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Amanda's amazing sugar cookies

Amanda's amazing sugar cookies
Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times

Holiday cookies can be divided into two categories. There are the picture-perfect cookies we see in the glossy magazines, the ones that make us oooh and ahhh over their dazzling designs and festive colors and look too pretty to eat. ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes, plus chilling time for the dough and decorating time | Makes about 7 dozen cookies, depending on the size

Amanda's amazing icing

  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 drop lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon milk, more or less as desired
  • Food coloring, if desired
  • Flavored extracts, if desired

Step 1In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon juice and corn syrup. Whisk in milk to make a thick, spreadable icing. If coloring the icing with liquid food coloring, you might want to add a little less milk as the coloring will dilute the frosting. For different flavors, add drops of vanilla, almond or lemon extract. For shinier icing, use a little more corn syrup and a little less milk. The frosting will keep, tightly covered and refrigerated, for up to 1 week.

Amanda's amazing sugar cookies and assembly

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Amanda's amazing icing

Step 1In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, until combined, then beat in the vanilla and almond extracts.

Step 2In a separate large bowl, sift together the flour, salt and baking powder. Slowly beat the flour mixture in with the butter mixture until combined to form a smooth dough.

Step 3Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or until well chilled.

Step 4Heat the oven to 350 degrees. On a floured surface, roll the dough to a thickness of about one-eighth inch. Cut out cookie shapes from the dough. Space the cookies about 1 inch apart on a baking sheet and bake until lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes.

Step 5Remove from the sheets and cool completely before icing. Ice as desired.

Note: Submitted by Amanda Rettke of Shafer, Minn.


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