Cut Out Sugar Cookies that taste even better than they look. Yes, it’s possible.
I use to really dread making Cut Out Sugar Cookies. They were always so much work for a cookie that didn’t taste all that amazing. I also don’t fancy myself all that artistic, so I would become really intimidated by the sugar cookie creations I would see online and think, I’m not worthy!!
It wasn’t until we were planning a baby shower for a friend at work that I thought, I should make cut out sugar cookies! I quickly reminded myself that I don’t like making cut out sugar cookies, but the eager baker in me would not take no for an answer.
In times like this (AKA times I want to bake but don’t have the time to recipe test), I turn to Sally, the baking goddess over at Sally’s Baking Addiction. She was the first food blog that I fell in love with, and I’d trust her to make macarons in a monsoon, which, if you ask me, is the highest of compliments between bakers.
I used this Cut Out Sugar Cookies and Easy Icing recipe.
The only change I made was that I rolled out my cookies a little thicker, cut them out before I refrigerated them, and used an extra 1/4 cup of powdered sugar in my frosting. Other than that, Sally’s recipe is gold, as it always is.
I have to admit. I really loved making these cookies. First of all, they are so stinkin’ cute. Look at ’em. Look!
I’m also a sucker for some nostalgic baking. Might I remind you that I make my pie crust with a bench scraper, and wouldn’t do it any other way? Getting out my rolling pin and cookie cutter gave me old school Christmas cookie vibes that I could not help but love.
I also did myself the favor of keeping my decorations simple. There’s always next time, right?
I made the frosting thick enough that when I let some drizzle from my spoon back into the bowl it took several seconds before it melted back into the rest of the frosting. You can adjust the icing with water (if it’s too thick) or powdered sugar (if it’s too thin).
Once the icing is the right consistency, I filled two different piping bags: one with a small tip for the border and one with a larger tip for flooding.
Using the small tip, outline the cookie. Then go back in and fill in the rest of the cookie with the larger tip. For Ina Garten perfection points, I went back in with a fondant modeling tool to 1) smooth out the icing and 2) gently pull the icing on top of the border to create a seamless edge. You can also use a small spatula or butter knife to do this.
Some cookies are more perfect than others (sorry Ina!), but they’re so adorable I don’t mind. I’m very happy to say that I am now a reformed sugar cookie skeptic. Thanks Sally!
The yield for this recipe is dependent on what size cookie cutter you use. My baby onesie was a medium size cutter and produced 15 thick and fluffy cookies.
- ¾ cup (1 ½ stick) unsalted butter, room temp
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
- 2 ¼ cup all purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 ¾ cups powdered sugar, sifted
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp corn syrup
- 2-2 ½ Tbs room temperature water
- Make sure you have enough time before you start. If you’re starting this recipe at 7PM, and you need these cookies to be baked, decorated and ready for travel by the morning, it’s not going to happen. These cookies are worth the wait but make sure you have time for it. Okay, end rant.
- In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about three minutes.
- Mix in egg and vanilla until combined.
- Add in dry ingredients and mix until just combined. The dough should be tacky but not wet. If it’s a little too wet, add a tablespoon or two more flour and mix on low until right.
- Roll out dough onto floured surface to a little more than 1/4 inch thick. Cut cookies into desired shape and place on a sheet pan with a non-stick mat or parchment paper. My cookie cutter yielded about 15 cookies, so once I filled my sheet pan with eight cookies, I laid a piece of parchment down and stacked the remaining 7 on top. Wrap the sheet pan in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour up to overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350F. Remove cookies from fridge and place the second layer of cookies on a sheet pan of its own. Bake for 9-12 minutes, rotating halfway through. The cookies are ready when they’re very lightly colored and set on top. Allow to cool on the pan for about 3 minutes and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
- In a medium bowl, mix together all four ingredients. The icing should be thick enough that when you drizzle the icing back into the bowl it sits on top of the icing for several seconds before melting back in. If it’s took thick, add a bit of water. Too runny, add some powdered sugar.
- Decorate however your heart tells you. I like to work one cookie at a time and with two piping bags (one with a small tip and one with a larger tip). Start by creating a border of icing with the small piping tip. Then go back in with the larger tip and fill in the cookie. Take a modeling tool or tiny spatula to smooth out the icing and create a seamless border. Let dry for at least 12 hours before enjoying.