Holiday Sugar Cookies

Tried-and-true, fabulous sugar cookie recipe! Old fashioned, easy to make buttery cookies, perfect to decorate for the holidays!

  • Yield: Makes 5 dozen cookies, makes fewer if using oversized cookie cutters



  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened to room temp
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (can substitute almond extract)


  • 1/3 cup Crisco (transfat-free) or a 1/3 cup of softened butter
  • 1 pound of confectioners sugar
  • About 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla

Cookie Decorations:


1 Make the cookie dough: In a large bowl, vigorously whisk together the dry ingredients—flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

Use a mixer to mix in the softened butter, egg, whipping cream, and vanilla extract. Beat until well mixed.

Chill the dough for several hours.

2 Roll out the dough: Break off a piece of dough the size of an orange and pat it flat in your hand. Sprinkle lightly with a flour/sugar mixture (use a 2/1 ratio of flour to sugar: 4 Tbsp flour mixed with 2 Tbsp sugar).

Using a rolling pin, roll dough on a floured board or between wax paper. Flour both sides of the dough while rolling so the dough will lift easily from the board when cut. Roll out to about a 1/4-inch thickness.

3 Cut out the cookie shapes: Use cookie cutters to cut out the cookie shapes.If the rolled out dough gets too soft, chill it in the refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes before continuing.

4 Bake: Place the cookie shapes on silpat-lined or an un-greased cookie sheet. Bake 5-8 minutes at 400°F.

Remove the cookies from the oven as soon as you see them turning color at the base of the cookie.

Let cool completely.

5 Make the icing: Use a mixer to beat the icing ingredients—Crisco or butter, confectioners sugar, milk, vanilla extract—until smooth.

If your icing is too thick to spread evenly, add tiny amounts of milk and thoroughly remix until the icing is the consistency you prefer.

Separate into different bowls, add food coloring to achieve various colors.

6 Decorate: Spread the icing onto the cookies with a butter knife or a pastry brush, use cake decorating piping equipment to add decorative accents.

If you want the sprinkle type decorating candies to stick, brush the cookie with clear Karo syrup and then sprinkle.