Christmas Sugar Cookies

makes approximately 36 cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
3-4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Best Ever Sugar Cookie Icing
Pearl Sugar Balls (dragees)
Best Ever Sugar Cookie Icing

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter and sugar, on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).

Add the eggs, vanilla and almond.  Beat until combined. Add the salt and 3 cups of flour; beat until you have a smooth dough. If the dough is sticky (meaning when you touch it and pull your fingers away the dough sticks to you), add more flour a tablespoon at a time until it comes together. Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about one hour or until firm enough to roll.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat mats.

Remove half of the chilled dough from the refrigerator and, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch. (Keep turning the dough as you roll, making sure the dough does not stick to the counter.)  Cut out desired shapes using a lightly floured cookie cutter and transfer cookies to baking sheet.

Place the baking sheets with the unbaked cookies in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to chill the dough which prevents the cookies from spreading and losing their shape while baking. Note: If you are not going to frost the baked cookies, you can sprinkle the unbaked cookies with sparkling sugar at this point.

Bake the cookies for about 9-11 minutes (depending on size) or until the edges are just starting to brown. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. Decorate the cookies with Best Ever Sugar Cookie Icing if desired. Be sure to let the icing dry completely before storing. (This may take several hours or overnight.)


Recipe developed by Donna Elick - The Slow Roasted Italian
Copyright ©2012 The Slow Roasted Italian – All rights reserved.