Haniela's: Sugar Cookie Recipe for Cut Out Cookies

Sugar Cookie Recipe for Cut Out Cookies

Monday, July 22, 2013

Here is the very basic sugar cookie recipe I like to use for my cut out cookies. I like to use 1 whole tablespoon of flavoring, mainly vanilla extract or almond extract(this one pairs especially well with my Fresh lemon royal icing), on occasion I make lemon sugar cookies, adding lemon zest and lemon extract.
I always  use unsalted butter for baking and cooking.

Basic Sugar Cookie Recipe for Cut out Cookies
3 cups (450grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 sticks (1cup, 226grams)butter, unsalted, softened to room temperature
1 cup (200grams)granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1tbl vanilla extract, vanilla bean past or almond extract
Flavor options: I also like to use lemon zest with combination of vanilla extract or lemon extract, or orange zest.
  • Sift together flour, baking powder, add salt, set aside.
  • In a small dish whisk together egg and vanilla extract, set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl cream together room temperature butter and sugar, about 5 minutes, scrape the bowl twice. Butter creamed with sugar  should be light and fluffy.
  • Gradually add vanilla egg mixture, beating anywhere from 30 seconds to minute until well mixed in.
  • Now gradually in 3 additions add flour. Lower the speed of your mixer to low. Scrape the bowl well after the last addition and beat just until flour is combined.
  • Scrape the cookie dough into a large bowl, and using your hands knead the cookie dough  for about 30 to 60 seconds, until dough comes together.
  • Wrap the dough in a plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight(8hours) or minimum 4hours.
  • Preheat oven to 375F(190C)
  • Divide cookie dough in half. Roll one half of the cookie dough into about 1/4 inch thick, between 2 pieces of parchment paper using rolling guides on each side of the dough.(2 painter's sticks glued together on each side, or 2 pieces of 1/4inch molding)
  • Cut out as many cookies as you can. Place the cookies on a light colored baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill the cut outs in the fridge for about 15 minutes, or in the freezer 8 minutes.
  • Bake for 9minutes, depending on the oven, turn the sheet once half way through the baking.
  • Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5-7 minutes, transfer to cooling rack.
  • Store in the airtight container for up to 2 weeks or freeze undecorated cookies between pieces of wax paper in a large freeze safe container, for up to 2 months.
  • Decorate cookies as desired with royal icing or other medium that you use.

Sugar Cookie Recipe and Baking Tips Video Tutorial

    How to roll the dough and cut out cookies?
    Divide  chilled cookie dough in half.
    Roll one half of the dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper.
    For even thickness use rolling guides, with cookie dough placed between them.
    Use 1/4inch wood sticks or 2 never used, clean painter's sticks glued together
    and wrapped in a plastic wrap; about 1/4inch(2.54cm)
    Once you roll the cookie dough, run a spatula underneath the rolled dough.
    Cut out as many cookies as you can.
    Gather scraps and re-roll once.
    Take second scraps and add them to remaining dough.
    How to prevent cookies from browning on the bottom?
    Use light-colored baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silicone mat. I use USA pan brand.
    Quickly rotate baking sheet half way through baking time.
    I bake my cookies at 375F(190C). Know your oven and use temperature that works for your oven and your cookies. 
    How to prevent cookies from spreading?
    Properly chill the dough before cutting out shapes.
    If the dough is too stiff to be rolled out let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes,
    or until you can comfortable roll it out, it shouldn't be very soft.
    Once you cut out shapes, place them onto the cool baking sheet lined
    with parchment or silicone mat.
    Don't place unbaked cookies on a warm baking sheet.
    Then transfer the baking sheet with cut out cookies into the fridge and chill for 15 minutes or
    if your freezer is big enough use freezer and chill for 8 minutes.
    Bake until the center of the cookie has risen.
    I bake my cookies at 375F(190C) for 9 minutes.
    Cookies are very soft when they come out of the oven.
    Don't open the oven more than once for rotating the sheet.
    Let the cookies cool on a baking sheet for 5-7 minutes then carefully transfer cookies
    onto a cooling rack.
    Storage and Freezing
    These cookies will keep if properly stored for up to 2 weeks, from the time they were baked.
    I've had people tell me they had them for longer and they tasted great.
    Cookies can be layered in a freezer safe container between pieces of wax paper and frozen for up to 2 months.
    Defrost in the container and decorate as desired.
    How to Store Decorated Cookies?
    Depending if you are giving them as a gift or keeping them for yourself.
    If you want to give them out as favors, I would recommend that you package cookies, either using hand heat sealer or if you don't have one you can package them into clear bags and tie the bag tightly with a ribbon.
    If you are making these for your family to enjoy on Holidays, store the cookies in an airtight container layered between pieces of wax paper.

    What Boxes to use to package/display cookies?
    I personally use boxes from  www.brpboxshop.com , they sell their boxes in bulk, 100 pieces and I love them. I really like their brown boxes  10"x7"x1" boxes, lid and bottom is sold separately. If you are not certain which goes with what, be sure to call, folks at brpboxshop are very friendly, always willing to help out.

    If you are looking for smaller amounts, you can try  Nashville Wraps, they sell these cookie boxes in the set of 50 pieces.

    If you are a seasonal cookie maker you can use cookie tins that are available at discounted prices during holidays or visit your local bakery perhaps they'd be willing to sell you couple of their boxes for a small fee.
    Craft stores carry small bakery boxes as well. You can also use Take-out Containers and Jars for smaller  cookies.

    Linking this post to Tidy Mom -I'm lovin' it.




  1. Hi, I made your sugar cookie skulls with vanilla and almond extract and I love them! My friend requested I make her a batch of lemon skulls. Can I add fresh lemon juice or does it have to be extract? Thank you!


    1. The acidity in the lemon juice will likey change the results. I would suggest using either the extract or just a large amount of zest

  2. Flawless cut outs on the first try. THANK YOU for delicious, easy, simple, perfect cookies!!!

  3. Hello Haniella, Irefrigerated this and it was hard like a rock! Did I do something wrong? please help me. Thanks

    1. That is normal, just leave out of fridge let it sit on counter just until dough is workable don't let it sit out to long just until it's workable but still cold. I've had to wait about 30 min. Or even little longer. Before its ready.

  4. Just made a batch & they taste so good! Followed your recipe & baking time. Wish I could attach a pic of my cookies. The taste was good but not to sweet. The cookie was crisp on the edges & soft in the middle just the way I like my sugar cookies.😁 Thank You for sharing your recipe.👍 Finally, I found a good sugar cookie recipe. Katerine Ardila, mine was hard like a rock to, so I left it out of the fridge for a few hours(I say hours BC I forgot about it.opps!) By the time I was ready to work w/it, it was soft but manageable.

  5. Do you have to do the cut outs before freezing them? I wanted to make up my cookie dough ahead of time I was just planning to put into ball shape flatten down some wrap in plastic wrap then put into freezer bags will this be ok to do? Will I have problems rolling the dough out and doing my cut outs.also by freezing you're dough do they still taste like day made and cookies still last just as long? Thank you.

  6. Hello how many cookies does it come out ?

    1. Depending on thick you cut them out I do little over 1/4 inch and I get about 15 3 inch cookies, I do this thickness for decorated cookies. If I don't use them for decorating I make them thinner thus yielding more cookies.

    2. I love this recipe. I made graduation caps, 1/4 inch, I did three batches and ended up with 80 cookies but honestly that does not include a single bit of dough nibbling along the way.

  7. Have you ever made these with palm shortening? My son has a dairy allergy and it is my typical dairy replacement in baking. I find of all the substitutes (including margarine) it behaves the most like butter.

  8. Hi! Thank you for sharing your flawless recipe Hani! Quick question - do these need icing or will they be sweet enough to serve as is? :)

  9. I will definitely make these. The explanation was so clear and informative. Thank you.

  10. Thanks for give me information on this topic. you have sharing very nice post.. Cookies recipes are taste to eat. foodieshaven