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Sugar Cookies for Christmas Decorating (and variation for 2-colored PINWHEELS)

Category: Cookies

 Ingredients List

  • Makes about 3 dozen 2 1/2-inch cookies
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt


Begin by mixing the butter and sugar. Add egg, vanilla, and almond extracts and mix until combined. Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt into the butter mixture. Stir until well combined.

Divide dough in half, rolling each into a disk. Wrap well and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

When you're ready to bake, begin by preheating the oven to 375ºF. Roll one batch of dough at a time 1/4-inch thick on floured board. Cut shapes with cookie cutters (dipping cutters into flour if necessary to prevent sticking.) If dough gets too soft, put board and all into the refrigerator until cold before proceeding. Carefully transfer cookies to a lined cookie sheet (parchment or silicone baking mat).

Bake until firm and set without much coloring, about 8 minutes depending on size.

Royal Icing (w/ egg white powder)(alternatively you can use meringue powder- see package directions) - makes 2 1/2 cups

5 tablespoons dried egg white powder
1 pound confectioners' sugar (4 cups)
1/3 cup water (including lemon juice and/or flavorings)

In a large bowl, mix together the dried egg white powder and the sugar. Slowly add flavoring and then water and whip until your piping consistency is reached. Divide icing into batches and color as desired. For flowing consistency - gradually add water until desired consistency is reached.

Coloring & Shaping Directions for PINWHEELS, CHECKERBOARD, HALF & HALFs

Divide Sugar Cookie dough in half. Add gel food coloring to one half and mix in well. Shape as desired below- Remember - there must be chilling time for these shapes before they are baked!


Slice dough into 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick pieces and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350º F for 9-12 minutes. Do not let the cookies brown.


Shape each half into a rectangular shaped log about 2" by 2" x 6". Tightly wrap in wax paper. Chill at least 30 minutes.

Unwrap dough; cut each rectangle into quarters, lengthwise. Alternately place dark and white quarters side by side to form checkerboard design. Re-wrap in waxed paper and chill slightly.

On waxed paper roll out each half of the dough into 12x10 inch rectangle. Brush one layer with milk and place the other layer on top. Peel off waxed paper and roll up like a jelly roll. Chill dough thoroughly.

Half and Half:
Make two rolls, 2 inches thick. One plain and one colored. Wrap in waxed paper and chill. Cut each roll in half lengthwise. Brush cut edges with milk. Press plain and chocolate halves together to make rolls. Wrap in waxed paper and chill again.

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