Ree Drummond sure loves the holidays. Between her 12 best holiday traditions and two signature holiday treats, she sure knows how to make her Oklahoma ranch a place to be holly-jolly. But it’s never officially the holidays until she’s made a batch of her favorite Christmas cookies.
The Pioneer Woman loves to make a classic sugar cookie with decorative frosting, perfect for the holidays—and practically any other season. When Ree shared her Christmas cookie recipe, she said these cookies look great with a classic egg yolk glaze on top. You could also use your favorite frosting and/or sprinkles. (Don’t miss out on our favorite sprinkles of the season!)
For the Cookies:
- 2/3 cup vegetable shortening
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon grated orange or lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 4 teaspoons milk
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out dough
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
For the Glaze:
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 to 3 drops food coloring
For the Icing (optional):
- One 2-pound bag powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons pasteurized egg whites
In a big bowl, cream together the shortening, sugar, vanilla and orange peel in a stand mixer. Then whip in the egg, and after that, the milk.
In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt; then blend them with the wet ingredients. Once the dough is thoroughly mixed, divide it in half, set it between layers of waxed paper, and chill it for an hour in the refrigerator.
Next, it’s cutout time! Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch and make any shapes you like.
Ree’s pro tip: On lightly greased cookie sheets, chill the cutouts in the fridge for another 30 minutes so they’ll keep their shape while baking.
While the cutouts chill, preheat the oven to 375º. This is the best time to put together that egg yolk glaze! Combine the egg yolk, water and food coloring. When the cutouts are nice and cool, brush on the glaze before baking.
Time to bake! They take just 6 to 7 minutes per batch, so don’t go far.
If you want to go a step further, while the cookies cool completely, put together the icing. Then decorate away. Make sure not to make these cookie decorating mistakes.
Ree’s pro tip: Let the cookies cool for a full 30 minutes before icing them.
No wonder Ree loves this recipe…it’s so dang easy! And it’s proof that Christmas cookies don’t have to be so complicated (although some can be pretty impressive).
This recipe is incredibly simple to throw together, and with such a short baking time, you’ll have cookies ready and frosted for that Christmas cookie swap later that day.