Christmas Sugar Cut-Out Cookies

By Chef Megan Joy / December 4, 2014

Many of you have been asking for a good cut-out sugar cookie dough recipe. When iced, these kind of cookies are Zack’s favorite, so you can bet we make some variation of them every year.

I stumbled across this recipe recently and decided to give it a try. I’m always open to new versions! The dough, while very soft, becomes easy to handle once chilled. A great trick for rolling out any kind of dough is to do so between two sheets of parchment or wax paper. If things get too sticky and soft, simply place the whole sheet in the freezer for a few minutes. It’s low mess and ensures no dough is left behind anywhere.

With cut-out cookies, if at any point you get frustrated, just put the dough in the refrigerator or freezer for a few minutes and walk away. Have a glass of wine. Allow both of you to chill out. Cookie baking should be fun! Sugar cookies like these hold their shape better when they’re kept chilled as long as possible, so while your oven preheats, don’t hesitate to stick the cookie sheet in the freezer.

When it comes to decorating the cookies, you have a multitude options:

-Before they go in the oven, give them a generous pinch of candy sprinkles

-Mix powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and enough milk together to form a thin icing. Drizzle over the baked and cooled cookies

-Outline the cookies in royal icing and flood with a more fluid icing of your choice for professional looking cookies

Happy baking!





How to make this high altitude-adjusted recipe:

Christmas Sugar Cut-Out Cookies
Adapted from Sweetopia

Christmas Sugar Cut-Outs
Recipe type: High Altitude Baking
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  1. Cream the butter and sugar together until just combined. The more you whip the butter, the more air you incorporate into the dough and the cookie will spread more during baking (which you want to avoid with cut-out cookies)
  2. Add the egg slowly and mix. Add the vanilla.
  3. Stir in the flour and salt. Mix until the dough just comes together.
  4. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for 2 hours or until firm enough to handle and roll out.
  5. Once the dough has chilled, roll out half of the dough at a time between two sheets of parchment paper or waxed paper. I like my sugar cookie dough rolled to about ¼" thickness.
  6. Place the sheet of dough in the freezer for 5-10 minutes so you can easily cut out clean shapes.
  7. Once firm, cut out your shapes and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place the cookie sheet back in the freezer while you preheat your oven to 350 F.
  8. Bake the chilled cookies until the edges get just the slightest hint of golden brown, about 8-12 minutes depending on the size of your cookie.
  9. Makes about 36 medium-sized cookies.
Note: This recipe was adjusted for high altitude baking. To make at sea level, baking times may vary slightly.

About the author

Chef Megan Joy

Marcia - December 5, 2014

They look beautiful…. but what are those tiny black dots? Are you using scraped vanilla bean, perhaps?

    Chef Megan Joy - December 5, 2014

    Hi Marcia, yes those dots are vanilla bean seeds! Instead of vanilla extract, I like to use vanilla bean paste in some of my baked goods. Basically it’s like vanilla extract but with the seeds in it too. You can use it in equal substitutions. Nielson-Massey is a great brand for it.

julie - December 20, 2014

I’m trying this recipe today way up here in Breckenridge, CO! Wish me luck!

Jenn Lyons - December 22, 2014

I made these today with my kids and they are delicious. It’s so nice to have found your website and reliable high altitude recipes!

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