We are less than a week away from Christmas and I am only on my 7th day of Christmas over here, I better get my shit together. Today’s recipe is a good one…the best cutout Christmas cookie recipe.
I hate making cookies. Not just a cutout Christmas cookie, all kinds of cookies. I think I have said this before on this blog, but in case you missed that fun fact about me, there you go. I have the shortest list ever of cookies I make that are really good. And Christmas cutout cookies are not one of them, til now.
We made them this year, last night in fact, with all the kids plus some little neighbor kids. I feel like every kid on Earth is desperate this year for some kind of holiday fun. And while I am not the sympathetic mom most of the time, I genuinely feel bad for kids (and adults alike). I mean, you couldn’t make this shitty year up if you tried, and so so much of it has befallen on the little ones in our lives. No school, no birthday parties, no school dances, no graduations, no proms, no graduation parties, no Halloween fun, fireworks cancelled on the fourth, and the list goes on forever.
And my kids are ungrateful teenagers, they still enjoy doing some family things at the holiday (or at least they pretend to so I don’t cry). Our usual thing? Holiday lights, Christmas windows, ice skating and our favorite pizza place in downtown Chicago. This year not happening. Everything is closed. So I had to get creative this year and make our family holiday fun. MOM. OF. THE. F’ING. YEAR. We did gingerbread houses one night with the cousins, have had a few Christmas movie marathons, drank hot chocolate almost every night this month. And last night…pizza takeout from our favorite place, a hot chocolate bar and decorating Christmas cutout cookies.
Alas, living with boys often produces some pretty humorous ad ridiculous moments…ad cookie decorating was no different…see below
So many times my Christmas cutout cookies spread and look like blobs…
I hear ya, that was one of the big reasons I hated doing them every year…they always looked terrible! And I don’t mean the kids’ decorating. The cutout trees didn’t look like trees, the mittens looked like blobs…Santa must’ve thought we were drunk when we made those and put them out.
This recipe is different, it is basically a shortbread (see my regular not sweet shortbread recipe here) with sweetened just a touch more than a usual sweetbread.
Pro tip for the best results
- Lots of butter, a good amount of flour, some powdered sugar
- Don’t over mix, you don’t want to activate the gluten in the dough
- After you roll and cut them out, give them plenty of chill time in the fridge
This recipe and couple quick tips guarantee a perfect looking snowman, tree, wreath whatever your fave 🙂
The best Christmas cutout cookie recipe
- 3 3/4 cups flour PLUS one tablespoon spooned into the measuring cup, unpacked and leveled with a knife (the measurement is tricky, IF you happen to have a scale, I suggest measuring to 512 grams instead of cups, but not everybody has a scale)
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 sticks of unsalted butter room temperature (if all you have is salted butter, cut down the salt above to 1/4 teaspoon)
Cut the butter into cubes. Put all the ingredients in to a food processor and pulse until it all comes together, looking like a dough. Turn the dough onto your counter (note - not all of it will be together, you will still have some floury part). Knead the straggling flour into the dough by folding over a few times. Divide the dough into half and working with one of the halves, roll out to about 1/2 inch thick and cut out with your favorite cutters. Don't have any for Christmas? Use a circle and make them into Christmas ornament cookies.
Put the cutout cookies on parchment and put in fridge for at least a half hour.
While they are chilling, preheat the oven to 350. Bake the chilled cookies for about 16 minutes. If you roll them thinner, like 1/4 inch, they will take less time. Peek at them after about 11 minutes. They are done when the edges are just starting to brown. If you overbake, I promise nobody will notice, they are covered in enough icing and sugars and candies 🙂