This is our go-to recipe for decorated holiday cookies. It’s a pretty simple recipe, but the trick with rolled cookies is keeping the dough chilled. We like to roll out the dough between parchment paper and then place it back in the fridge for a few minutes before cutting the cookies. Sometimes we’ll even put the cut cookies back in the fridge before baking them. Finish the cookies with your favorite icing or frosting and sprinkles. - Julie & Jesse
For the Cookies:
¾ cup butter softened slightly but still cool
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
Royal icing or buttercream frosting
Sprinkles, etc. for decorating
For the Icing: See our Royal Icing recipe!
Line two large sheet trays with parchment paper; set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add eggs, vanilla and almond extract and beat for another minute until fluffy. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until just combined.
Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and divide the dough in half. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
Remove one dough from the refrigerator and on a lightly floured surface, roll it out to ¼-inch thickness. If your dough feels too sticky and hard to work with, place it back in the fridge for a few minutes before you cut out shapes.
Cut out cookies with cutters of your choice and using a floured spatula, transfer cookies to parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake cookies for 5-8 minutes or until just beginning to turn golden on the edges. Transfer sheet tray to wire rack and allow cookies to cool completely before icing and decorating.