Whether you hold an annual cookie baking get-together, want to give them as gifts, or just need something to leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve, cookies are a holiday must-have. There are endless types of Christmas cookies to try, and we’ve got a classic cookie favorite: sugar cutouts. While it contains sugar, honey also becomes a natural sweetener, making this treat more than just a cookie-cutter choice.
Sugar Cutout Cookies
3 dozen 2½- to 3-inch cookies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
- ⅔ cup white whole-wheat flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup canola oil or corn oil
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, slightly softened
- ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- Finely grated zest of 1 medium lemon
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon honey
- 2½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract or lemon extract
To prepare cookie dough: Whisk all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl. Beat oil, butter, granulated sugar, egg and lemon zest in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until well-blended. Beat in honey, vanilla and almond (or lemon) extract until evenly incorporated.With the mixer on low speed, then medium speed beat about half the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until incorporated. Beat in the remaining flour mixture until just incorporated.
Divide the dough into thirds. Place one third on a 12-inch-long sheet of parchment paper and shape into a disk. Top with a second sheet of parchment. Roll the dough out between the parchment into an 8-inch circle about ¼-inch thick. Place the dough in the paper on a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough. Freeze on the baking sheet until cold and firm, at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day. Place another baking sheet in the freezer to chill, too (it will be used under the dough as the cookies are cut out).
To shape cookies: Position a rack in the middle of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet(s) with parchment paper. Working with one portion of dough at a time, remove from the freezer and place on the chilled baking sheet. Remove the top sheet of parchment and cut out cookies with 2½- to 3-inch cookie cutters. Transfer to a prepared baking sheet with a wide, thin spatula, spacing about 1½ inches apart. Repeat with the remaining dough. (If the dough gets too soft, freeze until firm again. As you cut out cookies, set aside the scraps. Shape all the scraps back into a disk and re-roll between parchment. Freeze for at least 30 minutes before cutting out.)
To decorate and bake cookies: Sprinkle cookies with red and green sugars and gently pat to help them adhere. Bake the cookies on the center rack, one pan at a time, until browned on the bottom, 6 to 12 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool.
- Calories: 97
- Fat: 4g
- Carbohydrates: 15g
- Cholesterol: 9mg
- Protein: 1g
- Sodium: 39mg
- Potassium: 16mg
*This article originally appeared in the December 2015 edition of FIT Magazine.