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My Easy Holiday Sugar Cookie Recipe

Updated: Nov 9, 2020

Nothing else says Christmas to me like a fresh batch of sugar cookies baking away in the oven! Nearly a decade ago I began cooking and baking for my family's Christmas Eve celebrations. It was then that I became determined to develop my own holiday recipes inspired by the ones I grew up with.

Sugar cookies are by far my favorite of all the Christmas varieties. I love the texture, the icing, the sprinkles, and most importantly the almond & vanilla flavor! Most recipes require you to chill the dough before using, but let's be honest - who has time for that?!

Below, I am sharing my tried and true sugar cookie recipe that requires no chilling, is easy to make, bakes evenly, stays soft and tastes delicious. This recipe makes about 3 dozen cookies and can easily be doubled. Baked cookies also freeze very well if you need to make in advance.


1 cup unsalted butter

1 cup granulated white sugar

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 egg

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons water



  • Preheat oven to 350° F.

  • In a large bowl cream together softened butter and sugar until smooth.

  • Beat in vanilla extract, almond extract, and egg.

  • In a separate bowl combine baking powder and salt with flour and add a little at a time to the wet ingredients. As the dough becomes stiffer, add 2 teaspoons of water into the mixture.

  • Remove dough from large bowl and finish off kneading the by hand on a floured surface. You can add more flour if the dough is too sticky. Dough should have the consistency of play dough.

  • Do not chill the dough. Divide into small batches, roll out onto a floured surface and cut, keeping the cookies on the thicker side.

  • Bake at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes or until slightly golden. These bake very quickly.

  • Let cool on the cookie sheet until firm enough to transfer to a cooling rack.

  • Once cooled, frost and decorate to your liking.


Most times I will simply just use store bought frosting - Pillsbury is my personal favorite. However if I am feeling extra ambitious, I will whip up a batch of buttercream! Click here for a simple vanilla buttercream recipe that I have used many times from

This sugar cookie recipe has become a staple in my holiday traditions and I hope it becomes a part of yours too. Wishing you a very happy holiday and a beautiful new year!



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