iced butter cookies

Susie here with the last day of Christmas posts! Be sure to check in tomorrow to see the contest winner.  (you still have today to enter to win an immersion blender!)


I took a poll in our family asking each family member to tell me their favorite Christmas cookie and I would bake those cookies this year for Christmas.  Well, of course, each person chose a different cookie.  The top picks are as follows:  Jeff – Molasses/ Becky – Peanut Butter Cup Tartlets /  Micah – Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies / Anna – Chocolate Doozies.  Oh, yes – I forgot my favorite – Iced Butter Cookies.

For years, I searched high and low for the perfect “sugar cookie”.  I tried more recipes over the years than I care to remember and most were very good, but not THE one.  I wanted a tender, light, slightly salty, not too sweet, similar to shortbread type of cookie and I finally found (after a few minor tweaks of my own) my ideal. If these Iced Butter Cookies are in the house, I have to be very, very careful:-)


You will find the original recipe at the Joy of Baking website – a terrific baking source.

I don’t treat myself often to this confectionary delight simply because it is more time-intensive than other cookies…but…it is so worth the effort when I do have a little extra time.


I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

You’ll see the detailed recipe below (along with the icing recipe), here are some prep pics.


Have fun with the decorations! I made these to look like our family stockings.  Everyone, including the animals, gets their own stocking cookie!


These cookies do take a little extra time, but its worth it for Christmas :)




  • cookie ingredients
  • 1 c. Butter - unsalted, room temperature (226 grams)
  • ⅔ c. Sugar (135 grams)
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 t. Lemon or Orange Zest (optional - and I leave this out)
  • 1 t. Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ t. Almond Extract
  • 2¼ c. Flour (295 grams)
  • ¼ t. Salt
  • ¼ t. Coarse Sea Salt
  • icing ingredients
  • 4 c. Powdered Sugar - sifted
  • 3 T. Corn Syrup
  • 3 T. Milk (or water)
  • ½ t. Almond Extract - can use Vanilla Extract
  • Food coloring
  • ¼ c corn sryup and ¼ c. water (mixed together and set aside)
  1. cookie instructions
  2. Combine butter and sugar and beat until lighter in color and fluffy. (approx. 3-4 minutes)
  3. Beat in the egg, vanilla and almond until well blended. (this is when the lemon or orange zest is added, if using)
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture all at one time.
  6. Mix on low speed just until incorporated.
  7. This is how I prepare the dough before refrigerating:
  8. Lay out a sheet of parchment paper or waxed paper and sprinkle a little flour on top.
  9. Divide the dough equally into 2 portions (more if you have doubled the recipe).
  10. Using lightly floured hands, hold 1 portion of dough and gently shape it into a disc.
  11. Place the disk on the floured paper roll gently into a ¼ in. high oval or rectangle.
  12. Lift the paper and place it on a cookie sheet.
  13. Repeat the process until all the dough is used.
  14. Tightly cover the pan of all the layers of dough and refrigerate for at least two hours (or overnight).
  15. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  16. When ready to bake, take out one sheet of dough at a time and cut into the desired cookie-cutter shapes.
  17. Place the cut-out dough on parchment covered cookie sheets and bake approx. 10 minutes or until the edges begin to turn.
  18. Take out of the oven, remove from the baking pan and cool on a cooling rack.
  19. Once completely cooled, the decorating fun can begin.
  20. Here is my favorite icing/glaze for these cookies. Powder Sugar Glaze
  21. glaze Directions:
  22. Sift the powdered sugar into a mixing bowl.
  23. Combine the corn syrup, milk (or water), and flavoring.
  24. Turn the mixer on low until everything is moist - scrape the bowl often.
  25. Turn the mixer to medium and mix until everything is well blended and smooth.
  26. (a little more syrup/water mixture might be needed at this point)


Becky Hardin (478 Posts)

Becky woke up on her 30th birthday and realized she didn't know how to cook, ANYTHING! She started The Cookie Rookie as a way to document her journey to learn how to cook, one recipe at a time! The Cookie Rookie is a place to find easy recipes that anyone can make, and everyone will love!

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  1. Carolyn Branch says

    My favorite Christmas cookies are Spritz. I like the mold and Christmas colors. It’s fun to have the grandchildren over to decorate. They’re fun and small. I love them.

  2. Linda Horvath says

    Please post the recipe for the sugar cookies with icing . I’m having trouble finding it on your link . Thanks so much !

    • says

      hi linda, thanks for stopping by! the recipe is in the recipe card at the bottom of this post. you can print it as well. if you can’t see it (i think you need flash player) let me know and i’ll email it to you. hope you like it!


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