It seems like everyone is baking this time of year –– their sleeves rolled back, ovens cranked up, and standing knee-high in flour and sugar (or if they’re not getting their hands dirty, they’re at least reposting ridiculously beautiful images of baked treats that inspire you to get into the kitchen). Of course, I am perusing through Martha’s holiday baking tips and tricks to get all of my cookie ideas.
While I love cookies of all types of flavors, to save time and avoid mess in the kitchen during the busy season, I usually make one type of cookie dough and add a few tweaks to each batch for variety. This year I am sticking to the classic sugar cookie recipe ––made gluten free using Cup4Cup. I’ve made a large batch using the recipe below. Here are my favorite tricks and tips for fun, festive decorating to make them extra special. Here are a few of my favorite sugar cookie ideas:
This Marbelized Peppermint-Candy Cookie decorating technique (pictured above). is such an adorable idea –– I love to wrap each cookie individually in cellophane and tie both ends to give it the “after-dinner mint” look. This is a great mini treat to take to your offices or school to share with everyone.
What’s great about sugar cookie dough is that it can essentially be cut out and shaped into anything. The beauty of this is, using one base cookie dough results in a variety of different decorations that will surely impress everyone. This is also a great way to get your kids involved and participating while expressing their own artistic flair.
Gluten-Free Holiday Sugar Cookies
6.3 ounces (12 1/2 tbsp.) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
1 3/4 cups + 3 tablespoons Cup4Cup flour
- Place butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment. Turn to medium-low speed and cream until smooth. Add the sugar and salt and mix on medium-low for about 2 minutes, until fluffy. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl. Add vanilla paste and mix on low speed for about 30 seconds to distribute evenly.
- Add the flour in 2 additions, mixing on low speed for 15 to 30 seconds after each, or until just combined. Scrape the bottom of the bowl to incorporate any flour that may have settled there.
- Mound the dough on the work surface and push it together in a 5-inch square block. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.
- Position racks in oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper.
- Unwrap dough and place it between 2 pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap. With a rolling pin, pound the top of the dough, working from left to right, to begin to flatten it, then turn the dough 90 degrees and repeat. Roll the dough out to about 1/4 inch thick on a well-floured surface to prevent sticking. Use decorative cutters to cut out the cookies and place on sheet pans, leave space between them. NOTE: If dough is very stiff, squeeze in your hands to make it more pliable.
- Bake until pale golden brown, about 10-15 minutes, reversing the positiong of the sheet pan halfway through baking. Take note that baking time with vary depending on the size of the shapes used. Set pans on cooling rack for 5-10 minutes and then transfer cookies to the rack and cool completely.
Note: Contributor recipes are not tested by the Martha Stewart test kitchen.