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Share some holiday joy.   Explore Hilton McLean Tysons Corner.

Off the Menu: Holiday cookies at Hilton McLean Tysons Corner 

With this versatile sugar cookie recipe, executive chef Laurent Hollaender explains how butter (and sugar) makes the world a better place. | By Leanne Philip | December 16, 2022

Cookie swap season is officially upon us. If your mind is still reeling from Thanksgiving, not to worry — Laurent Hollaender, executive chef at Hilton McLean Tysons Corner has got you covered. How, you ask? With a rich, buttery and (most importantly) versatile sugar cookie that will have everyone at your holiday cookie exchange begging for the recipe. The best part? There is no wrong way to make this cookie.

Says Hollaender, “Sugar cookies may be formed by hand, dropped, shaped in a wooden mold or rolled and cut into shapes. They can be flavored with different spices and citrus zests, decorated with sugar, fondant, icing or sprinkles. With the same base recipe, you can create many different cookies.”

Whether you choose to brighten your sugar cookie recipe with fresh lemon zest or channel the warmth of the season through spices such as cardamom, cinnamon and clove, chef Hollaender has one rule: “good food starts with good ingredients.” A close second? “Butter, butter and more butter, everything tastes better with butter.”

Luckily, this recipe allows you to heed both — combining premium vanilla extract and good quality butter.

So, grab your rolling pin, prep your ingredients and get ready to bake a batch! After all, in the words of chef Hollaender: “Food brings love, peace and compassion to the table … and cookies? Cookies make the world a better place.”

Holiday Sugar CookiesHoliday Sugar Cookies

Preparation time: 30 minutes (excluding chilling)

Makes 30 cookies

Cookie ingredients

1 pound unsalted butter, preferably French or Irish

14 ounces granulated sugar

3 teaspoons good-quality vanilla extract

2 eggs

20 ounces all-purpose flour

Icing ingredients

2 cups powdered sugar

4 teaspoons whole milk

4 teaspoons light corn syrup

Note: For flavor, you can add vanilla or almond extract to taste.

Cookie preparation

Preheat oven to 350 F (177 C).

In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar with a mixer until smooth.

Beat in vanilla extract. Add eggs one at a time, ensuring each is fully incorporated.

Mix in flour. When ready, the cookie dough should pull away from the side of the mixer.

Grab a sheet of parchment paper and lay out the cookie batter on it.

Place another sheet of parchment paper on top of the batter. Using a rolling pin, roll out to ¼-inch thick.

Chill for 30 minutes.

When chilled, remove dough from refrigerator and peel away parchment paper.

Take a cookie cutter and punch out cookies, dipping cutter in flour as needed to avoid sticking.

Place cookies on a baking tray. Bake cookies for 8 to 12 minutes.

Once golden brown, remove cookies from oven and let cool on wire rack.

Decorate as desired.

Icing preparation

In a mixing bowl, combine powdered sugar, whole milk and light corn syrup.*

Mix until fully incorporated.

To decorate the cookies, simply dip the cooled cookie into the bowl of icing and set aside to dry.

*Note: this is where you would add any extra flavoring or colors, if desired.

(Recipe from Hilton McLean Tysons Corner executive chef, Laurent Hollaender, 2022.)

Leanne Philip is a content marketing manager at Hilton. She has written for numerous print and digital platforms, including Travel + Leisure, The Atlantan and Barneys New York.

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