It’s here! It’s here! Cookie Week has begun!
And I can’t think of a better way to start it off than with a tried and true classic – the cutout cookie. There isn’t a more quintessentially Christmas-y cookie out there, in my opinion.
And these cutouts? Oh, they’re something special. First of all, they’re a recipe that’s been passed down through the family. Tried and true and trusted. And for good reason! The recipe is simple and essentially fool-proof. Second, it’s gonna make a lot of dough. And I mean a. lot. Dozens of dozens of cookies. Depending on the size of your cutters you could be looking at 150 – 200 cookies. Now that’s a problem I enjoy having. Lastly, they’re delicious! I find that a lot of cutouts sacrifice flavor for function. Sure, they maintain they’re perfect shape, but they taste like cardboard…with less flavor. I’ll take a slightly soft, sweet, and chewy cookie that's a bit soft on the edges over a cardboard cutout any day.
Who’s with me?
Grandma Green’s Cutout Cookies
1 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon baking soda
6 cups flour
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Stir in the egg and vanilla extract until combined.
In a small bowl, stir together the water and baking soda. Pour into mixer and blend.
Add the flour, 1 cup at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. On the last cup, add in nutmeg as well.
Divide dough in two, wrap in plastic, and chill for at least two hours, if not over night.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking pans with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set aside.
Remove one half of the chilled dough and break off a sizeable portion. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to roughly ⅛ of an inch thick. Cut into shapes using your favorite (floured) cutters.
Place on prepared baking sheets about 1 inch apart.
Bake in preheated over for 6 minutes until the edges just barely begin to turn golden. Remove to rack to cool completely before removing from pan.
Frost with your favorite frosting (here’s mine). Store in an airtight container for up to five days.
*In between batches, throw your baking sheets in the fridge, this will help the cookies keep their shape and prevent spreading.
*I usually work with about 4 pans at a time. One cooling, one in the oven, one in the fridge, one being filled with dough. Rotate and dominate.
*This dough can be frozen pre and post-cookie cutters. – Allow it to thaw in the fridge for one day if it’s not cut or move directly from freezer to oven if cut.