Erin McDowell

Sure, Christmas cookies look great. But have you ever noticed that they kinda taste like a Chevy Impala? This year, don’t just treat them as a vehicle for icing. Instead, try our recipe for the easiest, buttery-est, least cardboard-y version you ever did taste. Finish up with our creative decorating techniques and impress your guests with a holiday offering that’s, dare we say, delicious.

Easiest Sugar Cookies

A PureWow Original Recipe

  • Makes 2 dozen cookies
  • Start to Finish: 2 1/2 hours (includes chilling time)

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour

1¾ teaspoons baking powder

Pinch of salt

2 sticks butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 egg

¾ teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

1. Sift the flour into a bowl. Add the baking powder and salt, then whisk gently to combine.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with the sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla, then mix to combine. Scrape the side of the bowl to make sure all ingredients are evenly incorporated into the mixture.

3. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until the dough comes together. Form the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

4. Preheat the oven to 350°. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to ½ inch thick. Cut the dough using your favorite cookie cutters, then transfer the cookies to an ungreased baking sheet.

5. Bake until the cookies are lightly golden around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. For even baking, rotate the pan halfway through baking. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack, and cool completely before decorating or serving.

Finishing Touches

It's the details that count! Try these tips

  • To make chocolate sugar cookies, simply reduce the all-purpose flour in the recipe to 2¾ cups, and add ¼ cup cocoa powder to the mix.

  • Royal icing is perfect for decorating sugar cookies. Make it by mixing 1 cup confectioners’ sugar (sifted), 2 egg whites and ½ teaspoon vanilla.

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