My fondest holiday memories involve rolling out sugar cookies with my mom and grandmother. We would begin baking on December 23, and it was an all day/all night affair in order to be ready for our dinner and family Christmas party. We always set out a few cookies and a carrot for Santa, and of course, in the morning all that would be left would be some crumbs.
This cookie recipe makes a very soft, thick sugar cookie and is ideal for making with the kids. My holiday stress secret is to make a huge batch a couple weeks ahead for Christmas and then freeze it. I pull it out whenever kids want to bake. When I became a parent, I learned the hard way that it is WAYYYY more easy to make the dough ahead of time. In truth, the kids enjoy the rolling, baking and decorating, not the assembly and chilling part. What sets this one apart is how easy it is for kids to work with, and how consistent the dough is for working with the rolling pin.
I had used my mom’s recipe for a long time, but I experimented with this one from thekitchn.com and have never looked back.
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature for 1 hour
- 2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 3 cups flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Mix flour, salt, baking powder in a large bowl.
Cream the butter and add sugar in a large bowl.
Add the egg and blend until golden yellow. Add the cream cheese and vanilla and almond extract.
Add the flour mixture in gradual increments to the butter/sugar blend until well-blended.
Refrigerate the dough for two hours.
After chilling the dough, and rolling it/cutting it out into desired shapes, bake for 9-12 minutes. The bottom of the cookies most likely will not brown.
The dough will keep in the freezer for up to a month, if you are planning to mix it ahead.
- Spread a thin layer of cream cheese frosting after cookies cool and add sprinkles.
- Drizzle with melted chocolate
- You could cut out thin cookies and layer with nutella or jam