Hey, everyone! A day late, but I spent all day yesterday running around doing last-minute Christmas things, and today I had a photoshoot with a friend for family holiday cards, so it’s been a bit of a whirlwind.
I wanted to share with you guys my grandma’s basic Christmas cookie recipe. Cookies make great gifts for all the people on your list- they’re simple to make, easily customizable, and look really pretty in an inexpensive tin from Michael’s.
The bonus? They bake in just 6-8 minutes, so just spend like an hour or two on these, and you’re golden (see what I did there).
Here’s the recipe:
Quick & Easy Christmas Cookies
For the cookies (makes about 4 dozen):
- 3/4 cup butter or margarine (I use Imperial Margarine because it’s cheap)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (real McCoy or imitation, whatever floats your boat)
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Rolling pin
- Christmas cookie cutters
For the icing:
- 1/2 cup butter
- 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Christmas-y sprinkles
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Mix cookie batter ingredients in a large mixing bowl. You’ll likely find that a hand mixer or countertop electric mixer will expedite this process- I shudder to think how exhausting it would have been to do by hand. Remember to set your margarine or butter out to soften up, otherwise you’ll have a hard time incorporating all the ingredients. It may be necessary to corral stubborn flaky dough bits together by hand kneading the dough at the very end.
- Set the dough aside in the fridge to chill for at least one hour.
- In the meantime, prepare your icing by mixing together the ingredients (except for the sprinkles), and making sure to whisk any lumps out. If it seems too runny, don’t be afraid to throw in more confectioner’s sugar. Ideally, it should be gelatinous but not solid when you run a utensil through it.
- Pour sprinkles into separate bowls (if you’re not using crystallized sugar sprinkles and are ready to get more artistic with it, feel free to disregard this step. I’m not crafty in any way, so I just dunk my cookies, icing side in, into the sprinkles to make it easier on myself.)
- Take the dough out of the fridge when you’re ready. Make sure you have a nice floured surface to work with, and pat your rolling pin down with flour. If you think you have thrown enough flour down, just trust me: you haven’t. As the dough warms to room temperature, it gets more sticky, so you’ll want to keep flouring your surface and the rolling pin pretty frequently throughout.
- Roll out the dough to a desired thickness, and start cutting out dough with your cookie cutters!
- Place cookies on an ungreased baking tray and pop in the oven between 6-8 minutes (if they’re thinner, 6 is all you need). And you definitely don’t need a massive tray- you can easily re-roll the dough, cut out a tray’s worth of cookies, and have them ready to go by the time the first round is done.
- Place fresh cookies on a rack to cool, and then begin icing and decorating cookies.
- Leave finished cookies about an hour for the icing to set- and then enjoy one or two, you deserve it (and bonus if they’re broken, my grandpa always said the broken cookies don’t count).
It’s a tradition in my family to help my grandma decorate cookies in the weeks leading up to Christmas. I grew up elbows deep in icing, and it’s such an honor for me to have her start writing down her recipes for me to carry on in my home.
What are some of your holiday traditions?
Keep it real,