This basic cookie dough is really  the most versatile and easy to make.  You can make plain sugar cookies, jam filled , stained glass , pictured here or any shape and size of cut out cookie possible.  Because this dough doesn't expand too much when baking you can even make these gorgeous intricate snow flake cookies.  


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (750 ml)
  • 1 tsp baking powder (5 ml)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (2 ml)
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (175 ml)
  • 1 cup sugar (250 ml)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract (10 ml)
  • ½ cup coarse sugar, optional  (125 ml)
  • 1/2 cup jam or lemon curd, for filling (125 ml)
  • ½ cup icing sugar, for dusting baked cookies, optional (125 ml)

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Beat in the dry ingredients just until dough holds together. Form the dough into two flat rectangles. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

This dough can be made into any basic rolled out cookie for decorating. 

This dough can be made into any basic rolled out cookie for decorating

On a lightly floured surface, roll one rectangle of dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Using 2 to 3-inch cookie cutters, cut out as many cookies as you can. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets, at least 1-inch apart.

Roll the second rectangle of dough, again to ¼-inch thickness and use the same cookie cutters to cut out the tops of the cookies. Then, cut out a window in each of these cookies with a smaller cutter or tip of knife. Place on separate parchment lined baking sheets, at least 1-inch apart. Re-roll the dough left over from cutting out the windows for additional cookies, ensuring that you have an equal amount of cookie tops and bottoms. Sprinkle top cookies with coarse sugar, if desired.

Bake cookie tops and bottoms until firm and until they just turn golden around edges, about 8 to 12 minutes.  

Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes (this will help them crisp up and make them less fragile when transferring the cooling rack). Using a metal spatula, transfer the cookies onto a rack to cool completely.

Spread jam or lemon curd in centre of bottom cookies and sandwich with top (window) cookies. Dust with icing sugar, if desired.

Makes 40 sandwich cookies.



Now For The Most Fun Part: Decorating

I like to make not only different shapes of cookies but also cookies of all sizes. They are more interesting that way and sometimes you just want to eat a tiny cookie or three of them. For the stained glass style of cookie that you see pictured here, I like to use a snowflake shape or a crimped circle. Make sure you roll the dough only 1/8 of an inch thick for these cookies - otherwise, they’ll be too thick by the time you fill them with jam and put another one on top.

Did You Catch The Other Posts In My Christmas Cookie Series?