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Cherished Christmas Cut-out Cookies

Last updated: December 9, 2022

Making a batch of dough and cutting out and decorating Christmas cookies is a beloved tradition for many. That’s the case for Kim Rodina, kitchen manager for The Heritage, which offers independent and assisted living, and Peabody Manor, which provides skilled nursing care.

Rodina’s cut-out cookie recipe has been passed through generations. It came from her grandmother, who died when Rodina was 1. When Rodina was growing up, her mother, who died 15 years ago, made the cookies every Christmas. Today, Rodina is the one who’s carrying on the tradition.

“I do them now with my grandchildren. It was nice to bring them to The Heritage-Peabody and do them for residents as well,” Rodina says.

Heritage and Peabody residents have come to love the treats as much as Rodina’s family does. One year, Rodina baked a large batch of cookies for the residents to decorate. They brought them back to their apartments to adorn, and then they gathered to enjoy coffee and decide who had won the decorating contest.

For Rodina, making the cookies is about spreading joy, sharing something she loves with others, and honoring her mother’s memory.

“That’s where my passion for food came from, and the holidays just bring that out in me even more. It was my mom’s favorite time of year, so it’s nice to be able to make the cookies and remember her,” she says.

Mom’s Cut-out Cookies

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 ½ to 3 cups flour


  1. Cream together butter and sugar using beaters or a stand mixer.
  2. Add vanilla and egg until well combined.
  3. Add flour, baking powder and salt, mixing just until combined — don’t overmix!
  4. Divide dough into two equal portions. Shape each piece of dough into a round, flat disc and wrap tightly with plastic wrap.
  5. Chill dough in the refrigerator for at least two hours and up to overnight.
  6. Remove one disc of dough from the refrigerator.
  7. Let dough come to room temperature for five minutes.
  8. Place dough on a floured surface and roll to a ¼- to ½-inch thickness.
  9. Use your favorite cookie cutters to cut out shapes, placing them on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  10. Reroll dough until it’s all used.
  11. Remove second disc of dough from refrigerator and repeat steps 7-10.
  12. Bake cookies at 400 degrees for 6-8 minutes.
  13. Let cookies rest on pan for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
  14. Allow cookies to cool completely and then decorate as desired.

Optional Frosting Recipe

  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk
  • 2 ½ tablespoons light corn syrup
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Gel food coloring, optional
  • Combine all frosting ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
  • Start with 2 tablespoons milk and increase until you achieve your desired consistency.
  • Decorate cookies with frosting and sanding sugar or sprinkles.
  • Store decorated cookies in an airtight container.

Learn more about what makes The Heritage a special place to call home.

Tags: baking Christmas cookies Heritage senior living

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