Recipes Revealed: The best Christmas sugar cookies
By Tina Faiz
On a platter for your guests, or a few stacked for Santa, these golden buttery treats will disappear quickly. (Photos: Tina Faiz)
If you are planning on leaving cookies and milk for Santa on Christmas Eve, or simply want a classic cookie to add to your Christmas baking platter, look no further.
This simple, 7-ingredient wonder came to me via my mother-in-law, Leah. We bake these cookies every holiday season. Festive Christmas music, wine, a cozy fire and the aroma of warm vanilla all make this a tradition I truly cherish.
Leah got this recipe from her friend Jo, who in turn received it as part of a red-covered homemade collection of holiday recipes from her friend, Sandy. Where Sandy got the recipe from is still a mystery, but a recipe shared and passed down this many times is always a sign of a keeper.
Not only is this cookie delicious, it's a no-fuss, fail-safe recipe. The dough is as soft as a marshmallow, and comes together in minutes with an old-fashioned hand-mixer. Best of all, this dough is forgiving. You can roll and re-roll, and it stays soft and pliable, so don't let any of your cut-out remnants go to waste.
Add a cold glass of milk, and don't be surprised if these cookies are all gone on Christmas Eve.
P.S. Can you tell I don't like icing? Boring, I know, but I'm a purist at heart, and these cookies taste great plain and need no embellishment at all. But if you must ice and decorate, then my mother-in-law's easy cream cheese frosting (recipe below) will do the trick.
The best Christmas sugar cookie recipe
Makes about 50-60 cookies, depending on your cookie cutter size
I bake these sugar cookies with my mother-in-law, Leah, every year. She used those red cookie cutters with her mother, and from our kitchen to yours, we hope these add a little magic to your Christmas baking this year. (Photos: Tina Faiz)
Can you believe this dough comes together with a hand mixer? No kneading, no fuss, no mess. (Photos: Tina Faiz)
The dough is pretty much formed when you stop mixing (left). Chill the dough for one hour, and it will roll out beautifully. (Photos: Tina Faiz)
1 cup sugar
1 cup margarine (the solid kind in blocks), at room temperature
3tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2-3/4 cups flour *
*Jo's tip: Use only 2-1/2 cups flour, as extra flour from rolling the dough will add up)
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine dry ingredients together and set aside.
Beat margarine and sugar until light and fluffy with an electric hand mixer, about 1-2 minutes. Add eggs and beat until smooth. Add vanilla and mix until blended through.
Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix with electric mixer on a medium-low setting until all the flour is incorporated. With your hands scoop out the dough (it will form into a ball as you scoop), and cover with plastic wrap. Chill in refrigerator for 1 hour.
Generously flour your surface and roll out dough to about 3/16-inch or 1/8-inch thickness. Flour your favourite cookie cutters and cut out your shapes. Place cookies on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake until lightly golden at the edges, about 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool before icing.
Jo's tip: Keep your hands clean by greasing your cookie sheet with the inside of the butter or margarine wrapper! (Photos: Tina Faiz)
Cream cheese cookie icing
3 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
2Tbsp sour cream
3 cups icing sugar, sifted
Cream the cheese, sour cream together until combined. Slowly add the icing sugar and blend until smooth.
Web Extra: Decadent Egg Nog Recipe!
There are actually two drink recipes in this photo. Merry Christmas! (Photos: Tina Faiz)
Here's another hidden gem from Sandy's "Chestnuts, Cranberries & Sugarplums" collection of her favourite holiday recipes. Jo says if you make your egg nog from scratch, you'll never drink the store-bought stuff ever again. I just might try it this year. That hot buttered rum batter looks good, too. Enjoy!