December 18, 2012

Soft & Thick Cut-Out Cookies

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without traditions. Christmas Eve presents, looking at lights, Christmas dinner, visits with family, service, treats, stories, activities... We are a rather young family, but we're trying to establish ours! On Christmas Eve we open a "cozy" present, the past 2 years we've finally started plates of treats for friends and neighbors, this year I would like to carry on a family tradition I grew up with of looking for Christmas lights on Christmas Eve.

Ah, plates of treats. What to make?! My mom made chocolate covered Oreos that were always a hit. Last year I tried chocolate covered pretzels. I'd like to try little loaf cakes one year. Stephen has more favorites than me, so his rule our little plates, but these cookies are mine. I used to reserve my stack of cookies, and painstaklingly frost them perfectly. This meant I was usually sitting there twice as long as anyone else! I'm a bit of a perfectionist. You should watch me spread butter and jam on toast someday, I'm told it's hilarious. I've only let the boys frost cookies once. Ever. In their whole lives. I just couldn't send less-than-perfect cookies out the door, what would people THINK?! Well, it is a testament to my happiness and lack of stress that this year I let the boys frost cookies. All by themselves. Stress- and twitch-free.
And to quote my Mom, yes, I'm letting them out the door that way. :) It was actually really fun to watch! And we learned quite clearly who takes after his Mom!!
Stephen's cookie...                Joe's cookie... :)

Soft & Thick Cut-Out Cookies (adapted slightly from Christmas Recipes from The Lion House)
Printable Recipe

2 cups butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt

1/2 stick butter, room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2-3 Tb milk
food coloring

Cream butter and sugar till fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat till fluffy again. Sift flour, salt, and baking powder together, and add to the creamed mixture. Mix till combined. Refrigerate dough for 1 hour.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface, about 3/4 inch thick.
(I like to roll it out on parchment paper. Just grab a lump at a time, don't bother trying to roll the whole thing out! If it gets a bit sticky, sprinkle with a little bit of flour. Be sparing with the flour, or you'll end up with tough, floury cookies)
Cut with cookie cutters, and place on greased/lined cookie sheets. Bake for 10-14 minutes, depending on the size of your cookies, until they are just puffed. If the edges start to brown, you've gone too far!! You want these to stay soft!
Mine puffed a bit more than usual because I didn't have time to refrigerate. If you want more perfectly-shaped cookies, you can roll them a bit thinner, but they won't stay so soft.

Let cool completely, then frost!

Beat butter for frosting till fluffy. Add vanilla and sugar, and beat till it looks all crumbly. Add the milk, 1 Tb at a time, beating lots between each. It may not seem like enough, but wait a bit. If you add too much milk too soon you'll never get it fluffy. I know from experience! Beat until thick and fluffy, separate into frosting bowls, and stir food coloring into each.
And there you have it!! These are my favorite Christmas treats. I could eat the whole batch myself. They're perfect.
I did the pink tree on purpose. Just like those fluffy pink frosted cookies you can buy all over, right?? Believe me, these are better. Just as soft and wonderful, but buttery, more vanilla, just better.
Yes, you could do royal icing for fancier, more intricate frosting, but as beautiful as those are, I've never had one that actually tasted yummy. These DO! The frosting hardens just enough that you can stack them gently, but stays soft and creamy underneath. Always.
They make me happy.

Shared at Tasty Tuesdays and Wow Us Wednesdays


  1. What? No Almond flavor? Heresy!
    I want some...but I always end up decorating and eating them myself... I'll have to wait till the boys spend a Christmas here.

    1. You put almond in them!? No way!!! I'll have to try that next time :)

  2. Beautiful cookies April! I want to make them, except I have nobody to eat them but Todd and myself. Hmm . . . perhaps the missionaries??? I bet they'd love them! Love and hugs to you! xxoo

  3. About how many cookies does this recipe make?

  4. I haven't tried the sugar cookies. But the icing was so thick I could have paved my driveway with it. I had to ad another 1/2 stick of butter and at least 3 TBS more of milk just to be able to use it.

    1. I'm sorry it didn't work out for you! I'll adjust the recipe to 3-4 cups of sugar, if your sugar was packed that can make a difference, or if your butter wasn't soft enough.

  5. I made just the frosting. Yes I had to add more milk but I LOVED IT!It hardened perfect. Definitely going to use it from now on! Thank u

  6. Do you let it sit to thinking up?

    1. No, it turns out pretty thick all by itself, as long as you add the milk very slowly, tiny bits at a time.

  7. Can u refrigerate the frosting?

    1. You can! It will be stiff when chilled so let it warm up a bit.


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