Holiday Butter Cookies

I’m attending a lot of virtual parties around blogland, and I think for at least some of them, we we’re supposed to bring virtual treats. That reminded me that way back in October when I was making these…

and these…

for the Nie Cookie Auction, and my 100th post giveaway, I promised to share the recipe. It’s probably about time I did.

I suppose you can make these for any holiday, but they have always been a Christmas tradition in my family. We haven’t made them this year, because we are going to wait until we go to “Lita’s” house (that what my children call my mom), so she can do most of the work. 🙂 Actually, I’m serious. She doesn’t like to have to paint all of the cookies, but doesn’t mind mixing, rolling out, cutting out, baking and glazing them all. See why we make such a great team!

Here is the woman herself, in action a couple of years ago (two of the children are mine, the blondie is my niece).Isn’t she amazing!


In a mixing bowl MIX:
1 C butter
1 C sugar
1 egg
2 2/3 C sifted flour
1/4 t salt
2 t vanilla
Mix. Roll dough on floured surface. Cut as desired. Bake 8-10 mins. @ 350*.
What the recipe doesn’t say is that you will have to roll the dough out again and again, to try and use every last scrap (unless you let your kids eat them all). Watch not to let them burn. Since they are thin cookies, you are only looking for a slight browning around the edges.
Here are some of my Halloween cookies baked and ready to go.

Now for the Frosting…but first a note:

The frosting calls for raw egg whites. My family has used the raw eggs for years, and I am not aware of a single issue with salmonella (or anything else), but you can substitute Meringue Powder like this, for the eggs if you are at all concerned. That is what I did with my Halloween cookies, just to be sure my auction and giveaway winners wouldn’t be getting sick on my watch!
You can buy Meringue Powder wherever cake decorating products are sold. I actually got mine at Walmart. I haven’t done an official taste test, but I think the frosting ends up tasting a little better with the eggs. But it is up to you. You decide!
So here is the recipe with the eggs: Substitution information is on the Meringue Powder can.
MIX together in mixing bowl:
2 egg whites
1 t. vanilla or almond flavoring
2 C powdered sugar
1 1/2 T water
BEAT at HIGH SPEED until it turns white and thick
FROST cookies and let sit until completely dry


THIN down some of the frosting and ADD coloring to make paint to put details on the cookies.

The frosting should look kind of like this:

We usually start with a plain white coat on all of the cookies. It makes sure they all get enough frosting and gives you a blank canvas to paint on. Just make sure you let them dry well before painting, like so:

So this is a picture of me mixing food coloring with the frosting to get ready to paint, but it isn’t the best example. I was going for purple and ended up adding way too much color and ending up with a dark charcoal gray. Fortunately, it was Halloween, so that was just fine!
So do this, but add less color. Depending on how thick you make the frosting, initially, and what type of food coloring you use, you may not even need to water down the frosting. You don’t want it to be too runny!
Mix all of your colors in their own little containers, and then using clean paint brushes, go to town!
Don’t be afraid if you end up with green angels or yellow snowmen. That is half of the fun! It is just that as my sister’s and I got older, we started trying to see how detailed we could make the cookies (don’t blame me, I’m the fourth sister…I was still in the green angel stage when that insanity first appeared. I could only follow suit). One trick is to use a very fine brush and paint details with plain black food coloring, instead of mixing black frosting. Try not to use a lot of the food coloring, though. It takes longer to dry and will get on everything (including faces)!
So if you try to paint each cookie this way, you’d better plan a full week of cookie decorating, but it is always fun to try and make at least one cookie extra special.
If you try making these, please send me a link, or upload your photos to the Facebook fan gallery!
For more festive cookie recipes, go here!


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  1. That looks like a lot of fun! I’ll have to try this recipe…but I need more patience to be able to paint them like you!

  2. You are one of the winners of the Christmas Card Contest Please e-mail
    with your contact information to redeem your prize.


  3. Misty Rice-Baniewicz says

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  4. Thrifty and Chic Mom says

    Thanks for sharing can’t wait to try them and decorate with the kids!

  5. Found your site through Thrifty and Chic Mom who’s site I found through Eat at Home (it was kind of a long trip).

    Just wanted to clarify: there’s no mention of chilling the dough. Does it need to be chilled? Because, if not, I’m so all over this recipe. I *always* forget to make the dough ahead of time. :-/

  6. I’m so impressed with those! We haven’t done cut-out cookies yet this year, but it is a very Christmasy project.

  7. desertskyquilts says

    Thanks especially for the frosting recipe. I never knew about meringue powder.

  8. Amy from Texas says

    Oh, I just saw Tip Junkie’s comment that you won the card contest! Very cool. I think your sister’s was the best!

    Okay, those cookies look awesome. My friend is baking me a gingerbread house from scratch today! We’re going to get it tonight. Guess I’ll have to move more clutter off my tables so we can decorate. We had the same idea with showing the real mess in our homes today. It’s a crazy busy time!! Glad to see someone else has a ton going on too.

    All your decorations are so cute. Oh, I wanted to warn you about those stocking holders. I love them, but my son pulled one of his stockings down when he was 2 and the holder fell about 1 mm from his skull, missed him and cracked my fireplace tile in half! Whew! Scary. Now I just use tape and hide it with garland:-) Good thing because his little sister has already pulled them all down. arg! ha.

  9. Fabulous sugar cookie recipe. Tomorrow is baking day and this will come in handy! Thanks. 🙂

  10. Jerri - Simply Sweet Home says

    Great looking cookies!

  11. Thanks everyone!

    Mideastmom–I’m sorry, I just realized I never answered your question. We have never bothered with chilling the dough. I suppose if you were making them in a really hot room, that might be helpful, but the dough is fairly stiff and holds up well. I’d love to know if you made the cookies and how they turned out!

  12. mideastmom says

    No problem at all. Our Christmas was very scaled-back this year due to (misnamed) morning sickness. 😛

    I’m thinking Valentine’s or Easter cookies. And boy am I glad to have a recipe that doesn’t require chilling! 🙂

  13. These are absolutely adorable!! Just became a follower. Discovered you through the CSI Project. Would love if you'd stop by my blog-


  1. […] on-line and used it as a guide. I decided the easiest way to frost them would be to dip them in the Christmas Cookie frosting that we have used for […]

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