Christmas Cookies

By Jamie Harms

When I talk to my children about what they look forward to most about Christmas, what is usually mentioned is the large tray of cookies that my mom has at her house when we arrive. It is full of sugar cookies, chocolate no-bake cookies, haystack cookies with marshmallows, and gingerbread cookies. It sits on the edge of her counter whenever one needs a treat. She keeps extras of each kind of her homemade cookies in the cupboard, so the tray is continually inviting you to take just one more.

Besides just enjoying cookies at Grandma’s, we have traditionally made cookies around the holidays, including at Christmastime, to share with our neighbors. While the business of life can make it hard to connect with those in such close proximity to us, making and delivering cookies is an easy way to bless your neighbors and break the ice, so you can say “hi” at the mailbox, invite them over for dinner, or talk to them about Jesus. Thus, if you have a few hours in an afternoon, you might consider gathering the kids and baking cookies to take to neighbors. If you need a tried-and-true recipe to get started, I have included one of our family favorites below.

Christmas Sugar Cookies

1 c. butter softened
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
5 c. flour (approximately)
1 t. salt
1 ½ t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
¼ c. milk
1 t. vanilla

Cream the butter and the sugar together in a large bowl. Add the vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until fluffy for about 3 minutes. Sift the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder into a separate bowl.  Add ⅓ of the flour mixture to the butter mixture followed by half the milk. Add the next ⅓ of the flour mixture to the butter mixture along with the rest of the milk. Finish adding the last ⅓ of the flour mixture to the dough. Adjust the dough by adding any extra flour so the dough is not sticky but smooth. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for several hours. Remove chilled dough from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before rolling. Roll out the dough to ¼ inch thickness and cut into shapes using desired cookie cutters. Place 1 inch apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Decorate cookie dough with sprinkles, cinnamon imperials, and colored sugar before baking. Bake at 400 degrees for about 8 minutes, rotating pan 180 degrees halfway through the baking time until the edges of the cookies are barely golden brown. Cool on the pan for 2 minutes, then put on a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!