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Closeup view of a round Christmas cookie decorated with a Christmas tree and sprinkles

Christmas Sugar Cookies

  • Author: Patty McGuire
  • Prep Time: 60 minutes
  • Cook Time: 14 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 14 minutes
  • Yield: 24 1x
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: American


Tips and tricks for how to make Christmas Sugar cookies that hold their shape, taste great and look beautiful. Complete recipe.



For the Cookies:

  • 2 1/4 cups (280 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup (180 grams) room temperature unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla, clear vanilla won’t color the cookie dough, but you can use whatever vanilla or flavoring you desire

For the Glaze:

  • 1 1/2 cup (260 grams) sifted powdered sugar. More if needed to thicken the glaze.
  • 2 tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp flavor extract
  • 12 tbsp warm water, as needed


For the Cookies:

  • Whisk dry ingredients, flour, salt and baking powder together in a bowl.
  • Place room temperature butter in a large mixing bowl and cream on medium until fluffy. I like to use my Kitchen Aid stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, but you can use what you have.
  • Stop the mixer, scrape down sides of bowl, and add the sugar. On medium speed, cream together butter and sugar until white and fluffy. About 2 minutes.
  • Add the vanilla or flavoring your choice.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg. Mix on medium until well combined. The mixture may look broken or curdled at first, but keep mixing until it comes together.
  • Once the wet ingredients are well combined, turn off mixer, scrape down sides of the bowl, and add the bowl of dry ingredients. Run mixer on low until flour mixture is combined, but don’t over mix.
  • Divide cookie dough into two portions and roll out each one separately to 1/4″ thickness between sheets of parchment. Put the rolled dough onto a cookie sheet and place into the refrigerator 4 hours or overnight.
  • After chilling cut desired shapes from dough. Place shapes on parchment lined cookie sheet. Re roll and cut from scraps until you can’t get any more cookies. Put trays of cut cookies back in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • With a room temperature cookie sheet, line with parchment and transfer a selection of chilled cookies to sheet. Don’t pile them too close as you want hot air to circulate.
  • Bake 12-15 minutes. Cookies will be light golden underneath. Do not over brown.
  • Cool cookies on sheet for about 10 minutes and then transfer to cooling rack. When completely cooled, decorate as desired.

For the Glaze:

  • Combine sifted powdered sugar, corn syrup, flavoring and 1 tsp warm water in a large mixing bowl. I use a whisk, but a fork also works.
  • Check the consistency of the glaze and if it’s too thick, whisk in a little more water. If it’s too thin, add a bit more powdered sugar.
  • Using a wide bowl, add about 1/3 cup of glaze and add a touch of color if desired. Holding the cookie by the edges, with your top side down, dip cookie lightly but evenly into the glaze. Move it around to coat as needed, Shake the cookie gently to let the excess glaze drain off.
  • Flip cookie right side up and allow to dry over night on a cooling rack.


Mix the glaze slowly to minimize air bubbles. Whipping too quickly will incorporate air, hence air bubbles which is not what we want in our glaze.

A few air bubbles in the glaze is inevitable, but using a toothpick to gently pop them and swirl the glaze while it’s fresh on the cookie does the trick to achieving perfect glaze.

I recommend caster sugar or superfine sugar for this recipe. It dissolves more completely into the butter and makes a much smoother cookie dough. Regular granulated sugar is ok, but caster is so much better.