Sugar Cookies

Kitchen Tested
  • Yield 2 dozen
  • Prep 20 mins
  • Cook 8 mins

Pull out your favorite cookie cutters for these Christmas treats frosted with a sweet buttercream.

sugar cookies
Mark Boughton Photography / styling by Teresa Blackburn

Ingredients

Cookies:
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
1/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 -- egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon finely grated orange rind
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
2 cups all-purpose flour
Buttercream Frosting:
3/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 pounds powdered sugar
3 to 5 tablespoons milk, depending on consistency desired
-- Food coloring
-- Sanding sugars

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Place butter and shortening in a large mixing bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium-high speed 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg, milk, extracts, and orange and lemon rinds until combined. Add flour, a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour. Divide dough in half. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate about 30 minutes or freeze for later use.
  3. Roll one portion of dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thick. Using a 4 1/2- to 6-inch cookie cutter, cut dough into desired shapes. Place 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet.
  4. Bake 8 to 9 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are very lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack; cool.  Repeat with remaining portion of dough. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.
  5. To prepare frosting, combine shortening and butter in a mixing bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add vanilla. Add powdered sugar, 2 cups at a time, alternating with 1 tablespoon milk until you achieve desired consistency. Add food coloring 1 drop at a time until desired tint is reached. When cookies are cooled, spread or pipe frosting on tops and decorate with sanding sugars. Freeze extra frosting for later use. Store cookies between layers of wax paper in an air-tight container.

Recipe by Whitney Kemp.

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