RECIPE: Holiday Sugar Cookies From Azucar’s Magic Kitchen

Any San Diegan worth their salt knows that, when it comes to sugar, Azucar in Ocean Beach is where it’s at.

In the 7-years since it’s conception, the Cuban style patisserie has established a cult following of hardcore dessert connoisseurs, with offerings that range from decadent (champagne and chocolate cheesecake) to delicious (guava and queso puff pastries, holla!) to downright caffeinated (cafe cubano, anyone?)

(photo by Evonne Ermey)

That’s why, when we wanted to learn how to make the perfect holiday cookie, we chose Azucar owner, Vivian Hernandez-Jackson to teach us!

Vivian Hernandez-Jackson, owner of Azucar.

Azucar Christmas Cookie


Azucar has been making this sugar cookie since the day that they opened and it’s one of their most popular. During regular ol’ “NOT holiday” times, you can purchase this treat in the shape of a Labrador, The Manolo, named after Vivian’s dog (She loves Scarface.) 

Not only is this cookie delicious, but the dough is great for people who don’t feel comfortable rolling and it holds its shape, so that the cookies you bake actually look like the shapes you cut them into, and not like big blobs.

Cookie Ingredients:

1 1/3 stick of cold unsalted butter
1/2 cup of sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups of flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt

Icing Ingredients:

2 cups powdered sugar
1 egg white
2 TB Karo
food coloring (dye)– optional
sprinkles — optional


hand or standing mixer (this would be very difficult to do by hand)
large bowl


  1. Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper and set aside.
  2. Chop cold butter into pieces. The colder your butter is, the colder your dough will be, and the easier it will be to roll out. (If you feel like your dough is too warm, put it in the fridge before rolling it out).
  3. Cream the butter and sugar with hand mixer or paddle attachment until it is combined. It doesn’t need to be super fluffy. Scrape down the mixing bowl with a rubber spatula.


4. Add egg and vanilla and mix for about 1 minute, until both are combined. Scrape down bowl with rubber spatula.

5. Dump all dry ingredients in the bowl– flour, baking powder and kosher salt. Set mixer on lowest speed, so that flower doesn’t get everywhere. Give the mixture a couple of turns unti it is all              combined and is a smooth, single colored dough.

6.  Roll dough out and cut shapes. We did Snowflakes and Trees.

7. Bake cookies at 325 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Making Icing:

  1. Mix powdered sugar, Karo corn syrup and egg white into mixing bowl.
  2. add food coloring or dye. (For the snowflake cookies we left ours plain and then added green dye for the Christmas tree cookies after the snowflakes were dipped. This gives you two different cookie batches out of one icing mix).
  3. If the icing is too thick add a little bit of water. If it is too runny add a little bit of powdered sugar until you get the desired texture.


Decorating Cookies:

  1. Use a mixing bowl large enough to fit cookie inside.
  2. Dip cookies in Icing and scrape excess icing off with the edge of the mixing bowl (If you are making tree cookies, that’s it! YOU’RE DUNZO!)
  3. For snowflake cookies, have an extra bowl with sugar crystals. Dip the iced snowlakes in the crystals. DUNZO!

1. Dip cookie in icing

Scrape excess icing off

Dip in sprinkles

Sparkly and pretty!

Now, go forth and amaze your holiday guests with your magic kitchen skills!

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