It’s three days before Christmas. I should be fervently baking (more) cookies. Or planning my menu for Christmas dinner. Or cleaning my house. Or wrapping gifts. Or doing one of a million other things that need to happen before December 25th.
But it’s a gloriously perfect 78 degrees outside, and I just can’t bring myself to do any of those things.
So, instead of checking things off of my Christmas to-do list while my toddler naps, I’m digging out our sand toys and getting ready for an afternoon at the beach.
I grew up in the North. I have a deep-seated respect for Northern Christmas traditions. Sledding, Ice skating. Skiing. Building snowmen. Chilly walks down snow-covered streets. Snuggling up in front of the fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa. These are the things that Northern Christmases are made of.
And while I may always be a Northerner at heart, today I’m a Southerner through-and-through.
Because there’s nothing I’d rather do today than spend the afternoon at the beach with my family. In fact, we might just have to make this a new tradition.
So while we head out to soak up some sun, I’ll leave you with my favorite sugar cookie recipe. Nothing says Christmas like frosted sugar cookies in fun holiday shapes. Even if they’re from a pseudo-Southerner who is spending Christmas weekend at the beach.
Sugar Cookie Cutouts
Recipe courtesy of AllRecipes
Active time: 45 minutes
Start to finish: 2 hours
Makes 5-6 dozen cookies, depending on shape/size
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
In the bowl of stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters. Place cookies 1-inch apart on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or a Silpat
Bake 6 to 8 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.
My favorite frosting for cutout cookies is a royal icing. I used the same frosting on my gingerbread bells, which you can find here.