Christmas varieties. I love the texture, the icing, the sprinkles, and most importantly the almond & vanilla flavor! Most recipes require you to chill the dough before using, but let's be honest - who has time for that?!
Below, I am sharing my tried and true sugar cookie recipe that requires no chilling, is easy to make, bakes evenly, stays soft and tastes delicious. This recipe makes about 3 dozen cookies and can easily be doubled. Baked cookies also freeze very well if you need to make in advance.
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup granulated white sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons water
Preheat oven to 350° F.
In a large bowl cream together softened butter and sugar until smooth.
Beat in vanilla extract, almond extract, and egg.
In a separate bowl combine baking powder and salt with flour and add a little at a time to the wet ingredients. As the dough becomes stiffer, add 2 teaspoons of water into the mixture.
Remove dough from large bowl and finish off kneading the by hand on a floured surface. You can add more flour if the dough is too sticky. Dough should have the consistency of play dough.
Do not chill the dough. Divide into small batches, roll out onto a floured surface and cut, keeping the cookies on the thicker side.
Bake at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes or until slightly golden. These bake very quickly.
Let cool on the cookie sheet until firm enough to transfer to a cooling rack.
Once cooled, frost and decorate to your liking.
Most times I will simply just use store bought frosting - Pillsbury is my personal favorite. However if I am feeling extra ambitious, I will whip up a batch of buttercream! Click here for a simple vanilla buttercream recipe that I have used many times from foodnetwork.com.
This sugar cookie recipe has become a staple in my holiday traditions and I hope it becomes a part of yours too. Wishing you a very happy holiday and a beautiful new year!