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Christmas Sugar Cookies

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close up overhead shot of grandma's christmas sugar cookies piled on top of each other on a white plate
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.
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Table of Contents
  1. Grandma’s Christmas Sugar Cookies Ingredients
  2. How to Make This Grandma’s Christmas Sugar Cookies Recipe
  3. Storage
  4. More Recipes You’ll Love
  5. JUMP TO RECIPE

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. 

close up overhead shot of grandma's christmas sugar cookies piled on top of each other on a white plate

Grandma’s Christmas Sugar Cookies Ingredients

grandma's christmas sugar cookies raw ingredients that are labeled

You will need: 

  • 1 stick salted butter, softened 
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened 
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract 
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • ¼ 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! 

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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.

grandma's christmas sugar cookies process shot of ingredients being blended together in a bowl

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. 

grandma's christmas sugar cookies process shot of ingredients being folded together in a bowl

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: Use a 1-inch cookie scoop to portion the dough and use your hands to roll into 1-inch dough balls. Place the balls on the parchment paper-lined cookie sheet, at least 1 inch apart.

grandma's christmas sugar cookies process shot of cookie dough rolled into balls and placed on a sheet

STEP 6: Using a fork make a crisscross pattern pressing down lightly into the cookie dough. 

grandma's christmas sugar cookies process shot of a criss cross made on top of each cookie with a fork

STEP 7: Sprinkle sugar with green or red sugar. 

grandma's christmas sugar cookies process shot of sanding sugar sprinkled on top of each cookie

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.

grandma's christmas sugar cookies process shot after cookies are baked

STEP 9: Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to continue cooling. 

Storage

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. 

close up shot of grandma's christmas sugar cookies piled on top of each other

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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close up overhead shot of grandma's christmas sugar cookies piled on top of each other on a white plate

Grandma’s Christmas Sugar Cookies

5 from 2 votes
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.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings 36 cookies

Ingredients
  

  • 1 stick salted butter softened
  • 2 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • red and green sanding sugars

Instructions
 

  • 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.  
  • Use a 1-inch cookie scoop to portion the dough and use your hands to roll into 1-inch dough balls. 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. 

Video

Nutrition

Sodium: 78mg | Calcium: 5mg | Vitamin A: 115IU | Sugar: 8g | Fiber: 1g | Potassium: 17mg | Cholesterol: 19mg | Calories: 97kcal | Trans Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Fat: 3g | Protein: 1g | Carbohydrates: 15g | Iron: 1mg
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    • Layne Kangas says

      Hi, Judy – here are the storage instructions:

      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.

  1. Celina Parins says

    5 stars
    They were the best sugar cookies I have ever tasted and you’re right, the easiest. Thank you very much for the recipe. I have already shared this recipe with 3 friends. My daughter was the one that told me about it. Celina Parins

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