Cookies for life

Making rollout cookies takes a bit of extra work. But these gems, which I bake with my son every December, are so worth it. With the double whammy of vanilla and almond flavoring — in the dough and in the icing — they’re so good: I swear you’ll want to make them every year.

Aunt Marilyn’s Sugar Thins

COOKIES

  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

FROSTING

  • 2½ cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup butter, softened 
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • ¼ cup milk  
  • Sprinkles and decorating sugars such as Wilton’s white sparkling sugar

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix butter and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth; then mix in the egg, vanilla and almond extract.

Whisk together flour, salt and baking powder in a separate bowl.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in two batches.

Shape the dough into two balls, adding a few drops of water if the dough is too crumbly.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to ¼-inch thick, making sure to keep the rolling pin constantly well-floured to prevent sticking.

Cut out cookies with cookie cutters.

Bake for 5–7 minutes or until the bottoms just start to turn a light golden brown. (Do not overbake. If anything, underbake.)

Remove cookies from the oven and transfer to a cooking rack after 1 minute.

Cool completely.

Mix the powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, almond extract and milk in a small bowl. 

Add more milk or powdered sugar to reach the desired consistency.

Frost cookies and dip into sugars and sprinkles.

Eat or freeze within a week.


Sarah Jackson is editor of Minnesota Parent. Her beloved Aunt Marilyn gave her this recipe in 2010 and she’s made it every year since.