Yield
4-5 dozen

Whether you're craving chocolate cookies, lemon cookies, spice cookies, or sugar cookies, you can tweak this foolproof cookie base to bake a variety of Christmas cookies.

How to Make It

Step 1

For Sugar Cookies: Cream butter and 1 2/3 cups sugar in bowl of an electric mixer and beat until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add vanilla, baking powder and salt and beat at medium speed until mixed. Add eggs; beat until blended. Add flour and mix at low speed until combined, scraping down bowl once or twice. For Spice Cookies: Beat 2 Tbsp. sugar, ginger, cinnamon and allspice into full batch of Sugar Cookie dough. For Lemon Cookies: Beat lemon zest into full batch of Sugar Cookie dough. For Chocolate Cookies: Follow Step 1, but add cocoa powder after beating in eggs and then add only 2 2/3 cups flour.

Step 2

Divide dough in half. Using hands, shape dough into discs, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill until firm, at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.

Step 3

Arrange racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment.

Step 4

Remove 1 disc of dough from refrigerator. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut cookies into stars, snowflakes or any other shapes. Transfer cookies, with a metal spatula, to baking sheets and chill for 10 minutes. Bake cookies 12 to 15 minutes, depending upon thickness and size, rotating pans halfway through, until golden and firm to touch. Cool for 5 minutes, transfer with a metal spatula to racks and let cool. Repeat with remaining dough.

Step 5

To decorate cookies with solid icing, put some Royal Icing in a pastry bag with a small plain, round tip. (Or put icing in a sturdy plastic bag and snip a tiny hole in one corner.) Pipe around edge of each cookie and let dry. Stir 1 Tbsp. water into another portion of Royal Icing to soften; put thinned icing in a clean pastry bag or new plastic bag. Pipe icing onto each cookie, flooding inside of border. Let dry. Re-pipe border. Sprinkle cookie with sanding sugar, shake off excess and let dry.

Step 6

To decorate cookies with stripes and dots, use thicker icing and pipe designs as shown in photos. (Cookies may be stored, tightly covered, in a tin for up to 2 weeks.)

Ratings & Reviews

practicingchef's Review

BerkshireJulie
December 19, 2012
N/A

BerkshireJulie's Review

1913Sunshine
November 26, 2011
N/A

1913Sunshine's Review

practicingchef
March 04, 2011
i made the chocolate cookies and added 5 drops of pepperment oil then dipped the baked cookies in melted chocolate in which i added 5 more drops of pepperment oil. they were very yummy.....yum!

Alejandra65's Review

rkoenig
December 07, 2010
I think that cooking is not an exact science, so when I read a new recipe, I change some ingredients to suit my taste. I have made these cookies and they are fantastic! They were such a success among my family members! Thank you!

BettyB's Review

candylind
December 01, 2010
sounds great and fine idea but has anyone actually MADE these yet??i will try but not sure how soon.

CookingCrazy's Review

jahnae
December 01, 2010
Just read the recipe. It tells you how much of everything to use. The exact amount of spices is listed in the ingredient list. For Spice Cookies: Beat 2 Tbsp. sugar, ginger, cinnamon and allspice into full batch of Sugar Cookie dough. For Lemon Cookies: Beat lemon zest into full batch of Sugar Cookie dough. For Chocolate Cookies: Follow Step 1, but add cocoa powder after beating in eggs and then add only 2 2/3 cups flour.

jahnae's Review

CookingCrazy
January 10, 2010
it look fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

vandercracken's Review

Alejandra65
December 18, 2009
It sounded like a great idea to make four different kinds of cookies from one base, but without amounts for the lemon peel or cocoa, I wouldn't attempt to make them.

maryjeank's Review

BettyB
December 17, 2009
need the amount of ingredients to make the spice, lemon and chocolate versions as I am not into GUESSING amounts if I am using a recipe

rkoenig's Review

vandercracken
December 17, 2009
I'm sure they'll post a correction shortly. My guess if, if they reduced the flour by one cup, that the cocoa would be 1 cup. I think the lemon zest would be up to taste. For the full recipe, I'd guess the zest of 1 or 2 lemons, depending on taste. I love versatile recipes! This sounds like a good one for a base for a lemon tart too.