If you’re wearing braces during the holidays, there’s no need to ever feel left out. Who needs a hard, crunchy Christmas cookie when you can give your braces a break with a soft, indulgent alternative? It just so happens that we have a wonderful recipe for you to try, courtesy of Sally’s Baking Addiction!
Here’s what you need:
In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamed and smooth (about 1 minute). Add the sugar and beat on high speed until light and fluffy (about 3-4 minutes). Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the egg, vanilla, and almond extract and beat on high until fully combined (about 2 minutes). Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Turn the mixer down to low and add about half of the flour mixture, beating until just barely combined. Add the rest of the flour and continue mixing until just combined. If the dough still seems too soft, you can add 1 tablespoon of flour until it is a better consistency for rolling.
Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Roll each portion out onto a piece of parchment to about 1/4″ thickness. Stack the pieces (with paper) onto a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, but no more than 1 day. Chilling is mandatory. If chilling for more than a couple hours, cover the top with a single piece of parchment paper.
Once chilled, preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. The number of batches will depend on how large/small you cut your cookies. Remove one of the dough pieces from the refrigerator and using a cookie cutter, cut in shapes. Transfer the cut cookie dough to the prepared baking sheet. Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all is used.
Before baking, you can apply sprinkles as shown in this post. If you’re planning to only ice them instead, or you just want to keep them plain, skip the sprinkles.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, until very lightly colored on top and around the edges. Make sure you rotate the baking sheet halfway through bake time. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.
Make ahead tip: Unfrosted cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Frosted cookies do not freeze well. You can chill the cookie dough for up to 2 days (step 3). You can also freeze the cookie dough before rolling for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature for about 1 hour. Roll and continue with the recipe as directed.