Christmas Traditions : Sugar Cookie Decorating

I love asking our kids what they are looking forward to. Most of the time it's traditions that we've built into our life. Sometimes they'll surprise us with a random thought, like the time Parker spouted off that he wanted to lay in the sun over summer break. Ummm, I think he was talking about what I wanted to do! At any rate, this year, after getting the tree up the very first thing the kids requested was to make Sugar Cookies. No real surprise there, who wouldn't want to lick beaters, eat batter, taste test the different colors of frosting (according to the kids they taste different) and frost the best elf cookie you've ever seen.

I think we've finally moved past the stage where more frosting goes in their mouths than on the cookies. They were such avid cookie frosting machines this year that I barely got to frost a single cookie! Once we talked about having a shortage of frosting because Parker was flooding the table with it, they got into artist mode and created some pretty rad designs. Only bummer was that the hairy chest elf was gobbled up before I got a picture!

Sugar Cookies

This time of year can be nutty, this week is for sure full for us, but that does not mean that we can't be intentional with the time we do have together. So here's to you carving some time out to host your own cookie decorating party, even if it's simply your own family, make it a memory that they'll request again next year.

If you don't have a favorite recipe, here is ours. This was passed down from Aaron's Great Aunt, and I must say they are delicious. Fluffy, sweet and just a little tangy from the sour cream. The best part is, it makes a HUGE batch of cookies. I freeze half of the dough and pull it out when we're ready for round 2 (which some years has been Valentines Day, ha!!)

Aunt Violet's Sugar Cookies

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 1/2 cups flour

In the bowl of an electric mixer blend the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each one. Add the sour cream and vanilla, mix on medium speed to incorporate.

In a separate bowl whisk the dry ingredients together. Add the flour in small batches to the sour cream mixture, blend until well combined. The dough will be slightly sticky. Using a rubber spatula scrap the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 2 balls, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for an hour or longer. (this is where I freeze half of the dough, wrap it in a couple layers of plastic wrap, then put it in a ziploc bag and freeze. It lasts for several months if well wrapped!)

Once the dough has chilled for at least an hour, roll it out on a floured surface to about 1/4" thickness. Cut with cookie cutters, place on cookie sheets and bake at 350 for 15-17 minutes. We prefer ours to be soft, so I take them out at 15 minutes. If you like yours a bit crunchier you can bake them a bit longer. Let the cookies cool completely before frosting.

**You can bake the cookies ahead of time to make your cookie decorating party more about decorating and less about waiting for the cookies ;)

Sugar Cookie Icing

  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup water
  • food coloring of your choice

In a medium bowl whisk the ingredients together. You can adjust the consistency by adding more powdered sugar (to be thicker) or more water (to be thinner). Separate the frosting into smaller bowls, add food coloring and decorate.

I love the kids' creations : they are serious about their cookie art.

Here's to creating memories and traditions around your table.

Kelly