Sugar and Spice Cookies

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

When you make your Christmas cookie cutouts this year, you don't have to make plain ol' sugar cookies. Instead, you can make this variation on my favorite sugar cookie recipe, which incorporates some holiday spice. Again, this comes from Katie, who provided me with another awesome (chocolate!) variation that I tried out on Halloween.

I first made these back in the beginning of October, but never posted the recipe. When I made them then, we gobbled up many of the cookies ourselves, and even brought them for tailgating at the Buffalo Bills game.

So when I had to make something to send off for the holiday round of Operation Baking Gals, I figured these cookies would be perfect for the occasion. Especially since I could easily make them festive by using Christmas cookie cutters. I also tinted the glaze with food coloring.

These are so much easier to decorate than traditional sugar cookie cutouts since they are simply drizzled with a powdered sugar + vanilla extract + water glaze. I don't have the energy for traditional cutouts this holiday season, so these are an easier but still delicious alternative! Obviously, if you are feeling ambitious, you can decorate these with your traditional royal icing or buttercream frosting recipes as well.

I actually made the cookie dough a few weeks ago and put it in the freezer, which makes things much easier when it comes time for baking--just thaw, roll out, cut, and bake! To freeze, I wrap the prepared dough in 3-4 layers of plastic wrap, then put it in a freezer bag. It keeps fine for several weeks.

Sugar and Spice Cookies
(Source: Good Things Catered)

- 1 1/2 cups butter
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 tsp. almond extract
- 1 tsp. orange zest
- 5 cups flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp. allspice
- powdered sugar, for rolling

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Cream butter and sugars in a mixer for 5 minutes.

3. Add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly.

4. Add vanilla, almond, and zest.

5. Sift in flour, baking powder, spices and salt a little at a time. Do not overmix, this process should take about one minute.

6. Chill dough for up to a week in the fridge, or roll out and cut right away. (Or freeze it.)

7. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and bake cookies for 7-8 minutes (4 minutes for mini ones). Wait until cookies are cooled before icing.

You'll notice that the recipe for the glaze is not included; I don't really have a recipe, either. I simply dump some powdered sugar into a glass bowl, and add water a teaspoon at a time and stir. I add a splash of vanilla, and then more water if needed. The glaze should be smooth, but still a bit thick so it doesn't run down off the cookies. It's easy; you can't screw it up! If you accidentally add too much water and it gets too thin, simply add more powdered sugar.


Dana December 17, 2009 at 1:32 PM  

The cookies look yummy. I am making Christmas cookies this weekend with my mom and can not wait. Your header is great!!!

Jen December 17, 2009 at 4:33 PM  

Your cookies look great!

Anonymous,  December 18, 2009 at 11:04 AM  

Those look so great!! Simple and delicious is the way to go. I love the colors you used. Gla you liked them! :)

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