Decorating (and eating) sugar cookies are one of my favorite Christmas traditions. I'll be honest, doing them with toddlers can be a little hectic :). We split up the mixing, baking, and decorating because #toddlerdrama. Decorating sugar cookies with a one and three year old goes like this: Three year old dumps entire bowl of decorations onto a cookie. One year old steals decorations off of cookie and eats them. Three year old screams at one year old. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
Ok, ok it really was fun. And I'm not kidding this is the best and most flavorful sugar cookie recipe ever. I actually like the cookies better without frosting because they're so flavorful. Every year I pin new recipes and I'm always disappointed that they don't taste as good as this recipe. I found this recipe years ago and can't find the original source, but I think I remembered all of the ingredients pretty close. This is the perfect amount for a family, but I usually double this recipe if I'm making cookies for friends or neighbors.
***The lemon zest is the real secret to this recipe. Lemon juice just doesn't taste as good, make sure you use lemon zest! And if you don't have any almond extract, you can just use 1tsp. of vanilla extract, but it tastes better with the almond extract!
What you'll need:
-3/4 cup softened butter (1.5 sticks)
-4 oz softened cream cheese (half a brick)
-1 cup sugar
-1/2 tsp. salt
-1 tsp. baking powder
-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
-1/2 tsp. almost extract
-zest of one lemon
-3 cups all purpose flour
What to do:
1. preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, cream cheese, sugar, and egg together. Once combined, add the salt, baking powder, vanilla and almond extracts, and lemon zest.
3. Add flour and mix until combined.
4. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface (dough should be about 1/4 inch thick) and cut out shapes with cookie cutters.
5. Bake on wax paper for 7-9 minutes. I bake mine for exactly 7 minutes so that they're still soft and chewy! Transfer to a wire wrack and let cookies cool completely.
6. Decorate with frosting and sprinkles and enjoy!
I hope you love them as much as we do!! Happy Holidays from my family to yours!