Christmas Cookies and What I Learned

A holiday tradition that my family has done for years and that Eric and I have carried on are Christmas sugar cookies. It is a recipe that my family has had for a very long time and is the perfect recipe! The cookies are not too sweet yet are delicious. They are also so fun to cut into shapes and decorate! Making these cookies is such a good way to kick off the holidays, have a fun bonding experience with whoever you are making them with, and have a nice holiday treat to share! So I thought I would share this with you today.


  • 1 cup softened butter (2 sticks)
  • 1.5 cups confectionery sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1/2 t almond/lemon extract (optional)
  • 2.5 cup of flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t cream of tarter

Thoroughly mix butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, and extract.

Blend in flour, baking soda, and cream of tarter.

this is what the finished dough should look like. Cover and chill 2-3 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350. Divide dough in half and roll out on lightly floured board or waxed paper. Cut desired shapes and add sprinkles.

These are some cookie cutters that we have had since my childhood! Makes it even more special.
Cookies ready to be put on the pan. Carefully roll away extra dough away from edges of cut-outs and use spatula to put on pan. This is where it all fell apart for us. Make sure to flour well and keep dough chilled before rolling out.

Bake on lightly greased baking pan 7 minutes.

Remember I said that this was a tradition? Well, unfortunately I have made grumpiness part of this tradition recently.  This is where the lessons come in :). I am a perfectionist and want the cookies to be magazine ready. When you start working with cut-outs it makes it a little trickier — especially when it is later at night (we started making the cut-outs at 9pm – my bed time is usually 10pm on weeknights. What can I say, a good night’s sleep is essential!). This is the first year I realized that I am always grumpy when I am making these cookies because I am trying to make them perfect. Eric was a wonderful help in pointing out that the cookies will taste the same whether they are in a pretty shape or not. So lesson learned, that perfection does not have to be outlined by creating a pretty shape or getting the perfect sprinkles on the cooking. Perfection is spending time with your husband, making cookies to share, and enjoying the holiday season. Not having something to brag about. Humility lesson learned. We did get to enjoy these fine looking cookies though! Yummy!

So this is something that I ask each and every reader to remind yourself this busy and sometimes hectic holiday season: perfection is not in finding each person the gift that they will always remember or decorating your house so when people drive by they slow down. The holiday season is remembering to look around you and find ways to give back and love. Whether it is baking cookies for someone, donating to the Salvation Army, picking up that piece of trash you would normally walk by, or however you feel best at expressing giving back.

So go against that pull of the overwhelming holidays and remember what is important. So take a deep breathe and enjoy! Hopefully after this post your deep breathe will be inhaling the aroma of fresh baked Christmas cookies. We still have some to share in the Rapp house so please feel free to stop by for a break and a cookie!