By Erin Walgamuth
All through our childhood, my sister and I would make Christmas cookies using our mom’s favorite butter cookie recipe. I have very fond memories of baking and decorating them in our sunny kitchen with the yellow and white gingham wallpaper. We always used our copper cookie cutters to make cookies in the shape of Christmas trees and Santa Claus, we even had one shaped like a camel! I still have two of the cutters and cherish them to this day.
As my children were growing up, I taught them how to make and roll out the dough to form their own Christmas cookies. My daughter and I made my mom’s butter cookie dough today and I thought you might like the recipe too.
The cookies are lightly sweet with a lovely buttery taste and therefore pair well with frosting or colored sprinkles. I like to keep a log of dough in the freezer all year round as these cookies are wonderful baked with a sprinkling of raw sugar and served with a cup of hot tea.
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The aroma of mom’s butter cookies baking in the oven will forever connect me to her and the special moments my sister and I shared with her. Enjoy!
You will need
Medium mixing bowl
Large mixing bowl
Fork or wire whisk
Electric hand mixer
Plastic wrap for chilling the dough
Cutting board or another surface for rolling out dough
Ungreased cookie sheet
Wire rack for cooling cookies
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
Prep-time is about 10 minutes
Cook time is about 8 minutes or until edges are a light golden brown
¾ cup of butter (1 ½ cubes) room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour plus some for your roll out surface
1 teaspoon baking powder
Note: You can divide the dough and roll it into two logs, or pat down into disks. Wrap the dough tightly in wax paper then put in a zip lock freezer bag or another air tight container to use later. Dough should keep at least a month in the freezer.
Put flour and baking powder in medium size bowl. Use the fork or wire whisk to mix baking powder in with flour to combine well, set aside.
Use the hand mixer to cream butter and sugar (I use speed one on my mixer) until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time and combine well. Add vanilla and combine well.
Add half of the flour to the creamed mixture and blend to combine. Add the other half and blend to just combine. Use the fork or your hands to finish combining the ingredients together. Knead the dough a few times with your hands to form a ball.
Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap Flatten the dough with your palm to form an 8” circle that is about ½ “ thick. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Remove dough from the refrigerator and divide in half. Roll dough out on lightly floured surface to about 1/8 “thick. Cut into desired shapes and place on ungreased baking sheet about 1 ½ “apart. Bake the cookies for 8 minutes or until lightly golden around the edges. Remove the cookies from the oven and let cool completely before you decorate. Repeat this process until you have used all of the dough.
Erin Walgamuth  has been an assistant Food Stylist for television and print for the past 26 years and writes this column using her own recipes. Check out her other creations in our Hometown Recipe  section.