Sugar Cookie Cutouts are a fun cookie recipe to make with the family. Everyone loves delicious, classic sugar cookies with icing. And they are perfect to decorate for any holiday theme or event! The cookie is lightly browned and crisp around the edges, while softer yet still crisp on the inside.
These sugar cookie snowflake are the biggest hit on a holiday cooking tray. Not only are they eye appealing, these crisp and buttery cookies are absolutely delicious with or without icing.
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Why I Love This Recipe
Making the sugar cookie cutouts are easy. It's the decorating that can be tedious. However, while decorating sugar cookies with icing can be tedious, it is also very rewarding! The look of happiness on the faces of your children when they see a prettily decorated sugar cookie is so heartwarming!
These are one of the most popular sugar cookies with icing on my cookie platter and they disappear fast! I had friends and family asking if I would make these cookies for them! They loved the snowflake design. Needless to say, they are everything I hoped they would be in taste and appearance!
- Sugar cookie dough should be slightly firm yet pliable. When sugar cookie dough is too soft, it will tend to stick to the cookie cutters and easily fall apart. Below are some tips on what is most important when making cookie dough for cutouts.
- Be sure the butter is at room temperature. I do not recommend softening the butter in the microwave. Doing so, could cause it to become too soft. Instead, take the butter out at least 30 minutes to an hour prior to mixing the dough.
- Test the butter for softness. Lightly press press on the stick of butter and feel it give. If your finger goes into the butter, it is too soft. If your butter is too melty, it can lend to a chewier cookie rather than a crisp one.
Chilling and cutting the sugar cookie dough
Sugar cookie dough needs to be chilled prior to rolling out and cutting the dough. Doing this aids in the ease of rolling and cutting of the cookie dough. It also lends to a crisper cookie around the edges. If the dough is too soft, it is not easy to handle.
Important: Be sure to chill the scraps from cutting the dough if they become too soft to handle.
There are a few different ways you can frost sugar cookies with icing. Many times, when I don't want to take the time to decorate a cookie, I will leave the icing off. Below are some icing recipes that you may like to try to frost this sugar cookie recipe.
Glace Icing is what I used on this particular cookie you see pictured. Glace is similar to royal icing with the exception it doesn't get as hard. This softer icing still will hold its shape and flood a cookie. The magic ingredient in this icing is corn syrup.
A Royal Icing recipe will be a hard and dry surfaced icing. This uses meringue powder or egg white which is the ingredient that keeps the icing dry and firm.
Frostings can be used instead of icing. Where icings are used to intricately decorate a cookie, a frosting can just be spread over the cookie with a knife. My favorite frosting recipes are caramel frosting and butter rum frosting.
Food Coloring can make a difference in the texture of your colored icing. My preference are gel food colorings over the liquid. Gel doesn't thin the icing out like a liquid icing would tend to do.
- Instead of flavoring the cookie with vanilla extract, try using other flavors. Some of our favorites are almond and lemon.
- Add a ½ teaspoon of cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon nutmeg for a lightly spiced sugar cookie cutout.
- Make them chocolate! Replace ½ cup of flour with ½ cup of baking cocoa.
- Instead of frosting the sugar cookie cutout, dip half of it in melted chocolate and sprinkle with colored sprinkles.
- This Baking sheet is my very favorite!
- Parchment Paper or Silpat for lining the baking sheet.
- Cooling Rack
- Wax Paper (used to prevent stacked cookies from sticking together)
- Be sure your butter is softened before hand and do not microwave to soften.
- Bring your egg to room temperature before adding to the ingredients.
If cookie dough gets to soft when making cut outs, return to chill another 15-30 minutes.
- Flour the cookie cutters before cutting the sugar cookie. This will prevent cookie dough from sticking to the cookie cutter.
I want to share with you some of our long time favorite Christmas Cookie recipes. These are cookies that make it on holiday platters that I give to friends and family every year!
Chewy Mocha Toffee Chip Cookies are my personal favorite. I love a sweet, chewy cookie with a ton of flavor and this one fits the bill exactly!
This Italian Christmas Cookie recipe is Grumpy's favorite. He loves this softer cookie and the entire cookie is coated in a delicious sweet confectioners glaze.
These Poinsettia Ball Cookies are flavored with a hint of nutmeg and rolled in nuts before baking. The green candied cherries are arranged to give the cookie a festive look.
Santa's Whiskers cookies are a fun cookie to make with the kids! We would leave these out on Christmas Eve for Santa to enjoy before he went on his merry way!
Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies are a traditional cookie made during the holidays but we enjoy them year round!
Try these Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies instead of a whole pie!
Add Fudge to the Cookie Tray!
Friends and family love to receive cookies, but they also love to get candy and fudge recipes! The holidays are the only I make fudge, so it is a real treat for those on the receiving end.
Creamy Peanut Butter Fudge is Grumpy's favorite fudge. This is the creamiest, most delicious peanut butter fudge ever. And, it's basically a no fail recipe that does not include marshmallows! It is the only recipe I will make and it has 1 special ingredient that makes it the best! This always makes an appearance on our Christmas Cookie tray.
I grew up loving Nanny's recipe for Brown Sugar Fudge. I wanted to hoard the whole recipe for myself whenever we would receive it on our cookie tray. Because I loved this so much, I wanted others to be successful with the recipe. There is an instructional video on this post for my readers!
My favorite candy for the holidays is my Great Aunt Helga's Candied Date Recipe. This is a no bake recipe that is so delicious people will not believe its made with dates!
If you have someone in your life who eats sugar free, they will appreciate this recipe for Raspberry Chocolate Truffles. The first time I ate this, I wasn't sure it was sugar free!
Your Favorite Cookie Recipe
Inquiring minds want to know! Do you have a cookie recipe with icing that you love to make every year? Do you like soft and puffy sugar cookie cutouts or light and crispy? Maybe you have a recipe that is completely different. Share it with me in the comments. I would love to your cookie recipe too!
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Sugar Cookie Cutouts
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- ⅔ cup butter softened
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 egg room temperature
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Glace Icing (optional)
- In a large mixing bowl using a hand mixer, mix together butter and sugar until creamy. Add egg, vanilla, and milk, baking powder, and salt. Mix until well combined.
- Gradually add flour, ½ cup at a time, mixing well with hand mixer after each addition. When the dough becomes too stiff to use the hand mixer, use a wooden spoon to stir in the rest of the flour.
- Once the flour has been completely mixed in, divide the dough in half.
- Wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll 1 dough ball until ⅛ to ¼ inch thick.
- Using cookie cutters, cut dough into desired shape. Place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake 7-10 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges.
- Transfer baked cookies to cooling rack and let cool completely before icing.
- Repeat step 6-8 with remaining dough ball.