Dec 19

Spiced cutout cookies

The little balls in the center of the polka dots are candy sprinkles.

So, Larissa’s sugar cookie post the other day inspired me. For weeks now, I’d been meaning to bake cookies. Lots of cookies! SO MANY COOKIES. But I’m all talk, no action. So I didn’t actually ever get around to it.

But then I saw Larissa’s post, and those cookies looked delicious. That, coupled with the realization that Christmas-cookie season is almost over, spurred me to don my baker’s hat and oven mitts once again.

This recipe is basically just sugar cookies, but with some seasonally appropriate spices added to give the cookies some extra Christmas cheer. Like Larissa said in her recipe, you can substitute water or lemon juice for the milk in the icing.

Here are all the ingredients!Oops, I forgot the butter.
Mixing up the cookie dough.Cutting stars from the frozen cookie dough.Right out of the oven.

Recipe: Spiced cutout cookies

From “The Secrets of Baking” by Sherry Yard

  • 1½ sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • a pinch of ground cloves
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour, sifted


  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Adjust the rack to the lower third of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter on medium speed until pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle or beaters.
  3. Add the spices, sugar, salt and vanilla. Cream on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.
  4. Add the egg and beat on low speed for 15 seconds, or until fully incorporated. Do not overbeat. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and paddle.
  5. On low speed, add the flour. Beat until all of the flour is incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then mix on low speed for 15 to 30 seconds, or until you have an even-textured dough.
  6. Place the dough between two sheets of parchment, roll it out ¼-inch thick, and freeze for at least an hour.
  7. Carefully peel off the parchment and place the dough on a work surface dusted lightly with flour. Dip the cookie cutter in flour as needed. Place cookie-dough cutouts about an inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.
  8. Bake one sheet at a time for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges, turning the baking sheet from front to back halfway through the baking.

I'm not exactly sure why, but all my polka dots deflated overnight.Look at all the adorable cookies! (I ate the ugly ones.)So they kind of look like technicolor peas.

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