The Best High Altitude Christmas Sugar Cookies

Okay you guys, let’s get serious for a second. These cookies are unreal! I’ve always struggled with baking at altitude but my girl Lindsey from Lady in the Wild West has a sugar cookie that is going to be a winner no matter what the elevation. I love baking cookies around the holidays and begged Lindsey for her secret recipe – so now I’m sharing it because everyone needs to be the hit at their family holiday parties. I’m not kidding when I say that everyone LOVES them. They always come out holding their shape, perfectly moist with a light golden brown bottom, and thick enough to decorate with as much icing as you want 😉 The tips from Lindsey are to use butter and eggs that are at room temperature and let the dough chill before baking.

Lindsey is truly one of the best bakers I’ve ever met. She is not only adorable and a true artist, her recipes look both good and taste amazing, a hard feat to accomplish in the baking world let alone at high altitude. Lindsey is launching her new cookbook this winter so make sure to pre-order so you can bake like her!

Now, let’s get into these cookies!

Holiday Sugar Cookies & Buttercream Frosting by Lady In The Wild West

Serving Size:
2 dozen sugar cookies
30 Minutes
Easy Peasy

Ingredients – Cookies & Frosting

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese (half a brick)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 extra large egg yolk, at room temperature – THIS IS KEY!
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cup flour + extra for rolling out the dough
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream, at room temperature
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • holiday sprinkles

Directions for Cookies

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, cream cheese, and sugar together till combined, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Add the egg yolk and vanilla. Mix till fully combined, scrape down the bowl as needed.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture. Continue mixing on medium-low speed till the dough comes together.
  5. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for 30 minutes to an hour.
  6. Preheat your oven to 375°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  7. Roll the dough out on a floured surface, about 1/4” thick. Use your favorite cookie cutter to cut into shapes. If you want to stamp the tops, see my note below. I highly recommend chilling the cut out cookies for 10 minutes before baking, especially if stamping them, to help them hold their shape. Bake on center rack for 11 to 12 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough.
  8. Allow the cookies to cool on a wire rack.

Directions for Frosting

  1. In a medium bowl, with an electric mixer, cream the butter on high speed till light and smooth, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add half the powdered sugar. Beat till combined. Add the remaining powdered sugar. Beat till combined.
  3. Add the pure vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Beat until combined.
  4. Add the heavy cream. Mix on medium high speed for about 3 minutes, till smooth.
  5. With a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir by hand for a few minutes to get out all the air bubbles.
  6. Decorate as you’d like! The frosting holds sprinkles very well.