Best Christmas Cutout Cookies Recipe

frosted Christmas cutout cookies

Over the course of my life, I have sampled a significant number of cookies. And, I can honestly say, this is the best Christmas cutout cookies recipe ever.

The recipe is my mother’s and no, I don’t know where she got it. I do know it’s been in our family since at least the early 1970s.

Christmas Memories

Every Christmas season we would make a couple batches of these. We’d pull the copper cookie cutters down from their place in an out of the way cabinet. Then Mom would start the work with me as her “helper.”

Ohio and Christmas tree shaped cookie cutters.
These aren’t Mom’s cookie cutters, those have been packed away for a few years. Choose shapes that are easy to decorate.

We’d cut out a variety of shapes, but Mom would always caution to do lots of trees and stars. After all, they were much easier to decorate than detailed Santa shapes or reindeer.

The frosting is very simple. You can make it fairly thick and frost your cookies with a knife, like I did with my mother. Or, you can thin it down a bit and pipe it from bags or squeeze bottles, like we did this year.

A mixer and ingredients for making cutout Christmas cookies
The cast of characters, well almost. The salt and baking powder didn’t quite make the picture!

The bottles provide excellent control and you can craft some very intricate cookies. However, it does lose its appeal after the first dozen.

Best Christmas Cutout Cookies Recipe

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 tsp vanilla
6 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
6 tsp baking powder
1 cup milk

Cream butter and sugar. Add vanilla, almond extract and egg.

Combine flour, salt and baking powder in separate bowl.

Add dry ingredients to butter and sugar mixture, alternating with milk. Mix.

When combined move to a bowl in the refrigerator until chilled. This will make it much easier to work with.

Flour your working surface. Add a bit of dough and lightly flour top. Roll out to approx. 1/8″ thick. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters.  

Bake at 350 for 6-8 minutes on greased cookie sheet or parchment paper.

1 pound powdered sugar
4 tablespoons butter softened
enough milk to mix

Mix together powdered sugar and butter. Mix in small amount of milk until proper consistency is achieved. You may want to leave it a little thick, especially if using liquid food coloring.

A hand using a cookie cutter to cut a shape out of dough.
Ignore my floured fingers. After you roll the dough out carefully (don’t overwork it), use your cutters to make the shapes.

These aren’t just cutout Christmas cookies to me, but also an amazing memory that I will always have of my mother. It just wasn’t Christmas until they were in that familiar Tupperwear container on the counter.

They were the cookies that we shared with friends. They were the cookies, that my normally calorie conscious mother would have on December mornings with her cup of coffee. And they were the cookies we left with an ice cold glass of milk on the hearth, for Santa, each Christmas Eve.

Christmas cutout cookies in the oven
As you can see the cookies “puff” or raise quite a bit during baking. This gives them their amazing tender texture.

Sharing Holiday Traditions

I am excited that we can share this piece of childhood with you. Our hope is that you make it with your children or grandchildren and that it brings you the same joy and happy memories.

A young woman decorating Christmas cutout cookies
You have to have a helper to get through “cookie day.” It’s a lot of work! Natalie is putting the finishing touch on a very special cookie!

I also hope that you are having an amazing holiday season, despite the challenges presented in 2020. If you’re looking for more holiday ideas and traditions, spend some time and click around the site. You can take a look at our progressive holiday party, make some homemade ornaments, visit some free Ohio light displays, or check out our recipe collection.

Thanks again for FindingOhio with us. It means so much to be able to share our love of the Buckeye State with you. And, as always, we appreciate you sharing our content to social media as we try to grow our site.