These classic butter cookies are a little bite of nostalgia for me and my sister. They are an easy made from scratch recipe and it has been in my family for years. A delicious velvety, buttery cookie topped with a simple powder sugar icing. These cookies will make the cut for your cookie exchange this holiday season.
I definitely look forward to making these Christmas cookies each year. This recipe was handed down to my mom, from my Omi, (my Dad’s mom) and we have been making our Christmas cookies this way for as long as I can remember.
The recipe card for these cookies is so old you can barely read it now. I love that my mom has all her old recipes in a little book on all the original cards. This is one recipe card that is for sure pulled out every year and has taken on some wear and tear over the years.
When it comes to Christmas we definitely do not lack in the sweet treat department. We do go a little crazy I have to say. You see all the cookies spread out drying and think wow this is too many, but then you divide them up and it is not so bad.
I eat these cookies with my coffee for breakfast this time of year. I absolutely love them! Luckily we only make them once a year. The best part about this recipe is you can get two different kinds of cookies out of it if you would like.
We usually separate the dough into two different batches. One batch for our regular cookies with a powder sugar icing and the other for our classic jelly cookies. We make both kinds every year. You can use your favorite cookie cutters for these cookies.
I love finding fun cookie cutters. My favorites are the elf, stocking and snowflake. My mom has a GIANT Christmas tree and I love doing that one too. These cookie cutters are almost the exact same ones I bought a few years ago to use at my house. The ones we use at my mom’s house are the plastic kind and are probably older than I am.
I also love finding fun sprinkles or yummy jelly flavors. I am always on a hunt for unique or fun foods that I can cook or bake with. Most of the time I find my sprinkles or jellies at places like Homegoods or Tuesday Morning.
We are by no means professional cookie decorators, plus we let Harper do her own decorating thing with them. Besides cookies taste good even if the icing is a little crazy. Can you tell which ones Harper decorated in the picture below.
Perfect Cookie Dough – First you will cream together the butter and sugar. Add in eggs one at a time, making sure to beat well in-between each one then, add vanilla. Add your dry ingredients slowly, making sure to mix well.
This recipe will make about 3 dozen cookies depending on how big your cookie cutters are. After you make your cookie dough it is best to chill the dough. You can separate the dough into 2 small batches so it chills faster. I put mine in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
Cookie Cutting Time – Roll dough out until about 1/2 inch thick. If you want to make the jelly cookies too, set aside half the dough or desired amount now. Use all the cookie shapes you want and press them into the dough.
After you have made all your cookies, roll the dough back into a ball and roll it out again. Repeat until no dough is left. We always make a little mini candy cane, funny little shape or cookie wad with the last little bit of the dough. Sometimes we add sprinkles to a few cookies before baking too, it is fun to let the kids take over for sprinkle duty.
Place your cookies on a cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges start to brown. While cookies are cooling start making your icing.
Icing – Fill about 5-8 bowls with powder sugar and add a little water to each bowl. The amount of bowls will depend on how many different colors you want to use. Mix water and sugar together until it reaches a semi thick consistency.
We have learned to make the icing on the thicker side, you do this by not adding a lot of water. Add your choice of food coloring to each bowl and mix well to combine.
Once you have reached a thicker consistency, drop a few drops of food coloring into each bowl and mix into icing. Set out parchment or wax paper to set cookies on after icing.
Spoon icing onto cookies and use the backside of the spoon to spread the icing around. Set decorated cookies on the parchment paper and add sprinkles to cookies if desired (tip – use a paper plate for the sprinkles so it is not a super huge mess to clean up).
After cookies have dried store in an air tight container for up to one week. You may also freeze cookies (if you have any leftover).
Troubleshooting – If your cookies are not coming out of your cookie cutter easily you might need to sprinkle the dough and surface with more flour.
Chilling the dough helps with cookie shapes and makes it a little easier to handle. You could absolutely make the dough in advance and let it sit in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
When making your icing remember a little water goes a LONG way with powder sugar. It is also very forgiving, so if your icing is too runny then add just a little bit more water.
I want to see those decorated cookies so don’t forget to use #moerecipes so I can check them out!
Christmas Butter Cookies
A delicious velvety, buttery cookie topped with a simple powder sugar icing and lots of fun festive sprinkles. Handed down from my Grandmother, this Butter Cookie recipe will be a fun new tradition for your family. Be sure to remember to set some out for Santa, he will for sure be thankful for them!
- 2 cups of flour
- 1 ½ cups of sugar
- 2 sticks of butter softened
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 Eggs
- 2/3 cup cornstarch 5 ½ ounces
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Powder Sugar
Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line a few baking sheets with parchment paper.
Cream together the butter and sugar. Add in egg one at a time making sure to beat well in-between each one then, add vanilla.
Add all dry ingredients slowly making sure to mix well.
Chill dough for 30 minutes or put in freezer and chill for 15 minutes.
Cover a flat surface with flour and add some to dough before rolling out.
With a rolling pin, roll chilled dough out and add flour as needed so it does not stick to the rolling pin. Roll dough until about 1/2 inch thick. If you want to make the jelly cookies too, set aside half the dough or desired amount. Use all the cookie shapes you want and press them into the dough.
After you have made all your cookies roll the dough back into a ball and roll it out again. Do over until no dough left.
Place your cookies on a cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges start to brown.
While cookies are cooling start making your icing. Fill about 5-8 bowls with powder sugar and add a little water to each bowl. The amount of bowls will depend on how many different colors you want to use. Mix water and sugar together until it reaches a semi thick consistency.
Add your choice of food coloring to each bowl and mix well.
Remove cookies from oven and let cool completely before icing.
Spoon icing onto cookies and use spoon to spread the icing around. Set decorated cookies on the parchment paper; add sprinkles to cookies if desired.
After cookies have dried store in an air tight container for up to one week.
If you need to make your icing thicker add more sugar, for thinner icing add more water. Icing is easier to spread when it is a little thicker. Set iced cookies on a paper plate when adding the sprinkles so it is not a super huge mess to clean up.
This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at absolutely no cost to you.