Holiday Sugar Cookies

The holidays wouldn’t be complete without lots of sweets – especially cookies! For our Ugly Sweater Christmas party last week, I decided to try my hand at making some ugly sweater cookies! Mine didn’t turn out quite as well-decorated as I was hoping, but that just adds to their tackiness, right? Regardless, they were fun to make and delicious to eat.

Holiday Sugar Cookies

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (softened at room temperature)
  • 2 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl, using a hand mixer), cream the butter and cream cheese with the sugar until the mixture becomes light and fluffy. Then add in the egg, vanilla and almond extract, and lemon zest.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt. A scoop at a time, slowly add to your butter mixture until fully incorporated.

Remove the dough, lay out on parchment paper, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

(Side note: this dough is super sticky. You’ll need a spatula to help remove it from your bowl. Instead of refrigerating mine as a ball, I pressed mine flat in the parchment paper on my cookies sheets before refrigerating. I wanted to make sure the dough chilled thoroughly and it was then easier to roll-out, cut out cookies, and bake.) 

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the fridge and roll-out to about a 0.25″ thickness. Use cookies cutters to cut out shapes and place on your baking sheets.

(Tip: If the dough starts getting too warm and becomes sticky and hard to cut out, place it back in the refrigerator for a few minutes to re-chill). 

Bake cookies for 8 to 12 minutes, depending on thickness. Let cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet, then remove to a wire rack. Cool completely before icing or decorating (I baked mine at night, and then decorated the next morning).


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tsp cream
  • 2 tsp light corn syrup (or honey)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • Food coloring (optional)

In a bowl, combine ingredients and food coloring. Add more cream is necessary if consistency is too thick. Fill a piping bag or squeeze bottle with the icing. Start to pipe along the border, then fill in the middle.

(Note: For my cookies, I let the bottom layer of icing set before I did the 2nd layer of decorations).


I used my gingerbread and stocking cookie cutters, but snowflakes, candy canes, or even just plain round cutters would work perfect for this recipe. Don’t worry if this icing isn’t perfect, don’t worry if the cookies break. The key is to just have fun with it!

I hope everyone has a very happy holiday!

Until next time!


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