These simple cut out cookies have only a few ingredients and are free of dairy, eggs, and includes vegan friendly and gluten-free alternatives!
It just doesn’t feel like Christmas, unless we’ve spent at least one day baking up cookies. We love all the cookies, but my kids look forward to decorating cut out cookies the most. Over the years I’ve collected quite a few cookie cutters. I’m a sucker for after holiday sales too, so my collection grows each year. Like, do I really need another snowman cookie cutter? No, but at 75% off, why not?! 🙈
It’s been a busy season, but I finally busted out our big box of cookie cutters this past week and baked up a few dozen Christmas cookies. It’s a tradition we’ve had since the kids could hold a piping bag. Although I’ve managed to make our cookies with maple syrup instead of sugar, I haven’t found a good replacement for a simple powdered sugar icing for piping. You can opt to leave off the icing, but I included the easy recipe in the notes below if you’d like to give it a try.
We have so much fun decorating cookies and, as usual, now have several dozen cookies in the kitchen calling out to me!
I hope you enjoy these! Please let me know if you give them a try!
- In a large mixing bowl, combine softened butter and maple syrup. Mix until well blended. Add 2 cups of flour, salt, and vanilla. Blend until well incorporated, about 1-2 minutes. Dough should be similar in consistency to the photo above, like regular cookie dough. If your dough is too dry for some reason, you can add a splash of water to bring it together; too loose add flour a tablespoon at a time until it forms a soft dough.
- Roll dough between two large pieces of parchment paper, to about ¼-inch thick. The thinner you roll the dough, the more crisp/crunchy they will be. Dust with a little flour if it gets sticky. Use any cookie cutter to cut out shapes and place 2-inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. If dough is too fragile to transfer, use a spatula or refrigerate until cold and you should be able to handle it better. Re-roll and repeat with remaining dough.
- If you didn't already refrigerate the dough, I like to place pans in the refrigerator for at least 15–20 minutes to chill the dough. This helps the cookies hold their shape better.
- Ten minutes before baking, preheat oven to 350F. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned and center is set. The cookies will be pretty light in color. Allow to cool slightly on the pan and then transfer cookies to a rack to cool thoroughly. They can be crumbly if handled when they're hot.
- Eat plain or decorate with your favorite icing. I used a simple powdered sugar icing (not refined sugar free) which hardens quickly and can be stacked without sticking. Recipe in notes below. Makes about 1–2 dozen cookies, depending on your cookie cutters.
Place icing into a piping bag, sandwich baggie, or squeeze bottle and cut a small opening in the tip. Decorate the cookies as you wish and allow to dry thoroughly before stacking.
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