Dec 5, 2017

Foolproof Holiday Cookies | #Christmas Cookies

These Foolproof Holiday Cookies are perfect for decorating for Christmas, birthdays, or any occasion!

Foolproof Holiday Cookies #cookies #christmascookies

I love that these Foolproof Holiday Cookies are so easy to cut and bake, yet they taste delicious. They can be decorated with just a glaze and some sprinkles, or you can go all fancy with royal icing.

What I love about these cookies is that you can count on them to hold their shape while baking. Because the butter is beaten into the flour and sugar, rather than whipped with the sugar, a lot less air ends up in the cookie dough.

Foolproof Holiday Cookies #cookies #christmascookies

I decorated these cookies with a powdered sugar, cream cheese, and milk glaze, which sets beautifully and tastes super creamy. It stays firm and does not melt over time, which is a double bonus when you are making cookies in advance.

I cut the dough into 2-inch scalloped squares using a cookie cutter from one of my favorite cookie cutter sets, and I love how the scallops didn't lose their shape. Using the 2-inch square cookie cutter, I got 48 cookies from the recipe. Your yield will depend on the cookie cutter you use.

Foolproof Holiday Cookies #cookies #christmascookies

After playing around with different sprinkles (and heaven knows I have an embarrassingly large collection of sprinkles), I've decided I really love nonpareils (the tiny round balls).

What are your favorites? Jimmies? Sanding sugar? Pearl sugar? Dragees? I've also heard that there are regional skirmishes about the names of these sweet decorations. I have a friend from Pennsylvania who absolute hates the term "sprinkles."

Welcome to Christmas Cookie Week, created by Ellen of Family Around the Table! All week long, over 40 food bloggers will be posting Christmas cookie recipes. In addition, you will have an opportunity to win a fabulous prize from Nielsen-Massey Vanillas. Nielsen-Massey Fine Vanillas & Flavors is giving one winner a set of their pure flavors: 2-oz each of Orange, Lemon, Peppermint, Almond, Chocolate, Coffee, Rose Water, and Orange Blossom Water.


After the recipe, be sure to check out the rest of the Christmas Cookie recipes.


Yield: 48 2-inch square cookies

Foolproof Holiday Cookies

ingredients:

Cookie Dough
  • 12 1/2 ounces (2 1/2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 5 1/4 ounces (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch slices, softened
  • 1 ounce cream cheese, softened
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Glaze along with sprinkles of your choice
Glaze
  • 8 ounces (2 cups) powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 ounce cream cheese, softened

instructions:

Cookies
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, mix the flour, sugar, and salt on low speed. Add the butter, one piece at a time, mixing on low. Mix for about a minute or two, until the dough is crumbly. Add the cream cheese and vanilla, and beat until the dough clumps and just comes together. 
  2. Remove the dough from the mixer and knead by hand until the dough comes together. This should not take very long. Divide the dough in half, press each half into a 5 inch disk, and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours and up to two days. You can also freeze the dough for up to two weeks. 
  3. Once the dough has chilled, place each disk between two sheets of parchment or wax paper, and roll each out to 1/8 to 1/6 inch thick. Place the dough, still between the sheets of paper, back into the refrigerator for 10 minutes. 
  4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F with a rack in the middle of the oven. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  5. When ready to cut the dough, remove the top piece of paper, and cut the dough with cookie cutters and place the cut cookie dough onto the baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, about 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for about 5 minutes, and then move them to a wire rack. Repeat with the rest of the dough. 
  6. When the cookies have cooled completely, spread with the glaze, and decorate with your favorite sprinkles. Store in an airtight container between layers of wax paper. 
Glaze
  1. Whisk all of the ingredients together until smooth. 

Recipe adapted from The Perfect Cookie. I highly recommend this book from America's Test Kitchen.

More Christmas Cookie recipes!
Foolproof Holiday Cookies #cookies #christmascookies

16 comments:

  1. Everybody needs a foolproof recipe they can count on.

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  2. Karen, I just organized my little box of "macaron-related-items" which contain a very apocalyptic assembling of sprinkles. Or toppings, or whatever term is considered polite all over the country... So my favorite is non-pareils too, although sparkling stars come second. The dragees I don't care for, because of their texture. At least the ones I have look beautiful but are hard as concrete... no bueno.

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    Replies
    1. Ooooh, sparkling stars!!! Something I don't have!!! Agree with you on the dragees. =)

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  3. These look like the perfect cookie. I love that you added cream cheese to the glaze. I need to try that!

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  4. I need to try these. I need a good recipe for using my many cookie-cutters :-)

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    Replies
    1. I think you'd be really happy with these.

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  5. How festive! I suck a icing for cookies. I'll just have to try yours. It looks so easy and delicious.

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  6. Those may be very festive, but a foolproof cookie recipe is also great year-round right?:D Pinned and definitely trying those in Christmas Karen! xoxo

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! Yes, you could use different colors for different events!

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  7. These would be great to add to my cookie trays this Christmas! Thanks for sharing on the #Celebrate365 Cookie Exchange!

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