Soft-Baked Cutout Sugar Cookies: These soft rollout sugar cookies have Christmas and New Years written all over them! It’s the perfect cookie.
Can you believe we are almost to the end of 2014? Where has the time gone? But really though, where has it gone?
Because time seems to be speeding up instead of slowing down (isn’t it funny how as a kid, Christmas never came fast enough, but now as an adult, it speeds by too quickly), I have been packing in every single Christmas activity/tradition/fun-thing-to-do.
In my family, we are BIG movie people. And there is no exception at Christmastime. We hit all of the amazing classics (sometimes multiple times) aaaand totally love those cheesy but adorable Hallmark Christmas movies (that start in November–Hallmark, you get me).
So, what are your favorite Christmas movies? Are you a Miracle on 34th Street kind of person? Home Alone? Love the Santa Clause sarcasm?
For me, picking a favorite is like trying to pick a favorite child. I mean, I don’t have kids so I don’t really know what it’s like to pick a top kid, but from what I hear on the street, picking a favorite child is nearly impossible.
And that’s exactly how I feel about Christmas movies. Instead, I have them categorized so that I have a favorite for all occasions. It’s not weird.
Classic: Miracle on 34th Street (both versions)
Comedy: The Santa Clause and Home Alone (total tie)
Heartwarming: Prancer and One Magic Christmas (they tie–both highly underrated Christmas films that are truly amazing)
Best Worst: Jingle All the Way. Hands down. Half brilliant, half ridiculous.
These sugar cookies are so simple to make. While they do require chilling, they are so so delicious and totally worth the chill time.
You begin by creaming the butter until it is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. This is a crucial step, as it transforms your cookies into light, soft cookies. Next, cream it with the sugar, about 2 minutes.
Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time. Add in vanilla extract and almond extract (the almond extract is optional, however it is strongly recommended. It adds incredibly depth to the cookies. I use it in tons of recipes, including this one, this one, and this one).
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly incorporate to the butter mixture. Once mixed, chill the dough for at least 1 hour.
Once chilled, turn dough out onto floured wax paper. Roll dough out until it is 1/4″ thick (any thinner and the cookies will be too crunchy). Cut with cookie cutters. Bake for 8-11 minutes (depending upon how large your cutouts are). Basically, if you want soft sugar cookies, bake until they look set with just a light bit of color on top. If you want a crunchier cookie, bake until the edges start to turn golden brown.
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- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups-2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- salt to taste
- 1 tsp milk
- Cream butter with a mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Add in sugar and cream until well combined, about 2 minutes.
- Add in eggs, 1 at a time, creaming until combined. Add vanilla and almond extracts.
- Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet. Once combined, chill dough for at least 1 hour.
- Once dough is chilled, preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- On a floured surface, roll out cooke dough until it is about 1/4" in thickness. Using cookie cutters, cut out your desired shapes and place them on the cookie sheet, about 2" apart. Repeat the rolling and cutting process with the remaining dough. Leftover scraps can be rolled out again.
- Bake the cookies for 8 to 11 minutes, or until they look set and lightly colored (slightly underbaking them keeps them soft, about 8-9 minutes; baking them until they are golden brown will make the crispy, about 10-11 minutes), and then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.
- Beat butter until light and fluffy.
- Add in powdered sugar, beginning with 1 1/2 cups. Add in vanilla, milk, and salt.
- If the frosting seems too thick, add in more milk. If it seems too thin, add in 1/2 cup more powdered sugar.
- Frost cookies. Decorate with sprinkles. Enjoy!
It is finished.