One of my most favorite Christmas activities in the world is baking cookies. Not just because I get to lick the spoon, but I love decorating with icing and sprinkles. But sometimes, holidays get crazy and baking can add a lot of stress if the recipes are too finicky. This is why I love these Cutout Butter Cookies from the Cookie Advent Cookbook. The cookies themselves are simple and straightforward and while the icing can be a little bit tricky, the trick is to just beat the crap out of the egg whites. As a quick note, I paraphrased this recipe, but it stays true to the book. And by the way, the Cookie Advent Cookbook makes for an adorable Christmas present. I picked mine up last year on a whim, and it’s easily one of my favorites to bring out for the holiday season. I hope you enjoy their recipe as much as I have!
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (I accidentally melted mine and they turned out fine)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon of salt
2 cups of all purpose flour
Royal Icing Ingredients:
2 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 and a half cups of confectioner’s sugar
Food coloring of your choice
For the Cookies:
- In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until it’s light, about 2-3 minutes. Add the egg yolk, then the vanilla and salt. On low speed, slowly beat in the flour until it’s mixed.
- Gather the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, about an hour or up to a day.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease two cookie sheets.
- Place the dough on a pastry cloth or board, or, if you’re like me and don’t own a pastry cloth or board, just roll it out on the counter top with a sprinkle of flour. Roll the dough out til it’s 1/4 inch thick. Cut out the shapes and transfer them to your cookie sheets. Space them about 1 1/2 inch a part.
- Bake in the center of the oven until golden at the bottom, about 8-10 minutes. Let them cook on the cookie sheets for a minute and then transfer them to a wire rack.
For the Icing:
- In a bowl, mix the egg whites and cream of tarter on medium high until soft peaks form. Add the confectioner’s sugar very gradually and beat until the icing forms. On high speed, beat until the icing stands in stiff peaks, about 3-5 minutes.
- Using an icing spatula or a small knife, frost the cookies however you would like.