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Classic Christmas Sugar Cookie Cutouts

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  • Prep 60 min
  • Total 4 hr 10 min
  • Servings 60
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If your Christmas season gets so hectic that you only have time to bake one batch of cookies, we suggest that this be the one you make. This is the kind of sugar cookie that generations of bakers have relied on, with a buttery texture and just-right tenderness. The accompanying glaze requires just three ingredients and is a standby that you can just as easily rely on when you need a glaze on other cookie varieties. It sets up nicely and is ideal for decorating, tinting well and spreading easily. The process of making sugar cookie cutouts is as essential to the holidays as opening gifts and singing Christmas songs, and if you can clear some time out on your schedule, it’s a relaxing activity, too. Pull out all your favorite cookie cutters, whether they’re classic hearts and stars or cute winter characters like reindeer and penguins, and bake up a batch—this recipe yields 60 cookies. When it’s time to decorate, you have a blank canvas to indulge your style and creativity. Some bakers like to go all in on color and whimsy, while others prefer more simple and elegant finishing flourishes—it’s all up to you. What we can promise is that no matter what shapes you cut them into or how you decorate them, you’ll end up with cookies that are as delicious as they are beautiful.
Updated Dec 9, 2019
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  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 cups Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Betty Crocker™ Decor Selects candy sprinkles, nonpareils or colored sugars, if desired


  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons milk or half-and-half
Make With
Gold Medal Flour


  • 1
    In large bowl, mix 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, the butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla, almond extract and egg until well blended. Stir in flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours.
  • 2
    Heat oven to 375°F. Divide dough in half. On lightly floured surface, roll each half of dough 3/16 inch thick. Cut into assorted shapes with cookie cutters, or cut around patterns traced from storybook illustrations. If cookies are to be hung as decorations, make a hole in each 1/4 inch from top with end of plastic straw. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
  • 3
    Bake 7 to 8 minutes or until light brown. Remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  • 4
    In medium bowl, beat all frosting ingredients until smooth and spreadable. Tint with food color if desired. Frost and decorate cookies as desired with frosting and colored sugars.

Tips from the Betty Crocker Kitchens

  • tip 1
    Be ready for a big baking day by making your cookies ahead of time. Make and bake cookies as directed in recipe. Place baked unfrosted cookies between layers of waxed paper and place in freezer container. Seal tightly and freeze up to 3 months. Thaw cookies, covered, in container at room temperature 1 to 2 hours before decorating.
  • tip 2
    Lightly flouring the work suface is key to rolling out sugar cookies but another way to roll the dough is between two sheets of waxed paper or baking parchment paper. Lift off the top piece of paper and cut out the dough with your favorite cutters (try to cut the dough out with as little space between as you can, to minimize scraps). To decrease the chance of the cookies spreading too much, pop the baking sheet with the cut-outs into the fridge for a few minutes before sliding them into the oven.
  • tip 3
    Flat baking sheets are the best choice for making cut-out cookies. The flat sheets allow the air to circulate around the cookies, so they bake evenly and become the right shade of light golden brown. Lining baking sheets with baking parchment makes clean up a breeze.
  • tip 4
    It’s important to keep the dough chilled, so work in batches as you roll the dough out. Mix the dough just until well blended, then divide it in half. Cover the dough and refrigerate at least 3 hours before rolling. While rolling one half of the dough, keep the other in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  • tip 5
    For longer storage, consider making a hard-drying royal icing to glaze and decorate cookies you’d like to keep for trimming the tree.
  • tip 6
    Use a light hand when re-rolling dough scraps, gently pressing them together and rolling them out quickly. If the dough is overworked your cookies will be tough.


65 Calories, 3 g Total Fat, 1 g Protein, 9 g Total Carbohydrate

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Cookie
Calories from Fat
Total Fat
3 g
Saturated Fat
2 g
10 mg
40 mg
10 mg
Total Carbohydrate
9 g
Dietary Fiber
1 g
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
1/2 Starch; 1/2 Fat;
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

More About This Recipe

  • Some of the best holiday memories are made when we’re gathered together, baking a traditional treat like sugar cookies with icing. As the ingredients are mixed together, the dough is rolled and the decorations are completed, it’s good to know that some holiday traditions can continue to be carried on with laughter, creativity and love. Set aside an afternoon to enjoy every part of the process. Then sit back and delight in all the colorful cookies you’ve created. To prep for a fun day of baking, check out these handy sugar cookie guidelines for getting a perfect batch of sugar cookie cutouts every time. Whether you’re bringing your creations to a cookie exchange, adding them to holiday gifts, using them as decorations or saving them for the perfect dessert at your holiday meal, these sugar cookies will be special because you made them yourself. And that’s always the best holiday gift of all.
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