Introduction: Sugar and Spice Cookies

Spice up a holiday classic with these sugar and spice cookies. These are everything you love about a traditional sugar cookie with a flavorful twist. A light, buttery almond-flavored frosting finishes them off for a pretty and tasty result.

Step 1: Ingredients and Tools

Cookie Ingredients:

- 1 cup granulated sugar

- 3/4 cup butter

- 2 eggs

- 2 1/2 cups flour (plus a little more for dusting)

- 1 teaspoon baking soda

- 1 teaspoon salt

- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon*

- 1/4 teaspoon ginger*

- 1/8 teaspoon cardamom*

- 1/8 teaspoon clove*

- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg*

- 1/8 teaspoon almond extract

Frosting Ingredients:

- 3.5 cups powdered sugar

- 1/2 cup butter

- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

- 1/4 cup milk

Tools of the Trade:

- stand mixer (or hand mixer)

- medium-sized bowl

- measuring cups and spoons

- baking sheet

- spatula

- spoon

- rolling pin

- parchment paper (recommended)

- plastic wrap (optional)

- cookie cutter (optional)

- piping bag and tip (optional)

- food coloring (optional)

*Note: These amounts add a mild flavor to the cookies, for a spicier cookie use double the amount of spices.

Step 2: Dry Ingredients

In the medium-sized bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices (cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, clove, and nutmeg) with the spoon. Be sure to incorporate each ingredient for an even mixture.

Step 3: Wet Ingredients

Using the stand mixer beat the softened (but not melted) butter with the sugar on medium speed until thick and creamy. Add the eggs and almond extract and beat again. Scrape the sides of the bowl with the spatula and beat one more time until everything is nice and homogeneous.

Step 4: Combine and Chill

Now its time to combine the wet and dry ingredients. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients half of a cup at a time to reduce the likelihood of flour showers and stir on a low speed. If you are using a hand mixer you may have to stir in some of the dry ingredients by hand with a spoon. Once the mixture has formed a dough and no flour remains visible, cover your bowl and chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least a half hour.

Step 5: Roll and Cut

Lightly sprinkle flour on a clean, flat surface. Once your dough has been chilled, roll the cookie dough out with a flour-dusted rolling pin to about 1/4 inch thickness. Using a floured cookie cutter* (or inverted drinking glass), cut out the individual cookies. Place the unbaked cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving some space for the cookies to expand (as you can see from the photo, I did not do this very well).

*Note: My dad helped me make these cookies awesome with a 3D-printed Instructables robot cookie cutter.

Step 6: Bake and Cool

Bake your cookies in a oven that is preheated to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius) for about 9-12 minutes. The baking time depends on your specific oven, so be sure to keep an eye on them. Look for golden-brown edges, but don't let them get too brown or they will be very crispy. Cool completely before frosting.

Step 7: Frost and Serve

For the frosting mix together the butter and powdered sugar in the (clean) stand mixer. After mixing on low-medium speed add the almond extract and milk. Beat these together, starting with a lower speed and increasing the speed after some of the powdered sugar has been incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula, add food coloring if desired, and mix again until nice and fluffy. Frost the cookies using a piping bag or butter knife and enjoy. These can be kept in a sealed container for a few days if needed. Freeze them if you are planning to store them for a longer period of time.

Step 8: That's a Wrap!

Hope you all enjoyed. For your convenience, I've attached a pdf with the summarized version of this recipe. Give them a try and let me know what you think in the comments below. Also, I'm entering the Cookies Contest so if you liked this Instructable, head on over and vote. Happy baking!

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