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Everyone will love these wonderfully soft, festive Christmas Sugar Cookies! Make a batch of this super easy sugar cookie dough, sprinkle the cookie dough balls in colorful sanding sugars, then sit back and enjoy the cozy smell of cookies baking. These are perfect for holiday snacking, a Christmas party, Christmas cookie exchange, or giving as gifts. Don’t forget to leave a few out for Santa!
While we of course enjoy the go-to Pillsbury Christmas sugar cookies, it’s almost as easy to make these Christmas sugar cookies, so why not choose homemade? Speaking of simple homemade recipes for the holidays, these Christmas Pretzel Hugs are really easy, tasty, and absolutely adorable! We’re also big fans of this Christmas Chex Mix for a holiday movie night snack.
INGREDIENTS FOR GRANDMA’S Christmas Sugar Cookies
You will need:
- 1 stick salted butter, softened
- 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Red and green sanding sugars
Substitutions and Additions
Sanding Sugar: Sanding sugar in red and green colors is very easy to find around the holiday season. Check the Christmas baking displays in your grocery store, but you should also be able to locate these colorful sugars right in the regular baking aisle any time of the year.
Almond Extract: Some people strongly dislike the flavor of almond extract. If that is you, then feel free to leave this ingredient out of the cookies. However, it may also be the case that in the past you’ve tasted a food made with almond extract that simply contained too much of the flavor. This extract is very strong, so only a small amount is used in the sugar cookie recipe, giving it a delicious and subtle hint of almond flavor.
Frosting: Although these easy Christmas sugar cookies are perfectly sweet themselves, you can frost them if you wish. One cute idea would be to use white frosting to pipe bows, stars, and other simple decorations onto the colorful sugar-dusted cookies to make them look like Christmas ornaments.
Christmas Tree: Pile sugar cookies that have been sprinkled with green sanding sugars onto a large platter to form the shape of a Christmas tree. Arrange cookies with the red sanding sugar on the cookie tree to look like ornaments. You can even have one cookie sprinkled with yellow sanding sugar to represent a star at the top of the tree. What a beautiful table centerpiece for a holiday dinner; nothing better than edible décor!
How to Make this grandma’s Christmas Sugar Cookies Recipe
STEP 1: In a large bowl add the butter, cream cheese, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and almond extract. Using a hand mixer, beat the ingredients together until light and fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes.
STEP 2: Using a rubber spatula scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Turn the hand mixer to a low speed and combine the ingredients just until a soft dough forms.
STEP 3: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
PRO TIP: This is a fantastic cookie dough to make ahead! The dough can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours after you make it, then baked when you are ready. Or form the dough into a ball and wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in a zip-top freezer bag and freeze for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then form the dough balls and bake as directed.
STEP 4: Once the dough has been chilled for 2 hours, remove from the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 350F degrees.
STEP 5: Place the dough balls on the parchment paper lined cookie sheet, at least 1 inch apart.
STEP 6: Using a fork make a crisscross pattern pressing down lightly into the cookie dough.
STEP 7: Sprinkle sugar with green or red sugar.
STEP 8: Bake in the oven at 350F degree for 9 to 11 minutes. Be sure to not overcook these cookies. They should not brown on the edges at all. You want them to be soft, and they should look a bit undercooked when you pull them out of the oven.
STEP 9: Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to continue cooling.
IN THE FRIDGE: Keep the Christmas sugar cookies in an airtight food storage container with a lid or in a zip-top bag. Refrigerate for up to five days.
IN THE FREEZER: Freeze the cookies in zip-top freezer bags for up to three months, then simply thaw before serving.
If you’ve been looking for an easy Christmas sugar cookie recipe, look no further! These soft, buttery cookies will be a new favorite holiday treat. From-scratch Christmas cookies are so easy to make, you’ll be enjoying them with a mug of hot chocolate before you know it!
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Grandma’s Christmas Sugar Cookies
- 1 stick salted butter softened
- 2 oz cream cheese softened
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- red and green sanding sugars
- In a large bowl add butter, cream cheese, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and almond extract. Using a hand mixer beat until light and fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add flour, cornstarch baking soda, and salt. Turn the hand mixer to a low speed and combine the ingredients until a soft dough forms.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
- Once the dough has been chilled for 2 hours remove from the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Place the balls on the parchment paper lined cookie sheet, at least 1 inch apart.
- Using a fork make a criss cross pattern pressing down lightly into the cookie dough.
- Sprinkle sugar with green or red sugar.
- Bake in the oven at 350 degrees F for 9 to 11 minutes. Make sure not to overcook these cookies. They should not brown on the edges at all. You want them to be soft and they should look a bit undercooked when you pull them out of the oven.
- Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to continue cooling.