Since I was a little girl, one of the biggest holiday traditions I looked forward to every year was sitting around with my family, listening to Christmas music and painting cookies. You know those memories you look back on that just make you feel warm and fuzzy? This is one of them. When I think about these times I remember everything from the music, the way the cookie batter smells while it’s mixing to the way the cookies look after they are done baking.
For those that don’t know, my mom is an absolutely excellent chef. She makes everything from absolute scratch and that includes these sugar cookies. It would probably be a lot easier to just go and buy a package of sugar cookies, refrigerate it and roll out the dough but…that’s not the tradition. What’s REALLY interesting is that I recently found out exactly where my Grandma got this recipe. Apparently, my uncle took Home Economics in 8th grade and they had to make these cookies for the class with this recipe. He ended up bringing the recipe home to my Grandma and she started making them every Christmas.
Oddly enough, I think the only time we ever made these sugar cookies was during Christmas which made it even more special.
My mom would always make the cookie dough the day before we made cookies. When it came time, she would roll it out onto a floured cookie board (eventually just her granite counter) and let my sister and I come over and choose the Christmas cookie cutter shapes we wanted. She would then cut the cookies, put them on a paper plate and let us paint them.
Now my little Wyatt is hitting the age that he can enjoy this family tradition with us. Watching him take part in something that brought me so much joy during the holiday’s makes my heart so happy. I know my grandma is smiling down from Heaven watching her great grandson paint the same cookies she once painted with my sister and I.
Side note, these cookies are also incredibly delicious and easy to make. They aren’t too sweet nor are they dry by any means. We usually make our own cookie paint by taking an egg yolk, a little water, and mixing it in a small dish with a dash of food coloring. But you can use any sort of food decorating paint and make beautiful cookies.
I hope you enjoy this yummy holiday cookie recipe and the memories this tradition will bring for your family!
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
Mix together sugar and butter. Add egg, vanilla and almond extract; mix well. Blend in flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Cover and chill for 2 to 3 hours (this is SUPER important. You want the dough to be cold when you roll it out so that you can use the cookie cutter shapes and the dough doesn’t fall apart which it will do if the dough is warm). Heat the oven to 375. Divide dough in half and roll each half 3/16 inch thick on lightly floured board. From here, choose your cookie cutter shapes and decorate away! Once you are ready to bake, place the cookie onto a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 7-8 minutes.
We found an AMAZING deal on cookie cutters that I thought I would share with you. One of the things I loved when I was little was ALLLL of the cookie cutter options that my mom had. She had tons. I found this pack on Amazon with 20 cookie cutters (the metal kind are the best in my opinion, they cut the cookies out really sharply!)