Grandma’s Christmas Cutout Sugar Cookies is a recipe post by Andrea Ferenchik from The Big Girl School where she teaches you how to use your big girl camera.
Since my children were little, they have made sugar cookies with my husband’s mom. We actually thought that it was an old family recipe so we were surprised when we found out it was actually a sugar cookie recipe she found on the side of a flour bag!! They are so delicious and easy to make. The key to these cookies is the grated orange rind. It gives it that special little something.
The beauty of this recipe is that you can decorate the cookies full on or you can just pour the sprinkles on and enjoy the process of making and eating the cookies and not worry at all what they look like. I have made them both ways. I’d say most years, we put on some Christmas music, dump on the sprinkles, and enjoy!
My mother-in-law passed away in 2010. It was a devastating loss for us because she enjoyed celcebrating all holidays with the girls so much. She enjoyed making cookies with the girls and decorating with them. We’ve carried on the tradition with my husband and I with this post I hope to celebrate her and hopefully pass this recipe and the tradition along to another family.
Because my talent lies in the photography world and not the cookie decorating world, I asked my friend Susan Block who owns Peach Blossom Bakery to decorate some cookies for me. I also decided to do some “Ferenchik Style” because perfection is not always the goal. Either way that you enjoy them, I hope you relish the time with family and time you spend making, decorating, and enjoying these cookies.
Last Year we recreated a photo from 2006…
Whether you are into sprinkle and go (like we are!) or you love to meticulously decorate cookies, I hope that you make memories for years to come and that you can build a family tradition like we have. I wish you the merriest Christmas and Happy New Year!
Grandma's Christmas Cutout Sugar Cookies
A treasured family recipe from Andrea's mother-in-law, Grandma Ferenchik.
For the cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons cream or sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon grated orange rind
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups all purpose flour
For the icing
- 16 ounces powdered sugar (about 4 cups)
- 1/4 cup meringue powder, plus 1 tablespoon
- 1/3 cup water (plus more if too thick)
- Sprinkles, optional
For the cookies
Cream butter and gradually add sugar. Blend in egg, cream, vanilla extract, orange rind, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add flour and mix until combined and a dough forms.
Wrap up the dough in some plastic wrap and chill dough in refrigerator for 3 hours. Roll out dough 1/3 at a time. Cut out with cookie cutters. You can bake and decorate with icing after cooling or you can just add sprinkles and bake.
Put cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 5-7 minutes. Makes 20-24 cookies.
For the icing
Place powdered sugar, meringue powder and water in a large bowl. With an electric mixer, mix on low for 6 minutes. Icing is ready to use but it will be very thick. Divide the icing into two bowls. You will need a thinner consistency to frost the cookies and a medium consistency to do the decorations. Add a few tablespoons of water to one bowl and stir. You want it thin like a thick gravy. In the next bowl, add a few teaspoons of water and stir. You want the medium consistency to be like toothpaste. Color it if you wish.
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