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)
- cookie instructions
- Combine butter and sugar and beat until lighter in color and fluffy. (approx. 3-4 minutes)
- Beat in the egg, vanilla and almond until well blended. (this is when the lemon or orange zest is added, if using)
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture all at one time.
- Mix on low speed just until incorporated.
- This is how I prepare the dough before refrigerating:
- Lay out a sheet of parchment paper or waxed paper and sprinkle a little flour on top.
- Divide the dough equally into 2 portions (more if you have doubled the recipe).
- Using lightly floured hands, hold 1 portion of dough and gently shape it into a disc.
- Place the disk on the floured paper roll gently into a ¼ in. high oval or rectangle.
- Lift the paper and place it on a cookie sheet.
- Repeat the process until all the dough is used.
- Tightly cover the pan of all the layers of dough and refrigerate for at least two hours (or overnight).
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- When ready to bake, take out one sheet of dough at a time and cut into the desired cookie-cutter shapes.
- Place the cut-out dough on parchment covered cookie sheets and bake approx. 10 minutes or until the edges begin to turn.
- Take out of the oven, remove from the baking pan and cool on a cooling rack.
- Once completely cooled, the decorating fun can begin.
- Here is my favorite icing/glaze for these cookies. Powder Sugar Glaze
- glaze Directions:
- Sift the powdered sugar into a mixing bowl.
- Combine the corn syrup, milk (or water), and flavoring.
- Turn the mixer on low until everything is moist – scrape the bowl often.
- Turn the mixer to medium and mix until everything is well blended and smooth.
- (a little more syrup/water mixture might be needed at this point)