These Drop Style Christmas Sugar Cookies are an easy and delicious soft and chewy sugar cookie recipe. There's no need to roll any dough or cut out shapes. Simply shape the cookie dough into balls and decorate with festive holiday sprinkles.
Cutout sugar cookies can be a lot of work, especially during the busy holiday season when you can easily burn out on cooking. These Drop Style Christmas Sugar Cookies will save you lots of time and are so delicious that they'll still be a hit with kids and adults!
They are a delicious old-fashioned cookie that can't be beat. You probably have the ingredients on hand already, so they are great for down-to-the-wire Christmas baking. You can never go wrong with a simple, festive soft sugar cookie!
Make them a few days ahead of your next holiday party and you'll still have perfectly delicious cookies! Christmas drop sugar cookies are great for cookie exchanges, gifting and of course, as a treat for Santa and his reindeer on Christmas Eve.
I personally think they are best washed down with a big mug of peppermint hot chocolate or creamy hot cocoa.
Why You'll Love These Cookies
- This cookie recipe uses the perfect ingredient ratio to keep them chewy and soft for days.
- Use the cookie dough recipe as a base for any cookie-making occasion. Just change the sprinkle colors and you're set!
- Freeze the dough up to 6 months ahead of time!
- Or, freeze the cookies for 6 months before Christmas!
- They are simple and require no cutouts or icing.
- Easy for kids to make with your or own their own.
What Are Drop Cookies?
A drop cookie simply means that the cookie batter has been dropped onto a baking sheet using a spoon, ice cream scoop or your hands.
To make them you need:
- Christmas sprinkle assortment: use jimmies, sugar sprinkles or any fun Christmas variety like these.
- All-purpose flour: this recipe is specifically written for all-purpose flour so don't substitute with others.
- White sugar: any type of white sugar works or coconut sugar.
- Milk: I prefer whole or reduced fat dairy milk, but plant-based milks are also an option.
- Vanilla extract: this gives the cookies a lot of flavor!
- Eggs: large eggs are perfect, at room temperature.
- Butter: unsalted is preferable but if all you have is salted then that is fine but you should reduce the salt by a little.
- Salt: both iodized or regular table salt. Don't use sea salt or other specialty salts.
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
You'll need a stand mixer or electric hand mixer and large mixing bowl, baking sheets, and parchment paper.
3 dozen drop style sugar cookies!
This recipe makes a large batch of cookies, perfect for Christmas parties and Christmas dessert. You can reduce the yield as much as you'd like, but keep the ingredient proportionate.
How To Make Drop Sugar Cookies
STEP 1: Using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer, cream room temperature butter and white sugar on medium speed until well combined, about 1 minute.
STEP 2: Add the vanilla extract and room temperature eggs. Beat for an additional minute, then add all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat for 1-2 minutes, until the dry ingredients have been completely mixed into the wet and the dough ball is mostly smooth (it will be a bit crumbly at this point). Add the milk and beat on low speed until evenly combined and dough is smooth and soft. Chill the dough for at least 1 hour.
STEP 3: Line baking sheets with parchment paper (for easy clean up!) and pour sprinkles into bowls. Once the dough has chilled, scoop about 1-2 tablespoons of dough depending on how big you want the cookies and shape into a ball. Roll the cookie dough balls in the sprinkles and place at least 1 inch apart on a baking sheet. Bake at 400° Fahrenheit for 6-9 minutes or until the edges are just beginning to brown.
STEP 4: Remove baking sheet from the oven and immediately transfer cookies to a cooling rack. If they are kept on the baking sheet the bottoms will continue to cook and may burn.
Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions
You can do a couple things to make your cookies ahead of time.
Option 1: Make the dough ahead of time and bake the cookies later. The dough can be kept in the fridge, covered, for about 2 weeks. It can also be frozen for up to 6 months then thawed a few days in the fridge before baking.
Option 2: Bake the cookies ahead of time and freeze them for up to 6 months. This could be a great summer baking project with the kids so you'll be ahead of the game come the busy Christmas rush.
To freeze sugar cookies, wrap them in plastic and then store in freezer safe storage bags for extra protection again freezer burn.
- The dough should chill for at least 1 hour before cooking. Warm dough is harder to work with and might cause the cookies to spread more than you want. I like to chill mine overnight or make it a few days before I need it.
- I suggest checking the cookies periodically during the first batch. Ovens are not all the same, so yours may need more or less time. I always remove mine when I think they look almost done but maybe need a few more minutes. They never need a few more minutes. I take them out at that point.
There is no need to flatten drop sugar cookies before baking them. Round dough balls will spread into fat risen cookies rather than big flat ones.
If the cookies are crumbly after the milk has been added and the dough has been mixed for at least 1 minute, add more milk 1 teaspoon at a time until a soft and smooth dough ball has formed.
The trick to keeping these cookies soft is to bake them until the edges barely begin to brown. They will continue to bake a few minutes once you remove them from the oven, so this is really important. If you leave them in the oven until they look completely cooked, they will harden and will no longer be that delicious soft sugar cookie we are going for.
How To Store Sugar Cookies
Counter: soft sugar cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days. Longer than this and they will begin to harden.
Freezer: this recipe keeps in the freezer for up to 6 months. Wrap in plastic and put into freezer safe bags.
I usually make one huge batch in the beginning of December, freeze them in baggies by the dozen, and then defrost them when the parties start. Then I have Christmas cookies ready to go without having to continually make batches!
Drop Style Christmas Sugar Cookies
- stand mixer or electric hand mixer
- Using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer, cream the softened butter and white sugar on medium speed until well combined, about 1 minute.
- Add the vanilla extract and room temperature eggs. Beat for an additional minute, then add all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat for 1-2 minutes, until the dry ingredients have been completely mixed into the wet and the dough ball is mostly smooth (it will be a bit crumbly at this point). Add the milk and beat on low speed until evenly combined and dough is smooth and soft. Chill the dough for at least 1 hour.
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper and pour sprinkles into bowls. Once the dough has chilled, scoop 1-2 tablespoons of dough depending on how big you want the cookies and shape into a ball. Roll the cookie dough balls in the sprinkles and place at least 1 inch apart on a baking sheet. Bake at 400° Fahrenheit for 6-9 minutes or until the edges just begin to brown.
- Remove baking sheet from the oven and immediately transfer cookies to a cooling rack.