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Christmas Sugar Cookies

By Emma Jane

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These are lovely as a gift for friends at Christmas time.

They are lots of fun to decorate with the children, let them get creative.

I have to give credit to Martha Stewart for this recipe.

No one does cookies better than Martha.

I love her, dearly.

Probably a bit too much.




2 cups plain flour, plus more for rolling

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup castor sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Assorted candies, sprinkles, or coloured sugars, for decorating (optional)

Christmas cookie cutters




In large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture; beat until combined. Divide dough in half; flatten into disks. Wrap each in plastic; freeze until firm, at least 20 minutes, or place in a resealable plastic bag, and freeze up to 3 months (thaw in refrigerator overnight).


Preheat oven to 190C. Line baking tray with baking paper or a silicon mat. Remove one dough disk; let stand 5 to 10 minutes. Roll out 3mm thick between two sheets of floured baking paper, dusting dough with flour as needed. Cut shapes with cookie cutters. Using a spatula, transfer to prepared baking sheets. (If dough gets soft, chill 10 minutes.) Reroll scraps; cut shapes. Repeat with remaining dough.


Bake, rotating halfway through, until edges are golden, 10 to 18 minutes (depending on size). Cool completely on wire racks. To ice cookies, spread with the back of a spoon. Let the icing harden, about 20 minutes. Decorate as desired.



Use flour on utensils to keep dough from sticking: Dip the cookie cutters, and dust the spatula before transferring uncooked dough to a sheet. Rolling dough between two sheets of floured parchment will keep it from sticking to the rolling pin. Using a Marble rolling pin will keep the cookie dough cool while rolling.
Royal Icing to decorate

240 g pure icing sugar, sifted twice

1 egg white

½ teaspoon lemon juice


Using an electric mixer beat the egg white, gradually adding the icing sugar a tablespoon at a time. Continue to beat the icing until it is thick enough to hold its shape. Add the lemon juice, beat well and cover the surface of the icing with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming.


Avoid using icing sugar mixture as it contains a small amount of corn flour which keeps it soft. This makes it unsuitable for piped work as it will spread and won’t set properly.


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