When it comes to Christmas cut-out cookies, this has been my go-to recipe for years.
My cookies might not be the most beautifully decorated Christmas cut-outs, but they are soft and flavorful. To me it's more about flavor and a soft, melt in your mouth cookie than how elaborately it is decorated.
After mixing your dough according to the recipe, cover and chill overnight or for several hours. I take a knife and score my dough into four equal parts while it's still in the bowl. At this time if you don't want to bake all your cookies at once you can freeze part of your dough if you like.
The dough will still be sticky so flour your surface and rolling pin generously.
Roll out one quarter of the dough at once. You want to keep it at least 1/4 inch thick.
Usually I use all different shapes of cut-outs but today because it was snowing, I decided to do snowflakes. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-9 minutes or lightly browned.
If you don't have buttermilk on hand you can substitute 1 Tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar plus milk to make 1 cup. Let stand for 5-10 minutes.
If you like your cookies soft like I do, make sure you don't roll them out too thin and don't overbake them. If you like them crispier, roll the dough out thinner and bake a little longer.
Now I know Royal Icing is what most people use to decorate their cookies, and is necessary if you are doing a lot of detail, but trust me on this......Butter Cream Icing is the best!
By the time I get my cookies mixed, chilled, and baked, I just don't have a lot of time left for decorating so I keep it real simple and just sprinkle them with sanding sugar.
Soft Christmas Cut-Out Cookies
2 cups sugar
2 sticks butter, room temperature
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
6 cups flour
1 cup buttermilk
2 Tbsp. vanilla
Cream butter, add sugar and beat well. Add eggs. Add dry ingredients alternating with buttermilk. Add vanilla. Chill several hours or overnight. Roll out on well floured surface about 1/4 inch thick and cut. Bake at 350 for 8-9 minutes. Don't overbake. Let cool on cookie sheet for a minute or two before removing.
Butter Cream Icing:
1 stick butter, very soft but don't melt.
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
4 Tbsp very hot water
Mix until smooth adding more water or powdered sugar until the desired consistency.