>U Mom Knows Best: The Best Christmas Sugar Cookie Recipe

Thursday, November 14, 2019

The Best Christmas Sugar Cookie Recipe

This sugar cookie recipe is perfect for holiday cookie exchanges. The cookie dough is so easy to roll for perfect cut-out cookies.

   I received samples from Nielsen-Massey to facilitate this post.

 I love baking cookies year-round but I get excited about Christmas baking as that is when I bring out the cookie cutters and make the best sugar cookies for the holidays. These are the sugar cookies that my kids help me bake as they are the cookies for Santa. They are also the sugar cookies that I bring to holiday cookie exchanges as everyone loves sugar cookie cutouts. For the past couple of years, I have made my classic sugar cookie recipe as this is a cookie recipe that has an easy-to-roll cookie dough. This sugar cookie recipe has a nice buttery flavor and tastes great even without frosting.

 When I bake these sugar cookies for Santa, then the cookies are frosted. Making cookies for Santa is a holiday tradition that happens on Christmas eve. I roll out the sugar cookie dough and my kids have fun selecting Christmas cookie cutters from my stash of cookie cutters. The kids love pressing the cookie cutters into the cookie dough. Sometimes my husband joins in and rolls out the cookie dough. Then the sugar cookies get baked. While the Christmas-shaped cookies are cooling down, my kids gather up all the sprinkles while I make the frosting for the cookies. Then the fun begins! The kids frost the holiday cookies and sprinkle them with the color sprinkles. There is always the child who puts on way too much frosting and an overflow of Christmas sprinkles. One year Santa wrote in his letter that the cookies had too many red hot sprinkles on the cookies.

 This is the time of year that mom overlooks the mess of making Christmas cookies with the kids. They are only a little for a short time. So I don't mind having to sweep up all the cookie sprinkles from the floor. The Christmas memories are so worth having to mop a sticky floor. The best part of making Christmas cookies with my children is seeing them enjoy their cookie creation and placing the best-decorated cookies on the plate for Santa. This year I am hoping that my granddaughter will be able to join in the fun of making Christmas cookies.

 This year, I decided to try a new Christmas sugar cookie recipe, instead of baking my Holiday Pumpkin Pie Spiced Sugar Cookies. For the past couple of months, I have been getting together with some ladies at my church as a couple of them decided to start a cooking club for our life group. We have been making lots of yummy treats like cupcakes, cake pops, and cookies. One of the ladies who leads the group is an amazing baker and she bakes the most delicious cakes. For our last cooking group, she showed us how to use sugar cookies and make an amazing cookie that is shaped like a pumpkin. The sugar cookie recipe that she shared with me, so I could make the cookie dough that I needed to bring to the group, was slightly different than the recipe I use for holiday sugar cookies. This recipe contained the usual sugar cookie ingredients like butter, flour, sugar, eggs, and pure vanilla extract but this cookie recipe also contained pure almond extract. I had never used almond extract in my holiday baking before as my husband does not like the taste of nuts in cookies or brownies. So I was hesitant to use the almond extract in my batch of sugar cookies that I was making for our baking club.

A sugar cookie recipe that has a sweet nutty flavor

 My friend told me that the pure almond extract gives the Christmas sugar cookies an amazing taste. She also said that her sugar cookie recipe tasted like it was missing something and thought it was the butter that she was using. After trying different real butter products and still not being happy with the cookie's flavor, she decided to add a teaspoon of almond extract to her cookie dough. The addition of almond extract made all the difference to her sugar cookie dough and her classic sugar cookie recipe for Christmas made the best sugar cookie shapes. It is amazing that a simple flavor like almond extract can make a huge difference and not taste like what one would imagine. That reminds me of the reactions that I always get the first time people try my Lemon Frosted Rosemary Holiday Sugar Cookies. My friends expect the rosemary to make the cookies taste weird but they are always pleasantly surprised at the flavor.

Best Sugar Cookies are
+ Sweet
+ Buttery
+ Best for cookie cutters
+ Easy to roll
+ Make great gifts
+ Great for cookie exchanges

  So I agreed to use her recipe for my batch of sugar cookie dough for our pumpkin cookie project. I only made one substitution in the recipe and I used vegan butter for the real unsalted butter. I never thought that I would use anything but real butter in my baking but since discovering a milk allergy with a blood test was the cause of my out-of-control asthma, I now bake with plant-based spreads since I have a dairy allergy. Country Crock just introduced a plant butter that is made from avocados, almonds, and olives and it tastes like real butter. The Country Crock plant butter is my favorite spread now.

 When I added the pure almond extract to the creamed butter and sugar in my mixer, the aroma of the extract was so good. The almond extract had a pleasant scent that I enjoyed. I thought that my Madagascar Bourbon pure vanilla extract had a wonderful scent but the pure almond extract had a stronger aroma. When it was time to roll the refrigerated sugar cookie dough, the almond scent was so delicious. I just wanted to smell it all day. I thought to myself that the pure almond extract would make a great body fragrance and that I should buy an almond essential to diffuse in my essential oil diffuser. The chilled cookie dough was so easy to roll and the almond oil scent made it the best-ever sugar cookie dough to roll out for the cookie cutters.

No need to frost them as you can bake them with sprinkles

  I decided to take a bit of the sugar cookie dough and use it and make some Christmas cookies. Since I was not making cookies for Santa or a Christmas cookie exchange, I just used a couple of cookie cutters. I also decided to not frost these cookie shapes and instead I used some colored Christmas cookie sprinkles. I had red and green colored sugar sprinkles that I sprinkled on the unbaked cookie dough shapes before I baked the cookies. I know that the next time I bake these sugar cookies, I will make my delicious lemon blackberry buttercream frosting.

Place the cookie sheets of unbaked cookies in the fridge for 15 minutes before baking

 My friend's sugar cookie recipe is now my favorite Christmas sugar cookie recipe. This is a sugar cookie recipe that has a sweet nutty flavor. Another that I loved about her recipe is a new amazing baking tip that I learned. I learned that when you place the baking sheets of unbaked sugar cookie shapes in the refrigerator for 15 minutes it prevents the dough from spreading. This baking hack is amazing and I will be using it with all my cookie baking. I like that my cookies did not lose their shape while baking. So I will remember to chill the cookie dough on the cookie sheets that I cut out with cookie cutters before I bake the cookies. That way the cookie shapes not spread into weird shapes.

 The sugar cookies came out of the oven and looked amazing. The taste of the cookies was the best sugar cookie I had ever tasted. The Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract gave the cookies a full, sweet, creamy flavor while the Pure Almond Extract provided a sweet, nutty flavor. When I bake, I use only pure extracts and Nielsen-Massey is my preferred baking extract. Check out Nielsen-Massey's Holiday Flavors Bundle and add great flavor to all your holiday recipes.

You can make the cookies sugar free 

 If you are looking to cut out some carbs in your diet or need a cookie recipe that is low in sugar, then I recommend an amazing low-glycemic sugar substitute that has a taste similar to sugar and can be used in recipes with a 1:1 ratio. Lakanto is a sweetener that is made with monk fruit. Monk fruit is a keto-friendly sweetener that is 300 times sweeter than sugar. Monk fruit extract is rated a zero on the glycemic index and has zero calories and zero carbs so it won’t spike blood sugar diabetics can incorporate it into their diet more easily than sugar. I love using Lakanto in my chocolate chip cookie recipe as the taste is so similar to sugar that my family can not tell that I switched out the sugar for this monk fruit sweetener. This natural sweetener is a keto product. So it is a keto-friendly sweetener that is perfect for your keto recipes.

Check out some other favorite cookie recipes for the holidays

Holiday Pumpkin Pie Spiced Sugar Cookies

Lemon Frosted Rosemary Holiday Sugar Cookies

Dairy-Free Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Dairy-Free Rosemary Sugar Cookies

The Best Christmas Sugar Cookie Recipe

The Best Christmas Sugar Cookie Recipe
Yield: 36 cookies
A sugar cookie recipe that has a sweet nutty flavor.


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Pure Almond Extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • sprinkles or colored sugar


How to cook The Best Christmas Sugar Cookie Recipe

  1. Cream the butter and sugar on medium speed in your electric mixer or cream by hand until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the eggs, vanilla, and almond extracts. Beat until combined. Add the salt and the flour, beat until you have a smooth dough. If the dough is sticky, add more flour a tablespoon at a time until it does not stick to your fingers. Place the dough in the refrigerator for an hour or more. 
  3. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat mats.
  4. Remove half of the cookie dough from the fridge and on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness.  Place some flour on your rolling pin to prevent it from sticking to the dough. Cut out desired shapes with lightly floured cookie cutters. Place the cookie dough shapes on the baking sheets.
  5. Place the baking sheets with the unbaked cookies in the fridge for about 15 minutes to chill. This will prevent the cookies from spreading and losing the shape while baking. If you are not going to frost the cookies, you can sprinkle the unbaked cookies with sprinkles or colored sugar.
  6. Preheat the oven at 375 F.  Bake the cookies for 9-11 minutes or until the edges are just starting to brown. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let the cookies cool for 5 minutes before removing them. 
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Created using The Recipes Generator


Leela said...

They look wonderful!

AiringMyLaundry said...

Oh yum, I just love sugar cookies! We always make them over the holidays. We use a recipe found in an old cookie recipe book.

Stacie said...

I love sugar cookies. They're such a great holiday treat. I'll have to give this recipe a try.

Ladena said...

I love making sugar cookies! I'll have to try your recipe! Thanks for sharing.

GiGi Eats said...

Nostalgic as all hell right now!!! Sugar cookies were my ABSOLUTE favorite when I was a kid, UGH LOVE THEM.

Jessi Joachim said...

I have been looking for a good sugar cookie recipe to make this Christmas! I love making cookies with my kids this time of the year and will have to make these!

The Super Mom Life said...

I can't wait to make these with my daughters. Thy are going to go nuts!

Marie at Complete Literature said...

I love sugar cookies and always add almond extract to mine as well. My kids and I always spend a whole day baking tons of different Christmas cookies and then deliver huge platters to all the neighbors. It has become such a fun thing to do over the years. (And it's way less messy now than it used to be!)

Heather @ US Japan Fam said...

How fun are these!!! Love all the variations you can do - thank you for the inspiration. I actually have a gingerbread man cookie cutter I got at an event last year and haven't used it yet! better get on it!!

Gust si Aroma said...

These cookies are so cute! Love how easy they are to make! Looks fantastic!

Sherry said...

I find sugar cookies so addictive. It's so hard to stop at just one. My daughter and I used to make them for the holidays but I lost the recipe. This is great timing.

Cristina Pop said...

These look so cute! And I love that the recipe is so easy!

Ruth I said...

I super love sugar cookies! Specially from the movie Shrek I think, the big one. This is going to be a good treat for the holidays.

Toni | Boulder Locavore said...

These look really adorable! Would love to give it a try!

Why Girls Are Weird said...

It's so amazing to me that Christmas is right around the corner. Thanks so much for sharing this with all of us!

Celebrate Woman said...

I love these Christmas cookies! I need to make a list what I am making and baking this season. I would like to add a few more good recipes: tried and tested!

Mommy Sigrid said...

Wow, I love the fact that these Christmas cookies don't need frosting. That's what I don't like to make. So this one, I could do for the kids.

Joanna said...

The almond essence definitely brings the Christmas feeling into these cookies. They are so cute!

Candace Hampton said...

These sugar cookies look so perfect and delicious. Doing Christmas desserts is one of my favorite things to do during the holidays. I'm going to save this recipe to do it right before Christmas. Thanks for sharing!

holyveggies said...

I love the shape of these cookies. They are perfect for Christmas!

Natalie said...

Love baking Christmas cookies. And I always look for some new recipes to try each year. I will definitely give this recipe a try.

varieties kitchen said...

This sounds like it doesn’t take long to make. I will try this recipe soon

Cristina Petrini said...

I love the simplicity of goodness! Yummy! I'll copy without a doubt, I love making cookies!

Brianne said...

These look so good! I love how simple they are. I love frosting as much as the next gal, but when it comes to sugar cookies, I love it when the cookie is the star of the show.

Mamacita La Cuponera said...

One can't ever have enough Christmas Sugar Cookie Recipes! These look so good!

Celebrate Woman said...

Sugar cookie for me any time, Tara! I am making my sugar cookies this weekend.

Kathy said...

These look great. I love sugar cookies. My daughters and I just did some of them last night. It was a lot of fun.

Candace Hampton said...

I love trying new things in the kitchen. I like your recipe and the varieties of being able to interchange ingredients to fit any lifestyle that may be trying these delicacies. I think we may have to try to make these unfrosted for the holidays. Thank you for the great tips and recipe on making some awesome sugar cookies.

Ryan Escat said...

These cookies are so cute. I bet they taste great too. My kid would love shaped cookies like this.

Alvern at Success Unscrambled said...

I don't think I ever heard of sugar cookies but then I never heard of monk fruit sugar either. Thanks for sharing this sugar substitute.

Lisa said...

These cookies look so delicious and festive. I will try it out.

Gervin Khan said...

Such a cute and delicious sugar cookies, I am sure kids will love it.

Anonymous said...

That looks so delicious and yummy!

Prime Beauty said...

Lemon Rosemary cookies sounds delicious! It's so much fun decorating sugar cookies with kids!

Gladys Nava said...

I really love these cookies! My son would love this too

Di Hickman said...

Love that you added the bit about Lankanto. I went keto this year and it's been a life saver in cooking!

Renee said...

We do Sugar cookies every year with the grand kids. They love to decorate them.

Kathy said...

I love making cookies for the holidays. Sugar cookies is something I always make too. I am always up for trying different sugar cookie recipes.

Monica Simpson said...

I have been wanting to try fancy decorated sugar cookies with my kids. I'll try your recipe!

Sandy N Vyjay said...

These sugar cookies look awesome, and they must taste awesome too. Cool recipe.

Richelle Milar said...

I think baking cookies this coming Christmas is a really wonderful idea! My kids are gonna love this so much!

Melissa said...

This looks really good. I love making cookies this time of year and I am always interested in trying the best. Thanks for sharing!

Beautiful Touches said...

Using almond extract vs vanilla extract sounds like it would be a lovely change up in the usual recipe!

Samantha said...

They look so delicious! My kids would love to make them! I have been curious about using monk fruit sweetener.

Beth said...

I'm intrigued by sugar cookies with a nutty flavor, I think I will love them!

Lois said...

It says 110 calories, but not how many cookies. Is that one or four.

Gust si Aroma said...

Oh my goodness! They are fabulous! I've made them and now this is my favorite sugar cookies recipe!

Laura JL Books said...

These look so yummy. My kids an I always make cookies for santa on christmas. thanks for sharing this amazing recipe with us.

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