It’s that time of year! We will be posting one holiday recipe a day for the month of November from our Carina Press authors and editors!
I’d love to say this is my grandmother’s recipe or some such, but I got it from https://iambaker.net/, one of my favorite baking eye-candy sites. My family loves sugar cookies, but we’d all been a little dissatisfied with the ones we’d been making. I tried out this recipe a couple of Christmases ago and Bam! Instant new favorite.
Fair warning, though: they are like crack. I make one batch a year and spend the other eleven months working them off and dreaming of the day I get to have them again.
Hope you enjoy!- Jeffe Kennedy
1 ½ cups unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
2 egg yolks, room temperature
4 teaspoons vanilla extract (use the real stuff, not the imitation flavoring)
2 teaspoons almond extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt (if you used salted butter, skip this)
1 teaspoon baking powder
Beat together butter and sugar until fluffy. On this step, it’s hard to go too long. Let that sugar really melt in. Add in the eggs and egg yolks, one by one, mixing until smooth. Add vanilla and almond extracts gradually, mixing until smooth.
In another bowl, combine the flour, salt (if you’re using it) and baking powder. Gradually sift this mixture into the creamed butter mixture, beating constantly.
Cover the bowl with an airtight seal or wrap the ball of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Working with a fist-sized ball of dough at a time, on a flour-sprinkled surface, roll out the dough with a floured rolling pin to about ¼” thick. (Keep the rest of the dough in the fridge while you work, so it stays nice and cold.) Use cookie cutters to cut out fun shapes or, if you don’t have them, a drinking water glass will work just as well. Bake each batch for 6-8 minutes and let cool on a wire rack. When I get a good rhythm going, I can roll out and cut one batch while the other bakes.
Let the cookies cool completely before frosting. To make the (very basic) icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk (I use skim or 2% and it’s fine. Not that it matters with all that butter, but it’s what I usually have on hand.)
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
Mix together in a bowl. You want it to be very thick, so if it turns out runny, just add a little more powdered sugar.
I love the white and gold look for Christmas, because it adds a nice touch of glamour. So I leave the frosting white and use these fabulous decorative sugars from Williams Sonoma:
Just smear the icing on the cookie—you can see I do spots on some and whole cookies on others, since everyone likes different amounts of frosting—and immediately sprinkle with your sugars.
There are lots of fun color schemes to play with, if you’re feeling frisky, too.
Jeffe Kennedy is author of Rogue’s Pawn, available now from Carina Press!