Bake: Christmas Sugar Cookies

picture of festively decorated Christmas cookies

Nothing marks the beginning of the holiday season quite like baking and decorating Christmas cookies.  This is a super-easy recipe (also from my Mom) - after the jump...

Christmas Sugar Cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours [includes chilling and frosting time]

0.75 cups margarine
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour, plus extra for rolling
1 tsp baking powder
1.5 tsp salt

(1) Beat margarine and sugar until creamy

(2) Add eggs and vanilla, mix until smooth

(3) In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and salt

(4) Slowly mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients until combined
picture of ingredients blended in mixer

(5) Refrigerate for at least 1 hour
picture of dough cooling in oven

(6) Preheat oven to 350 degrees

(7) On a floured surface, roll dough out to about 0.25 inches thick
picture of rolling out the dough

(8) Using lightly floured cookie cutters, cut out into desired shapes
picture of using cookie cutters

(9) Place cookies on parchment-paper-lined cookie sheets
picture of unbaked cookies on parchment paper

(10) Bake 10-12 minutes, until edges just begin to brown
picture of cookies baked until just golden

(11)  Using food coloring, dye vanilla frosting in red, green, blue, yellow, purple, orange, and black (keep one batch white)
picture of differently colored frostings
(12) Allow cookies to cool completely and decorate as desired

picture of decorating process

Notes:  Adding too much flour to the work surface, rolling pin, and cookie cutters, along with over-working the chilled dough will develop too much gluten and make the cookies tough, so try to minimize both!  For the frosting, we just used store-bought, but you can make your own if you're feeling ambitious.  Use either pastry bags or small Ziploc bags with one corner cut off to decorate.

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