12 Days of Cookies – Day 1: Frosted Sugar Cookies

Traditional sugar cookies frosted with buttercream and dressed up for the holiday make these Frosted Sugar Cookies the perfect Christmas treat!

Holiday Frosted Sugar Cookies #12DaysOfCookies | JavaCupcake.com

Every Christmas I make dozens of cookies.  Dozens upon dozens upon dozens.  I make everything from peanut butter blossoms to chocolate crinkles to thumbprints and of course, sugar cookies.

If you’ve been reading JavaCupcake for a while, you’ll know I’ve posted the recipe for these sugar cookies many times and for many different occasions or holidays.  This recipe is the perfect sugar cookie recipe and it comes out beautifully every time I make it.  It also comes from the cookbook my mother and I used to bake from when I was kid.

So this recipe has sentimental value.  A lot of it.  These sugar cookies are one of the first things I can remember baking with my Mom as a kid.  She made making these every Christmas a tradition… one that I’ve carried on to my family.

And some day, I’ll pass on the cookbook to my daughter so that she can teach her daughter to bake sugar cookies.

Holiday Frosted Sugar Cookies #12DaysOfCookies | JavaCupcake.com

Since I wanted to make these frosted sugar cookies special for Christmas, I used a basic round cookie cutter to shape the dough.  When we’re making these cookies for Santa, was use different shapes of cookie cutters… like trees, snowflakes, stars, etc… but I wanted these to be the same in size and shape to show you how easy they’d be to make for your holiday party.

Aren’t they just beautiful in red and green?  Simple, yet perfect for a Christmas party or cookie exchange.  Honestly, I think they look a lot like I bought them in a bakery shaped this way.

Enjoy!

Frosted Sugar Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
 
Serves: 2 dozen cookies
Ingredients
Cookies
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
Buttercream Frosting
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1lb powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • up to ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • Red & Green gel food coloring
  • Red, green & white sugar pearls
Instructions
Cookies
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the butter and shortening together until smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
  2. Add the sugar and beat on high until incorporated.
  3. One at a time, add the eggs and beat well after each addition. Mix on high for 1 minute until pale yellow and fluffy.
  4. Mix in the vanilla.
  5. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  6. Add this mixture to the butter and sugar and mix until just combined.
  7. Cover with plastic and refrigerate 2 hours or over night.
  8. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400 F degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  9. On a floured counter, knead the dough 2-3 times until smooth. Roll out cookie dough to about ⅛" thick. Cut out 3" circles with a cutter and place on the cookie sheet 1" apart. Repeat until all the dough has been used.
  10. Bake for 6-7 minutes or until the edges are SLIGHTLY brown. DO NOT OVER BAKE!!
  11. Allow to cool on the pan for 1-2 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Buttercream
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter.
  2. Add the powdered sugar and mix on high until smooth.
  3. Mix in the vanilla and salt. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
  4. Add up to ½ cup of heavy whipping cream until you reach your desired consistency. If you like it thicker, add less cream. If you want it thinner, add more cream.
  5. Whip on high for 2 minutes.
  6. Separate frosting into two bowls. Color one with red and another with green gel coloring.
Assembly & Storage
  1. Frost half the cookies with red and the other half with green.
  2. Sprinkle sugar pears on top of the frosting.
  3. Store in an air tight container for up to a week.

Want more cookies?

Check out the main page for the 12 Days of Cookies and you’ll find the links to all the recipes! Next cookie will be posted on Black Friday!

12 Days of Cookies - Day 1 | JavaCupcake.com

 

 

White Chocolate Molasses Cookies

A perfect Fall treat, these molasses cookies are topped with a thin layer of white chocolate and are thin, chewy and oh so delicious!

White Chocolate Molasses Cookies - thin and chewy molasses cookies topped with white chocolate | JavaCupcake.com

My parents were creatures of habit.  In their pantry they had stocked the same cookies all the time.  My dad loved Fig Newtons and my Mom loved Archway brand cookies.  I remember because I used to sneak into the cookies at night and enjoy one (or three) myself.

My favorites were always the molasses cookies.  Sometimes, my parents would buy the iced cookies and sometimes they would bring home the molasses cookies that were covered in sugar.  Either way, they were both super delicious.  They were chewy, full of flavor and so good with a big glass of milk.

I wanted to recreate those cookies at home but knew I probably couldn’t get them exactly the same as I remembered, so I thought I’d try for something similar .

These White Chocolate Molasses Cookies came pretty close to being just as good as the Archway ones.  My version is made with pumpkin pie spice and lots of sweet molasses and then they are topped with a thin layer of melted white chocolate.

White Chocolate Molasses Cookies - thin and chewy molasses cookies topped with white chocolate | JavaCupcake.com

Now, I don’t remember the Archway cookies being iced with white chocolate, but my version of the cookies are going to make my husband happy when he gets them in Afghanistan.  He loves white chocolate… so you can say I iced them in white chocolate for him.  :)

If you’re looking for more molasses flavored cookies, try my White Chocolate Gingerbread Blossoms.  They’re a small, round cookie topped with a dollop of white chocolate… similar to these cookies, but bite size and so good!

If you want a taste of your childhood – if it was anything like mine – then you’ll love these White Chocolate Molasses Cookies.

Enjoy!

UPDATE:  I sent my husband in Afghanistan a box of cookies for Christmas and he couldn’t stop raving about these cookies.  They were his favorite out of the entire box!  I guess if the hubby likes them… they’re definitely a winner!

White Chocolate Molasses Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
 
Serves: 3 dozen cookies
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs, large
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 2 tsp vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 3¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tsps baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 12oz bag of white chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula to ensure everything has been combined.
  3. One at a time, add the eggs and mix for 1 minute on high. Again, scrape the sides of the bowl.
  4. Add the molasses and vinegar and mix until combined.
  5. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice.
  6. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and mix until it all comes together. Scrape the bottom of the bowl and mix again.
  7. Roll 2 Tbsp of dough into a ball and place 2" apart on your prepared cookie sheet.
  8. Bake 8-10 minutes.
  9. Cool on the pan for 3-5 minutes them remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Melt the white chocolate.
  11. Spread a thin layer of white chocolate onto each cooled cookie. Allow the chocolate to harden before serving or storing.
  12. Store cookies in an air tight container for up to 10 days.

Candy Corn Mummy Sugar Cookies

Celebrate Halloween with these super cute and very simple Candy Corn Mummy Sugar Cookies! They are sure to please even the scariest of little monsters this Halloween!

Candy Corn Mummy Sugar Cookies | JavaCupcake.com

I love sugar cookies frosted with buttercream.  Seriously.  I am in love.  I have made them for Valentine’s Day, Spring (this one too), Easter, Halloween and Christmas every year for the past 30 years probably.  All thanks to Betty Crocker.

Candy-Corn-Mummy-Sugar-Cookies-121

If you’ve clicked through on any of those links above, you’ll see that the recipe is the same.  I have been using the same Betty Crocker sugar cookie recipe for as long as I can remember.   I actually own two copies of the Cooky Book it came from.  One copy belonged to my mother and one to my grandmother.  I hope some day to give one of those to my daughter so that she can teach her daughter the same recipe.

Candy Corn Mummy Sugar Cookies | JavaCupcake.com

These sugar cookies are thick, fluffy, soft, moist and so full of delicious flavor.  They’d be great without frosting, dunked in coffee or even with a side of sliced berries.  They are really THE BEST sugar cookie recipe ever.

The dough is incredibly forgiving also.  It’s not one of those doughs that lose their texture or flavor if you work them too much.  You can roll, cut, reroll and cut again with this dough and you’ll have perfect cookies every time.

Candy Corn Mummy Sugar Cookies | JavaCupcake.com

This year, I was inspired to make these cookies when I saw them on With Sprinkles on Top.  I thought WOW, those are so cute, so simple, I could totally make them with the Betty Crocker recipe!  So, that’s what I did.  But instead of using the oval, egg shaped cookie cutter… I rolled out the dough and hand cut candy corn shapes.

Candy Corn Mummy Sugar Cookies | JavaCupcake.com

I actually really like how they aren’t all perfectly the same size and shape.  Because really, there are no two candy corns that are exactly the same size or shape either.  Heck, most of the time the white tip of the candy has broken off!

Oh, and did I mention the buttercream icing yet?  I used my favorite buttercream recipe and added a bit more heavy cream to make it super smooth and spreadable.  It’s got great vanilla flavor and perfectly compliments the soft sugar cookie underneath!

Candy Corn Mummy Sugar Cookies | JavaCupcake.com

So, if you’re looking for a cute, simple and delicious Halloween cookie for your kids classroom for or for a party, these are the cookies for you!

Enjoy!

Candy Corn Mummy Sugar Cookies | JavaCupcake.com

Candy Corn Mummy Sugar Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
 
Serves: 4 dozen cookies
Ingredients
Candy Corn Mummy Sugar Cookies
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp salt
Buttercream Frosting
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1lb powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • up to ½ cup heavy cream
  • orange & yellow Wilton food coloring gel
  • disposable piping bag & Wilton tip #47 (flat tip)
  • Wilton googly eyes
Instructions
Candy Corn Mummy Sugar Cookies
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the butter and shortening together until smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
  2. Add the sugar and beat on high until incorporated.
  3. One at a time, add the eggs and beat well after each addition. Mix on high for 1 minute until pale yellow and fluffy.
  4. Mix in the vanilla.
  5. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  6. Add this mixture to the butter and sugar and mix until just combined.
  7. Cover with plastic and refrigerate 2 hours or over night.
  8. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400 F degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  9. On a floured counter, knead the dough 2-3 times until smooth. Roll out cookie dough to about ⅛" thick. Cut out triangle shapes with a knife and place cookies on the cookie sheet 1" apart. Repeat until all the dough has been used.
  10. Bake for 6-7 minutes or until the edges are SLIGHTLY brown. DO NOT OVER BAKE!!
  11. Allow to cool on the pan for 1-2 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Buttercream
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter.
  2. Add the powdered sugar and mix on high until smooth.
  3. Mix in the vanilla and salt. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
  4. Add up to ½ cup of heavy whipping cream until you reach your desired consistency. If you like it thicker, add less cream. If you want it thinner, add more cream.
  5. Whip on high for 2 minutes.
  6. Separate frosting into three bowls. Color one with yellow and another with orange.
Assembly
  1. Once the cookies have cooled completely, fill a piping bag fitted with a Wilton #47 or any flat opening top with white frosting.
  2. Pipe lines of frosting across the top third of the cookie, like how mummy bandages would look. Repeat on all the cookies with the white frosting.
  3. Fill another bag with orange frosting and repeat piping mummy bandages on the 2nd their of the cookie.
  4. Finally, fill one last bag with the yellow frosting and pipe mummy bandages on the remaining section of the cookie.
  5. Gently press two googly eyes on the cookie just at the bottom of the white section.

Buttercream Rose Sugar Cookies

Buttercream Rose Sugar Cookies by JavaCupcake

I had never intended for these Buttercream Rose Sugar Cookies to be their own post…  But, after I piped on the roses I just thought they were too pretty not to share!

The cookie is a basic sugar cookie… the recipe comes from the Betty Crocker Cooky Book that I’ve been using for 30 years.  This is the recipe that my Mom used and that her Mom used.  The cookies come out perfect every time.  You could use any shape cookie cutter you wanted, as long as the general shape was round.  I like the scalloped edges the best.

The frosting is a basic buttercream and I tinted it green.  Really, you could color it several different shades of pretty pastel colors and it would be so super cute for a Spring party!

Enjoy!

Buttercream Rose Sugar Cookies by JavaCupcake

Buttercream Rose Sugar Cookies
 
Serves: 2 dozen cookies
Ingredients
Sugar Cookies
  • ½ cup shortening
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
Buttercream
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 lb powdered sugar, sifted
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • Wilton Leaf Green food coloring gel
  • Wilton 1M closed star tip
  • Disposable piping bag
Instructions
Sugar Cookies
  1. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream butter, shortening and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs and flavoring and mix on high for 2 minutes.
  4. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together. Add it to the creamed mixture and blend on medium speed until all has been incorporated. Chill at least 1 hour.
  5. Pre-heat oven to 400 F degrees. Roll dough ¼ inch thick on lightly floured board. Cut with 3” scalloped cookie cutter and place on prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until cookies are a delicate golden color.
  7. Allow to cool on cookie sheet 3-4 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Buttercream
  1. Cream together the butter and sugar until smooth.
  2. Add the vanilla, salt and heavy cream. Beat on high for 4-5 minutes or until light and fluffy. NOTE: This frosting will be softer than my standard buttercream - I like it softer for spreading on cookies.
  3. Using a toothpick, add a small dollop of gel and mix until the color is uniform.
Assembly
  1. Fit your piping bag with the Wilton 1M closed star tip.
  2. Starting in the center of the cookie, pipe the frosting around the cookie until you reach the edge. For a more detailed description on how to make the rose, watch this video .

 

Lemon Blackberry Shortbread Cookies

Every holiday season I’m always on the lookout for a great new cookie to add to my recipe box.  Last week, more than 500 cookie recipes were posted in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap including my recipe for Candy Cane Crinkle Blossoms.

Lemon Blackberry Shortbread Cookies by JavaCupcake

While browsing through all the fantastic cookies, I came across these beautiful raspberry almond thumbprint cookies by Saving Room for Dessert.  Tricia’s recipe is so simple that I couldn’t resist trying them myself!

In my cabinet I have this beautiful jar of handmade Blackberry jam made by a local German couple.  I have tried 5-6 different flavors of their jams and they are THE BEST I’ve ever tasted.  I am definitely spoiled being able to have access to such quality, homemade foods here in Germany!  So, I decided to use this jam for these cookies and flavor the dough with lemon instead of almond.  Lemon and blackberry make an amazing combination, so I’m sure these cookies will be a hit!

PS…. If I were to make these again, I’d make them more like thumbprint cookies and make the hole for the jam bigger… more jam the merrier!

Enjoy!

 

Lemon Blackberry Shortbread Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
 
Serves: 3 dozen cookies
Ingredients
Cookies
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • Blackberry jam
Lemon Glaze
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3-4 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. I used a hand mixer, but you can use your stand mixer if that's easier for you.
  2. Add the lemon extract and mix until combined.
  3. With the mixer on low, blend in the flour. The dough will be clumpy.
  4. In the bowl, knead the dough 8-10 times or until it's come together to form a ball.
  5. Wrap dough ball in plastic and chill for 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Shape 1 inch balls of dough and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.
  8. Using the tip of a wooden spoon, press a hole into the center of each cookie at least ½ way down.
  9. Fill each hole with blackberry jam. (I used a piping bag with the jam in it to squeeze into each hole.)
  10. Bake for 13-14 minutes or until golden brown. Let cookies stand for 1 minute before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
  11. Once cool, mix the powdered sugar, cream and lemon extract. Drizzle over each cookie. (Again, I filled a piping bag filled with the glaze to drizzle over each cookie.)

Frosted Sugar Cookies for Valentine’s Day

One of the things I baked this weekend as a part of the Valentine’s Day Love Boxes I made were my favorite sugar cookies frosted and decorated.  I make these cookies several times a year and I devour at least a dozen of them myself every time.

I’ve posted the recipe before (Spring Sugar Cookies) for the cookies, but have since then added my own homemade buttercream to the mix instead of a jar of pre-made frosting.

So, here they are together… my favorite sugar cookie recipe with my favorite vanilla buttercream recipe.

These cookies are full of flavor, soft, and puff up perfectly when baking. The frosting, it’s smooth, creamy and so delicious!!

Roll & Cut Sugar Cookies
 
Prep time
 
Serves: 5-6 dozen cookies (depending on cookie cutter size)
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup shortening
  • ¾ unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 5 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • heart shaped cookie cutters
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and shortening.
  2. Add the sugar, eggs, and almond extract and mix on high until light and fluffy – about 4-5 minutes.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Add the flour to the butter mixture and mix until combined. Make sure you are scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl.
  5. Cover and chill at least 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 400 F degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Roll dough ¼ inch thick on lightly floured surface. Cut with cookie cutter and place on baking sheet.
  8. Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until cookies are a delicate golden color. NOTE: Mine only take 6 minutes! Do not let the edges get too brown, you want the bottoms to just barely start to turn a golden color.
  9. Remove immediately from pan to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Perfect Vanilla Buttercream
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Serves: Enough to frost 5-6 dozen cookies with left-overs
Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • the seeds of one Madagascar vanilla bean
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2lbs powdered sugar
  • ¼-1/2 cup Madagascar vanilla bean infused heavy whipping cream (Recipe here)
  • pink food gel – optional
  • sprinkles – optional
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese.
  2. Add the vanilla extract and vanilla bean seeds and mix until combined.
  3. 1lb at a time, add the powdered sugar. Begin on low speed and increase speed until mixture becomes smooth. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl.
  4. After each addition of sugar, add 3-4 tbsp of cream. Beat on high to combine.
  5. Add as much cream as you want until you have a smooth, spreadable consistency. NOTE: I like to make this buttercream a little thinner than what I’d make if I was using it for cupcakes, so I add more cream.
  6. Once you have your desired consistency, beat on high for 4-5 minutes.
  7. If you want to tint the frosting, add as much gel as you want until you get the color you need. Scrape sides/bottom of bowl to make sure it’s all uniform in color.
  8. Frost cookies and decorate with sprinkles!
  9. EAT!


Sweetheart Sugar Cookie Bars

I’m stocked with bags and bags and bags of chocolate.  Kisses, chips, m&m’s, bars, chunks, filled and fruity, seasonal… you name it, I have it right now.

My favorite though… the bag of pink, white and red M&M’s.  Simple yet so darn cute when used just right!

Today, there is 3 inches of new snow on the ground and it’s a perfect day to stay inside and whip up something sweet with these Valentine themed M&M’s for my daughter and her friends.  They’re spending the afternoon sledding and playing in the snow… so they’re definitely going to need a little energy from these cookie bars!

Normally, when I make sugar cookies, I use a dough that needs to be chilled and rolled… but I thought I’d try something a little different this time.  A sugar cookie that is cut, like a bar or with a cookie cutter, already frosted and decorated… and I use the Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Recipe.  This recipe is just as easy, if not simpler and it gets pressed into a jelly roll pan!

The frosting, it’s my new favorite.  A bit of cream cheese and a lot of Madagascar vanilla!  YUM!

Sweetheart Sugar Cookie Bars
Makes 18+ bars

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp almond extract
the seeds of 1 Madagascar vanilla bean (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)

5 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 drop of Americaolor “Red Red” food gel

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F degrees.  Line 13x18x1 in jelly roll pan (really big, deep cookie sheet!) with parchment paper and spray paper and sides of pan with cooking spray.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer using a paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar, eggs, almond and vanilla.  You want to beat this mixture on high for 4-5 minutes to get it very light and fluffy!
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda.
  4. With the mixer on low, add the flour in three parts.  Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix until incorporated thoroughly.
  5. Press the dough into the pan.  NOTE: I used a piece of wax paper to help spread out the dough into the edges and corners.
  6. Bake in the center of the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the edges begin to turn golden.
  7. Cool completely on a wire rack, in the pan, before frosting.

Madagascar Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

2oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 lb powdered sugar
3-5 tbsp Madagascar Vanilla Cream

  1. Cream together the cream cheese and butter.
  2. Slowly add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
  3. Add the cream until you get your desired consistency.  I like a thinner, smoother frosting for cookies so I add more cream than less.
  4. Beat on high for 5-6 minutes.

To Assemble Cookies: 

Cutting board
Offset spatula
Large knife
Cookie bar
Frosting
M&M candies
Heart shaped cookie cutter

  1. Use a knife to loosen cookie from the pan.  Gently slide the cookie out of the pan and onto the counter or a large cutting board.
  2. Using an offset spatula, spread a thin layer of frosting evenly over the cookie.
  3. Sprinkle whole M&M’s evenly over the cookie bar.  Chop more M&M’s into small pieces, even crushed a bit, and sprinkle evenly over the cookie bar.
  4. Cut into squares and serve with a big glass of milk!
  5. You could also cut a few using a heart shaped cookie cutter too if you wanted to be really creative!