This is the simplest recipe I’ve seen for sugar cookies. They work well for holiday cut-outs so I’ve included a recipe for icing as well.
6 tablespoons butter, palm shortening, or vegan butter, softened
6 tablespoons granulated sugar or coconut sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons orange zest (optional)
2 cups almond flour
cookie cutters (round or holiday shapes)
2 cups powdered sugar
up to 2 tablespoons water or milk
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice, vanilla extract, or almond extract
food coloring (optional)
small paintbrushes (dedicated to cookie making)
sprinkles, decorating sugar, and/or red hot cinnamon candies
Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy with a whisk or an electric mixer. Add vanilla, orange zest (if using), and almond flour. Mix together with a wooden spoon (or use your hands) until the dough comes together into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 20-30 minutes or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350° F. Roll out refrigerated dough in between two pieces of parchment paper (or two silicone baking sheets). The dough should be about 1/8-1/4 inch thick, so that the cookies are thick enough to transfer to the cookie sheet and thin enough to get a bit crispy when baked. Cut out cookie shapes with cookie cutters (or just make round with a glass or jar) and carefully transfer each cookie over to a cookie sheet with a spatula. Round up leftover scraps of dough, roll out again, and make more cut out shapes. You’ll probably need two cookie sheets to fit all of the cookies. Bake 8 minutes (or more if cookies are a little thicker) and cool completely before icing.
In a small mixing bowl, mix together powdered sugar and lemon juice and gradually add water or milk until you get a smooth consistency (not too thick or too thin). Divide icing into small prep bowls or custard cups, one for each color. Keep one white, and add 1-2 drops food coloring to the other cups (if desired). Some good colors for Christmas cookies are red, green, yellow, and blue.
When cookies have completely cooled, you can start decorating your cookies with icing and/or sprinkles. You may want to start with a base of white icing, let it dry, then add some other colors on top.