Monday, December 1, 2014

Traditional Christmas Cut Out Cookies - The BEST Recipe!

Hi, loves!

I hope your Thanksgiving was fabulous - mine was wonderful, and I'm looking forward to telling you all about it on Wednesday. I am tired from all of the eating, shopping, and Christmas decorating I did this weekend, so you'll have to excuse the delay on my post :)

In the mean time, I am joining Raising A Family On A Budget today for her virtual cookie swap! So fun, right? Though I'm sure the last thing we all need to be doing right now is finding more reasons to eat sugar, I suppose that's just the holidays for ya!

Actually, in the spirit of the season, I decided to draw some inspiration from today's cookie swap and bring you MY favorite holiday cookie recipes through the month of December. I don't like to go too overboard - I know a lot of other cookie bakers that tend to share the wealth, and I personally tend to eat too many of them, so I usually keep it to 5 types or less. Over the last few years, my family and I have narrowed the list down to our absolute favorite versions of each of these recipes, so I'm excited to share with you!

Today, I'm starting with the star of the show - the very best recipe of the most classic Christmas Cookie - Sugar Cookie Cut Outs!

This recipe came from a very old Betty Crocker cookbook that we can't seem to locate these days, and we added our own little spins to it over the years. This is kind of a secret family recipe, so I hope my family doesn't mind me sharing (sorry, guys!) I promise you will love these cookies!!! They are soft, fluffy, and full of flavor without using any of that yucky anise or almond flavoring (YUCK!)

Cookie Dough
1 Cup Butter
2 Cups Sugar
3 Eggs
1-1/2 Tspn Cream of Tartar
1-1/2 Tspn Baking Soda
2 Tbspns Milk
1 Tspn Salt
1 Tbspn Vanilla
5 Cups Flour
1/2 Tspn Nutmeg

1 Stick Butter, melted
1 Bag of Powdered Sugar
1 Cup Milk
1-2 Tbspns Vanilla
Food Coloring

1. Cream the softened butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl. 

2. In a small bowl, dissolve the baking soda into the milk. Add this mixture to the butter/sugar mixture, as well as the vanilla, and mix until combined.

3. Add eggs and combine.

4. Add dry ingredients and combine.

5. Pack dough into a large ball and cover or put in a gallon baggie. Chill for at least 1 hour or longer.

6. When dough is chilled, flour a flat surface (we usually use the kitchen table) and roll small portions of the dough out to desired thickness. We usually leave ours thicker than most! Then using any cookie cutters you like, dip them into flour and cut them out of the dough.

7. Bake a filled cookie tray for about 9 minutes at 350. Makes about 5-6 dozen.

To make the frosting....

1. Melt the butter into a large mixing bowl.

2. Add in the powdered sugar and start mixing.

3. Add the vanilla and mix some more.

4. Slowly add in the milk a little at a time (do not use the whole cup all at once!) Powdered sugar absorbs liquid very easily, so be careful. Add until you like the consistency, but leave it just slightly thicker than you'd like.

5. Separate frosting into smaller bowls depending on how many colors you'd like to make. Drop food coloring into each bowl, as light or dark as you like, and stir to combine. The more food coloring you add, the thinner it will get (which is why I said to leave it slightly thicker before this step!)

6. Frost your cookies, decorate with sprinkles and sugars, and leave out for 30-60 mins for the frosting to set!

Bonus tip! To make your cookies REALLY soft, store them in air tight containers with a piece or two of bread overnight. The bread will get stale, and the cookies will get ultra-soft. It's a crazy weird process, but it works, and it takes these awesome cookies from awesome to ridiculously amazing!

SO, go check out all the other awesome cookie recipes being shared today....

cookie swap 1

Our virtual cookie swap, hosted by Raising A Family On A Budget, is in full swing!  Take a taste of these delicious recipes to get you through the holiday season. Do you have a favorite cookie recipe that you would like to share? Add it to the list below and join the party!

And come back super soon for more of my favorite cookie recipes!

Cookie Recipes
1. Cut Out Sugar Cookies - You are here!
2. Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons - 12/4
3. Chocolate Cream Cheese Cookies - 12/8
4. Crispy Peanut Butter Balls - 12/11
5. Peanut Butter Blossoms - 12/15

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