Daily Dish

The inside scoop on food in Los Angeles

« Previous Post | Daily Dish Home | Next Post »

Holiday cookies: Butter cookies

December 18, 2011 |  8:00 am

These are what people have in mind when they think “Christmas cookie” -- simple, sweet sugar cookies cut out into traditional holiday shapes (bells, stars, even Santa himself!), and then decorated with icing glaze. This recipe comes from Times staff writer Mary MacVean’s mom, Ann Daley.

CookiecoverThey're among the 50 favorite holiday cookie recipes we've collected in our "Holiday Cookies" e-book, which is on sale now.

All of them have been vetted by The Times' Test Kitchen, so you know they work. Download it on the Amazon Kindle, the Nook or via the iBookstore. Or go straight to the source.


Champagne flutes

5 Questions for James Overbaugh

More stocking stuffer ideas: Sqirl jams

Photo: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

Butter cookies

Total time: About 1 hour, 15 minutes, plus chilling and cooling times

Servings: Makes about 6 dozen (3- to 4-inch) cookies


1 cup (2 sticks) butter

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3 cups (12 ounces) sifted flour

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the egg until combined.

2. Stir in the vanilla, then the baking powder. Slowly stir in the flour until combined. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until well-chilled, at least 2 hours.

3. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface about one-eighth inch thick. Cut the dough into desired shapes. Place the cookies approximately 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet.

4. Bake the cookies in the center of the oven until set, about 5 to 7 minutes (they should not color and may be only faintly golden around the edges). Remove and cool the cookies on a rack. Frost the cookies (below) when cooled, or cover tightly and freeze until ready to frost, up to 2 months; thaw before frosting.

Glaze and final assembly

2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1/4 cup milk

Baked cookies

Candy decorations, colored sugars and sprinkles, as desired

In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and milk to form a glaze. Frost the cookies with a thin coating of the glaze, then decorate as desired.

Each of 72 cookies: 60 calories; 1 gram protein; 8 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 3 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 10 mg. cholesterol; 5 grams sugar; 5 mg. sodium.