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These are my my go-to sugar cookies for holidays because not only are they so yummy, there’s no odd ingredients and the dough can be cut and decorated as desired.  Think Halloween bats, Thanksgiving turkeys, Christmas trees, Valentine’s Day hearts, whatever–they’re perfect.  Plus, it’s fun to have kids help decorate before devouring them (I have many fond memories slaving away at the table, decorating cookies for our family to give away to neighbors and coworkers, haha!).

Christmas cookies!



1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Thoroughly mix butter, powdered sugar, egg, vanilla and almond extract.  Blend in flour, baking soda and cream of tartar.  Cover and chill about three hours or overnight.


Preheat oven to 375F.  Divide dough in half and on a lightly floured surface, roll out each down to 3/16 inch.  Cut into desired shapes and sprinkle with sugar–colored or clear–if desired (when we frost our cookies, we skip the sugar).  Place on a lightly greased baking sheet and cook for about 7 to 8 minutes or until the cookies are lightly browned on the edge.  Remove to a wire rack or paper bag to cool.

For the frosting:

1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Food coloring, optional


Beat together ingredients until smooth–frosting should be slightly runny but thick enough to stay on the cookies–adjust with additional powdered sugar or milk as needed.  Frost and decorate while still moist.  Allow to air dry before storing.

 (Claire sure did!)

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