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Cut Out Sugar Cookies

Cut Out Sugar Cookies are popular all year round. Favorite with children and adults alike you can’t go wrong with a basic vanilla cookie.

Cut out Sugar Cookies.

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Sugar Cookies require only few ingredients and are super simple to make from scratch. This recipe is a cross between shortbread and sugar cookies. They are little crunchy on the outside and soft inside.

CUT OUT SUGAR COOKIES

Enjoy vanilla sugar cookies plain, dusted with colored sugar, rainbow sprinkles, decorated with Chocolate Lace, or use Royal Icing, fondant or your favorite Butter Frosting.

Rainbow pot of gold, Captain america shield cookies decorated with 15 second royal icing.

When I first started making sugar cookies I really loved the pale look. But over the years I came fond of golden edges, too. Cookie with golden edges taste amazing. If you prefer golden edges bake the cookies for a little longer.

INGREDIENTS

This basic recipe uses simple ingredients. When making the cookie dough it is important that ingredients are at room temperature.

  • Unsalted Butter
  • White Granulated Sugar
  • Egg
  • Vanilla Extract, and other extracts and flavorings can be used. See the notes in the recipe card.
  • Flour
  • Baking Powder (optional)
  • Salt
  • Tip : Don’t use sugar with unusually large sugar crystals. Wegmans brand has large crystals.

BUTTER

I use Unsalted Butter.

Stick of butter at room temperature.

I often get this question. Can I use salted butter to make cut out sugar cookies? Short answer is yes, sure you can, if that’s all you have. If you’re using salted butter you can omit additional salt listed in the recipe.

However I can not guarantee the results. I know people who use salted butter and love the results. However I am not one of them. I’ve used salted butter to make sugar cookies once and I’ve never used it again.

UNSALTED VERSUS SALTED BUTTER

So why does that it matter what kind of butter you use? Main difference is given. Salted butter has salt in it and Unsalted butter has no salt.

UNSALTED BUTTER

  • Unsalted butter is fresher than salted butter.
  • And since it doesn’t contain salt it gives you a freedom of adding as much or as little salt to the recipe.

SALTED BUTTER

  • Salt content in salted butter varies from brand to brand.  It can be anywhere from 600mg sodium to 920mg sodium. This can be important if you are trying to control salt intake.
  • Salt acts as a preservative and therefore salted butter has a longer shelf life, 3-4 months longer. Therefore mostly likely it’s not as fresh as unsalted butter.
  • Salted butter also contains more water than unsalted. Though not really troublesome in cooking, in baking this extra water can cause undesirable results. For example: it can produce dough that is too sticky or dough that doesn’t hold its shape.

ROOM TEMPERATURE BUTTER

Just like with many other cookie recipes this sugar cookie recipe calls for a creaming  of room temperature butter and sugar. Why does butter have to be at room temperature butter?

When room temperature butter (about 67F) is creamed with sugar, sugar crystals are pushed into the butter. They create tiny air bubbles in the butter, making it aerated and fluffy. In the oven, with the help of the heat and leavening agent these tiny bubbles expand. This contributes to the overall texture, lightness of the baked cookie, cake, etc.

HOW CAN I TELL THAT BUTTER IS AT ROOM TEMPERATURE?

If you can bend the butter without it breaking in half and without your fingers sinking completely into the butter it’s good to go. Or when pressed it should give slightly, but your fingers shouldn’t sink completely into the butter. That would mean butter is too soft. How to bring butter to room temperature?

WHY YOU SHOULDN’T USE BUTTER THAT IS TOO SOFT?

Simply put, because it will make your cookie dough too sticky and your cookies will most likely spread I baking. Or to reduce stickiness you’ll add too much extra flour making the dough too tough.

Using a butter that is too soft is a very common problem when making sugar cookie dough. If you suspect that butter is too soft place in the fridge for 10 -15 minutes to firm up a little.

SUGAR COOKIE DOUGH

Cream room temperature butter with sugar, scrapping the bowl few times in between. Beat for 3-5 minutes till well blended, creamy.

Tip : Avoid using granulated sugar that has extra large crystals.

Whisk 1 tablespoon of Vanilla Extract with one room temperature egg. Then beat egg mixture into the creamed butter until well combined, about 30 second to a minute. Until fluffy.

Sift flour, salt and baking powder (if using – read the notes in the recipe).

On low speed, in 3 additions beat flour mix into the creamed butter mixture. Beat till all of the flour is absorbed and well blended in. Cookie dough will be in chunks at this stage.

Scrape out all of the dough into a bowl dusted with 1 to 2tbsp flour.

Gather dough, and knead it gently for 10-20 seconds. Shape it into a disk and wrap it into a plastic wrap.
Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. I prefer to give the cookie dough a good rest before cutting out and baking cookies.

WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE 4 HOURS TO CHILL THE COOKIE DOUGH?

  • You can speed chill cookie dough in the freezer for one hour.
  • Or you can roll the cookie dough between 2 pieces of parchment. Slide it onto a baking sheet or a freezer safe tray. Place the tray into the freezer for 20 minutes.

HOW LONG CAN I KEEP THE DOUGH IN THE FRIDGE?

You can keep the cookie dough in the fridge for up to 3 days. After that you can either make the cookies or freeze the cookie dough for later. Up to 3 months.

ROLLING MATS

To avoid excessive use of flour and for an ease of rolling I like to use Dough EZ rolling system. I’ve using it for several years and it has become one of my favorite kitchen tools.

I use it to roll out cookie dough, yeast dough and even fondant. And you can see me using it in many of my videos, too. It comes with rolling guides that come in handy when rolling out cookie dough, too.

Before I had Dough EZ System I rolled the cookie dough between :

  • 2 pieces of parchment paper.
  • Or you can also use 2 silicone baking mats.

ROLLING PINS

I’ve tried numerous rolling pins and here are my 2 favorites. I’ve been using these for several years.

  • White Silicone Rolling Pin(20 inch)
  • It’s designed to work with fondant but works superbly with the cookie dough and yeast dough as well. And I absolutely love it.
  • Joseph Joseph Wood Rolling Pin ( I use this rolling pin without the guides, I prefer rolling guides rods)
  • This rolling pin is a popular choice among bakers because it has a built in rolling guide system and comes with a set of 4 rolling guides/disks.
  • Each end of the rolling pin has a screw and disks can be secured on ends providing desired thickness to your cookies.
  • No need for rolling guide rods etc.
  • To keep wood rolling pin in a top shape once in a while I treat it with a Food Grade Mineral Oil.
  • Mineral Oil is also great for butcher’s blocks, wooden utensils and cutting boards.

ROLLING GUIDES

To ensure even thickness of my cookies I use rolling guides.

Doug EZ Mat : This large silicone mat comes with a set of 3 rolling guides.

Unused Paint Sticks : Thickness of these can vary from store to store. These were the first rolling guides I have ever used. I glued 2 of them together to reach the thickness I wanted. I’ve used them for many years and and I still have them and use them occasionally.

Untreated Wood Rods : These can be found in the lumber section of your hardware store. They come in different sizes so you can choose the size you need. Wood rods pictured above are both ¼ thick (0.64cm)

Silicone Rolling Guides : Commercially produced for bakers.

Thick Bamboo Skewers : Some bamboo skewers are thick enough to be rolling guides, too.

HOW TO ROLL OUT COOKIE DOUGH

Cookie dough is placed between 2 rolling guides and rolling pin is then rolled on top of the rolling guides. Rolling pin pushes the dough down but only as far as the rolling guides let it. Ensuring even thickness of the rolled cookie dough.

Cookie dough rolled out between parchment paper

HOW THICK DO YOU MAKE YOUR COOKIES FOR DECORATING?

I roll my cookies ¼ inch (0.64cm/little over 6mm) thick and a little thicker when making cookie pops, to make the room for a lollipop stick.

MY COOKIE DOUGH IS HARD AS A ROCK, WHAT TO DO NOW?

After cookie dough is chilled it often becomes firm.

  • There is no need to panic.
  • Cut the cookie dough disk into quarters.
  • Microwave one ¼ of cookie dough on high for 5-7 seconds. It should be sufficient to soften the dough so you can roll it out. However, you don’t want it to be super soft.
  • Cut up remaining quarters into smaller bits.

Place softened/microwaved 1/4 of the cookie dough onto the work surface, between 2 rolling guides. Place rolling pin on top of the rolling guides roll out the cookie dough. You can watch the video to see exactly how you can do rolling out part easily.

Cut out cookies with a cookie cutter and transfer them onto a baking sheet lined with a parchment paper.

CAN I RE-ROLL THE SCRAPS ?

Gather scraps and add one piece of fresh dough you set aside, re-roll and repeat.

WHAT KIND OF BAKING SHEETS DO YOU USE?

I like to use light colored baking sheets. Dark baking sheets have a tendency to cause quick browning of the cookies. And I prefer using Parchment paper over Silicone baking mats to bake cut out cookies.

Chill the cookies for 10 minutes.

CUT OUT COOKIES BAKING TIPS AND TROUBLESHOOTING

I bake my cookies at 375F – 380F (for larger cookies, over 4 inches) for 9-11 minutes. Cookies are soft when they come out of the oven. Don’t open the oven more than once for rotating the sheet midway. If your oven bakes evenly you can skip the rotating step.

HOW CAN I TELL COOKIES ARE BAKED?

Bake larger cookies on one baking sheet and smaller ones on another one. Don’t crowd the cookies on a baking sheet.

Bake cookies until the center of the cookies is puffy or until golden brown around the edges if you prefer your cookies this way.

When cookies are baked center should appear puffy and it should be no longer shiny. If the centers of the cookies are still shiny bake for an additional 2 minutes and check again.

MY COOKIES HAVE BUBBLES ON THE SURFACE

Sometime when the cookie dough is overworked bubbles can form on the surface of the cookies. Take a flat cookie spatula and gently press tops of hot cookies. This flattens the bubbles.

Let the cookies cool on a baking sheet for 5-7 minutes then carefully transfer cookies onto a cooling rack. Be sure to let the cookies cool before decorating with royal icing.

HOW CAN I FLAVOR SUGAR COOKIES ?

To flavor cookie dough I use extracts, flavorings or baking emulsions.

It’s no secret Vanilla makes everything taste better. That’s why I always use Vanilla Extract as my base flavor. After that you can add other flavorings.

I also like to add almond and/or lemon extracts. And I have to say I came really fond of this magic trio : Vanilla (1tsp), Almond (1/2 to 1tsp) and Lemon (1/2tsp). It makes for a lovely flavor.

If using Lorann oil based flavorings use only 5-7 drops. They are very concentrated.

Extract in bottles.

ORANGE AND LEMON ZEST

If using lemon or orange zest add 1tbsp per recipe.

SPICES

Yes, you can use spices. Cinnamon or Cardamom. Sweet Ambs makes her cookie dough using orange and cardamom.

COOKIE DECORATING WITHOUT ROYAL ICING

If you are in a hurry and don’t have time to decorate cookies with icing you can still make them stand out from the crowd by using simple tools.

IMPRESSION TOOLS

When using impression tools be sure to omit baking powder in the recipe. It will yield better results without.

DECORATIVE SILICONE MATS

I used Silicone SugarVeil Mat.

STAMPING ON COOKIES

Use Letter Impression set to add a personalized or seasonal messages on cookies.

SPRINKLES

Decorate cookies with festive sprinkles. Mist them with a little bit of water using a small spray bottle. Then sprinkle cookies with decorating sprinkles and bake as usual. Water makes the sprinkles stick better to the cookie dough.

TO MAKE SUGAR COOKIES YOU NEED

SUGAR COOKIES FAQ

5 from 33 votes
Cut Out Sugar Cookie REcipe
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
 

Use this recipe to make cut out cookies. This great tasting cookie recipe is great plain or decorated with royal icing/glaze chocolate or fondant. It's a cross between sugar and shortbread cookies.

Make 15, 3 inch cookies, 1/4 inch thick.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cookies, cut out cookies,, sugar cookies
Servings: 15
Calories: 270 kcal
Hanielas.com: Hani Bacova
Ingredients
SUGAR COOKIE DOUGH
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour 430 grams
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 sticks room temperature unsalted butter 1cup, 226grams
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 200grams
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder optional – check the notes
  • 1/2 tsp Almond Extract (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp Lemon Extract (optional)
Instructions
SUGAR COOKIE DOUGH
Dry Ingredients
  1. Sift together flour (3cups/430grams), baking powder (1 teaspoon) add salt (1/2 teaspoon), set aside.

    TIP: If you are experiencing excessive spreading use 1/4tsp baking powder or omit baking powder.

Cream Butter and Sugar
  1. In a mixing bowl cream together room temperature butter (1 cup / 226 grams) and sugar (1 cup/200 grams), about 5 minutes, scrape the bowl twice. Butter creamed with sugar should be light and creamy in color.

  2. In a small dish whisk together egg(1) and vanilla extract(1 tablespoon). If using, whisk in almond (1/2 teaspoon) and lemon extract(1/2 teaspoon), set aside.

  3. Gradually add egg mixture into butter mixture. Beating well, till combined about a minute.

  4. Lower the speed of your mixer to low. Gradually in 3 additions add flour mixture. Scrape the bowl well after the last addition and beat on low speed until flour is blended in. At this stage you'll see chucks of cookie dough.

  5. Dust a a large mixing bowl with 1 tbs flour. Scrape the cookie dough into a bowl. Gather dough together. Using your hands knead the cookie dough for about 10-20 seconds, until dough comes together. Shape into a disk.

    TIP : If dough appears too wet add 1 to 2 tablespoons of flour.

  6. Wrap the dough in a plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours. Or speed up the process by placing it into the freeze for 30 minutes to an hour.

  7. Preheat oven to 375F. 

  8. If you find that dough is hard as a rock, don’t panic. Quarter the dough. Take one piece and microwave on high for 5-8 seconds to soften it up a little. It shouldn't be super soft, just soft enough so you can roll it out, you’ll still need to apply little bit of pressure.

    Cut up remaining dough into smaller pieces, set aside. Place microwaved piece between your rolling guides, either between 2 pieces of parchment or if you have large silicone mat you can use it also ( for the guides you can use 2 painter's sticks glued together on each side, or 2 pieces of 1/4 inch wood rods will work great, too).

  9. Cut out as many cookies as you can. Gather scraps and to the scraps add a fresh piece of cut up cookie dough you set aside. Re-roll and repeat until you are done with all the cookies. Place the cookies on a light colored baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill the cut outs in the fridge for about 10 minutes, or in the freezer for 5.

Bake
  1. Bake for 10-11 minutes, depending on the oven, turn the sheet once half way through the baking.
  2. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5-7 minutes, transfer to cooling rack.
  3. Store in an 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 3 months.

  4. Decorate cookies as desired with royal icing or other medium that you use.
Recipe Notes

WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE 4 HOURS TO CHILL THE COOKIE DOUGH?

  • You can speed chilling process – place cookie dough in the freezer for one hour.

  • Or you can roll the cookie dough between 2 pieces of parchment. Slide it onto a baking sheet or a freezer safe tray. Place the tray into the freezer for 20 minutes or 1 hour into the fridge. And cut out and bake cookies.
  • Don’t leave rolled out cookie dough in the fridge for an extended time, edges tend to dry out.

HOW LONG CAN I KEEP THE DOUGH IN THE FRIDGE?

  • You can keep the cookie dough in the fridge for up to 3 days. After that you can either make the cookies or freeze the cookie dough for later. Up to 3 months.

HOW THICK DO YOU ROLL OUT COOKIES FOR DECORATING

1/4 inch thick, and little thicker when making cookie pops.

CAN I USE THIS COOKIE DOUGH WITH TEXTURED MATS?

Yes, omit baking powder in the cookie dough for the best results. (see the blog post for samples of cookies with textured design on the top)

I DON’T HAVE GRANULATE SUGAR, CAN I USE POWDERED SUGAR?

Sure, you can use powdered sugar, use about 1 cup 1/4 cup of powdered sugar. Cookie made with powdered sugar has a tender crumb.

I CHILLED COOKIE DOUGH BUT NOW IT’S HARD AS A ROCK

After cookie dough is chilled it often become firm.

  • There is no need to panic.
  • Cut the cookie dough disk into quarters.
  • Microwave one ¼ of cookie dough on high for 5-7 seconds. It should be sufficient to soften the dough so you can roll it out. However, you don’t want it to be super soft.
  • Cut up remaining quarters into smaller bits.
  • Place softened/microwaved 1/4 of the cookie dough onto the work surface, between 2 rolling guides. Place rolling pin on top of the rolling guides and roll out the cookie dough. Cut out cookies and transfer them onto a light colored baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Gather scraps and add one piece of chilled dough you set aside, re-roll and repeat.

TROUBLESHOOTING

  • If you are experiencing inconsistent results omit baking powder or use less of it and up the temperature to 380F if you used 375F before. 
  • If your cookies become soft after you decorate them this is usually caused  by increased humidity. I’d suggest you bake the cookie for a bit longer, so they are crispier to start with. And you can also use a dehumidifier while the icing on the cookies is drying.
  • How to tell if cookie are baked : cookies when baked have puffy centers. If you see a spot that appears wet and shiny, usually in the center of the cookies, continue baking for additional minute or 2.
  • Baked cookie that has a darker spot in the center on an underside is most likely underbaked.

FLAVORINGS

Lemon / Orange Zest Cookies – use 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest and 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 teaspoon lemon extract

Chocolate Chip Cut Out Cookies – ¼ cup granulated sugar, ¾ cup brown sugar, micro chocolate chips (add these with flour), 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Almond Sugar Cookies –  add 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 teaspoon almond extract. I find almond flavor to be very strong and 1 teaspoon does the trick for me but if you’d like to add even more extract you definitely can. Almond cookies pair really nicely with my Fresh lemon royal icing.

Spices – you can also add spices to this recipe, try cinnamon, cardamom or pumpkin spice to make them more seasonal.

HOW TO PREVENT COOKIES FROM SPREADING TOO MUCH?

Make sure to use a room temperature butter when making the dough. If butter is too soft your dough will be softer than normal. I often experienced spreading when I used very soft butter.

Properly chill the dough before cutting out shapes. Keep in mind that the dough shouldn’t be very soft. Once you cut out shapes, place them onto the cool baking sheet lined with a parchment paper.

Don’t place unbaked cookies on a warm baking sheet. Try not to overcrowd your baking sheet. Transfer the baking sheet with cut out cookies into the fridge and chill for 10 minutes or freeze for 5 minutes.

You can also try omitting baking powder or use lesser amount.

BAKING

Bake cookies until the center of the cookie has risen, or until golden brown around the edges if you prefer your cookies this way. I bake my cookies at 375 – 380F (193C) for 9-11 minutes. Cookies are soft when they come out of the oven. Don’t open the oven more than once for rotating the sheet. If your oven bakes evenly you can skip this step. Let the cookies cool on a baking sheet for 5-7 minutes then carefully transfer cookies onto a cooling rack.

IS IT POSSIBLE TO MAKE COOKIES WITH A SOFTER BITE?

Powdered sugar produces cookies with a softer, tender crumb. You can use 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar in a place of granulated sugar in this recipe. Or replace 2 tbl of all purpose flour with 2tbl cornstarch, see if that is sufficient for your taste.

DO YOU HAVE A RECIPE FOR COOKIES WITHOUT EGGS AND BUTTER?

Yes. Here is my delicious Vegan Sugar Cookie Recipe.

I LIKE SOFT SUGAR COOKIES, DO YOU HAVE A RECIPE FOR SOFT COOKIES?

I love this recipe for cut out Soft Sugar Cookies. You can also try this seasonal variation Soft Pumpkin Cookies. Both recipes include delicious butter frosting recipe.

CAN I HAVE YOUR GLUTEN FREE COOKIE RECIPE?

This Gluten Free Sugar Cookie Recipe is really delicious.

HOW CAN I MAKE VEGAN AND GLUTEN FREE COOKIE RECIPE?

One of the readers made GF and Vegan Cookies using my Vegan Sugar Cookie Recipe with Pamela’s Artisan GF flour.

Christina said :Thank you so much! I have family and friends who are gluten free and vegan, and have always struggled with the right GF-V sugar cookie recipe. Many I am sure are great with the products other recipes suggest, but not all vegan products are readily available everywhere. I have had so many disappointing GF-V cookies.

I just made this recipe using Pamela’s Artisan GF flour and am so impressed with how the dough handles – not sticky at all! By using the associated video I was able to judge, as with any other sugar cookie recipe, whether to add a bit more flour to get the correct consistency. The cookies are out of the oven and ta da!! No spread either! “

HOW LONG DO SUGAR COOKIES LAST?

Store baked cookies in an airtight container for up to 2 to 3 weeks, if stored properly, in an airtight container or heat sealed.

CAN I PROLONG COOKIES’ SHELF LIFE ?

You can add 1tbsp of food grade glycerin, honey or agave nectar per batch. All 3 are hygroscopic and absorb moisture from air, keeping the cookies moist for longer. If packaged properly cookies will last for up to 4 weeks.

CAN I FREEZE COOKIE DOUGH?

You can freeze well wrapped cookie dough for up to 3 months. Let defrost in the fridge overnight.

HOW TO FREEZE BAKED SUGAR COOKIES?

How to Freeze Baked Sugar Cookies. Defrost cookies in the container and decorate as desired.

CAN THESE COOKIES BE FROZEN AFTER BAKING THEN THAWED AND DECORATED?

absolutely. I do it all the time. Here is a quick tutorial  on how to freeze cookies.

HOW TO FREEZE UNBAKED COOKIES?

To freeze unbaked cookies, freeze cut out cookies on a flat tray in one layer. Then layer frozen cookies into a freezer save bin, between sheets of wax paper or parchment. When ready to bake,  place the frozen cookies on the prepared baking sheet lined with parchment. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes and bake as usual.

WHAT KIND OF ICING DO YOU USE TO DECORATE SUGAR COOKIES?

I use Royal Icing to decorate cookies.

DO YOU HAVE A SOFT BUTTER FROSTING I CAN USE TO DECORATE COOKIES?

I like using this Buttercream Frosting and if are looking for something with more seasonal flavor you can try delicious Maple Buttercream Frosting/

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 use a 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.

Store packaged cookies in a carton box away from the direct sunlight. 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.

In case you don’t need 100 boxes, you can try  Nashville Wraps. They sell these cookie boxes in the set of 50 pieces.

You can use cookie tins that are available at discounted prices during holidays or visit your local bakery. Ask if 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.

PIN IT for later

This update version of the recipe, originally published in 2013 includes Sugar Cookie FAQ, and more tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links that earn me a small commission, at no cost to you. I only recommend products that I use and love. Learn more about my affiliate policy here.

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208 Comments

  1. Hi! I seem to be getting a few air bubbles on my cookies that aren’t flattening out. Anything that would cause this?

    1. Hi Gabriella,
      bubbles are such a nuisance. Bubbles raise to the surface and so if icing has a lot of them once cookies are iced within several minutes bubbles start emerging on the surface. I personally find that when I add too much water to my icing to quickly it leads to excessive amount of bubbles. When that happens I cover the bowl with icing with a damp towel for 10 minutes. Then I stir the icing with a toothpick to pop as many surface bubbles as possible. I bang the bowl on the counter this also helps to pop some bubbles. I cover the bowl again and let it sit again for 10 minutes and repeat the process until I’m happy with how icing looks. Then I just pop bubbles as I ice the cookies, if I see any.

      1. Thanks you so much! What if you see bubbles in the cookies themselves? Mine have been coming out with a few bubbles or lumps even when skipping the baking powder

      2. Hi Gabriella,
        This could be happening for couple of reasons I know of :
        Butter is too cold
        Over beating butter sugar and egg mixture
        Beating at high speed can also incorporate too much air and it can then expand during baking creating bubbles. Hope it helps.

  2. This is the ONLY roll out sugar cookie I use. Yesterday instead of putting vanilla and lemon extract in it I used blueberry emulsion, 2 TBSP. They tasted like Blueberry Pop Tarts without frosting…. yummy!! I have several other emulsions I am going to try today. Love this recipe!!!

  3. I love your recipe! When I make the lemon variation do I add the tablespoon of vanilla in the original recipe and then the 1 tsp of additional vanilla in the lemon variation directions or do I only use 1 tsp vanilla for the recipe?

    1. Hi Julie,
      Sorry about the confusion in the recipe.
      When I make lemon version I use
      1tsp vanilla, 1tsp lemon extract and 1tbsp lemon zest.
      Thank you.

  4. I am not a baker (cupcakes and simple cakes is the extent of what I do). I made these for the first time for my daughter’s birthday party last month and they turned out amazing! So yummy and perfect for decorating! The tip for using two paint sticks glued together as guides is GENIUS! No way I would have gotten them to such even thickness!! They were a huge hit! Even with several other baked goodies at the party, every last cookie was eaten! Planning to make a batch tomorrow for my daughter and her cousins to decorate for fun this weekend!! Thanks for sharing this great recipe and tips!!

  5. Just wanted to point out that .25 or 1/4 inch is 6.35 millimeters or .635 centimeters and not 2.54 centimeters. 2.54 centimeters would be nearly an inch thick.

  6. I too found my cookie dough very crumbly and hard to roll out even after putting pieces in microwave. I did use the scraps just once because of the dry texture of the dough. I felt it would end up tough if rerolling a second time. I read your suggestions of adding 1 tsp milk to dough but if it’s already been shaped in a disc wouldn’t adding the milk at that stage overwork it and become tough? When making the dough and before shaping in a disc it appeared that it would just fine. In the end I got 12 cookies but more than 1/4″ thick. As a result I through out quite a bit of dough because I felt it may be too tough a cookie if I rolled it out a second time.

    Thanks for any additional advice.

    1. Hi Pam
      sorry to hear you had issue with dough being crumbly. As we have emailed I know you are using King Arthur flour so it’s definitely not the flour. I use KA also and it’s great! The only other thing I could thing of is the egg, I generally use large egg. If you experience it again I’d add one more egg yolk.

  7. I’ve been searching for the best cutout cookie recipe for years. So many end up spreading too much, or are thinner and less sturdy than expected. This recipe is perfect and I’ve used it many times now. They turn out perfect every time; thick and sturdy, a slight crunch with a soft inside. Plus they are super easy to make, and don’t require you to keep dusting the counter top with more and more flour when rolling them out. I’ve had several people ask for the recipe, and request that I make these. Thank you so much for sharing!

      1. Hi Carol,
        I used to use it all the time. I often skip it now, especially when making square or round cookies. I find it gives me better results, cookies with sharp edges.

    1. Hey. I’m sorry but I followed the directions exactly (except butter wasn’t a stick and it may have been a little cool). But my dough is no way Shapeable

      1. Hi Kim, have you tried it again after we emailed? I know you used the spread from a tub first time so that’s why it wasn’t working. Just wondering if you gave it a go with butter instead of the spread.

  8. Hi Hani!

    I was just hoping you could help me with a problem I had when making the cookies. I made the dough and refrigerated it the whole night. When I went to roll them for some reason they kept cracking when I would roll the dough. Like the dough would have all these cracks and I would keep trying to roll the cracks out but they wouldn’t go away. Would you know why?

    1. Hi Leslie, sounds like the dough was dry for some reason. What kind of flour did you use? And how was the dough when you first made it? If something like this happens in the future I’d recommend adding a tsp of milk to the dough.

      1. Hi! The dough was sticky when it was done mixing so I added more flour. Maybe that was it. I added too much. Thank you! Now I know to be careful with it. 🙂

  9. Hi, I wish I would have seen this post before I started my Christmas cookies. Your very good at getting things across. Very detailed! Thank you.You have given sooooo many good tips. I especially like the paint stir sticks as guides. I will definitely check out your other posts. Keep up the good work.👍😏

  10. I love this recipe. I follow exactly but I still have some spread. What should I do… the cookie shape is great but it does spread bigger than my cutter. Any tips or suggestions?!
    Thank you,
    Stacia

    1. Hi Karen,
      I haven’t tried this recipe for a full scale gingerbread house, I’ve only used for small pieces like mini houses (3 inch size) and 3D Cookies. I think different flour to butter ratio is needed for a sturdier dough.

  11. I have been making sugar cookie cut outs for years for every holiday and occasion – this is by far the BEST recipe! The dough was super easy to work with and I am sooooo thrilled to finally have a thick delicious cookie that holds it’s shape! Thank you!

  12. Hani:
    Thank you for this recipe-it is very forgiving and easy to change up depending on what you need! For example, I wanted sharper edges when I used a gingerbread man cutter, so eliminating the baking powder worked for that; another time I was in a hurry and didn’t chill the tray of cutout cookie dough before baking-still worked (but I like the outcome better when chilled).
    Great flavor, great texture. My new go-to recipe for sugar cookies.

  13. Hi hani your cookie looks soft but I want crispy cookies. So sorry to ask but can I add food coloring to the cookie dough and please do you have a recipe for crunchy butter cookies and soft fried doughnuts because I really don’t know how to make fried doughnuts. I really like cooking well I am still a child but I am interested in cooking. Please how do I create a you tube channel . I want m channel to be about food. Thanks and I look forward to seeing your reply. Bye

    1. Hello!
      This cookie recipe is a cross between sugar and shortbread cookies, it’s not very soft. I also have a recipe for fried doughnuts.
      If you’d like to start a youtube channel go for it. You need to create an account, similarly like you email account and then create a channel and start uploading your videos. Good Luck.

  14. Hi ! Your page is really very helpful! I just saw ur account in IG and im definitely following ☺️
    I have a question re sugar cookies. If microwave is not available. What must i do to soften the hard dough ?
    Thanks in advance .
    Mich

    1. I’d use 1 cup coconut, roast it first, then break it up a little bit in the food chopper, not into a powder but just so it’s a bit smaller. And I’d use 10 drops of Lorann coconut flavoring. If it appears too dry, add 1tablespoon of milk or use extra egg yolk.

  15. I want to start off by saying I don’t bake cookies.. period. I tried this recipe and it makes the most DELICIOUS sugar cookies. My one question, after putting the dough in the refrigerator for about 7 hours it came out really crumbly. I rolled it out, and chunks kept breaking off. I managed to get some of the dough rolled out enough to cut out some cookies but the cookies also tasted a little dry. Is the dough supposed to be this way? If not, what can I do to moisten it up a little without causing spreading?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Amy, I think it can sometimes happen if the flour is too dry. I’d add 1tbl of milk. Thank you. Keep me posted how it goes in the future. May I ask what brand of flour are you using? I’m just curious. Thank you.

  16. I really love this recipe for your cookies. It is the only one I have ever used. I have read from others about using powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar to make the dough. They say it makes the cookies soft. Have you ever tried that?

    1. Hi Teresa,
      Yes, powdered sugar makes softer cookies. I haven’t tried powdered sugar with this exact recipe. I’d use 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar. 🙂

  17. Can your recipe for cut out cookies to be flooded be doubled? I have 150- 3 in. thick paw cookies to make for my grandson’s graduation. I have been baking for 70 years, so I have a long history of baking. Thank you. Analea

  18. My comment about the edges of the cookies is supposed to say sturdy not dirty LOL I apologize

  19. I’ve been baking sugar cookies for a while and I cannot get them to look as dirty as yours with the edges the way yours are. My edges are always rounded and more flat. The cookie isn’t actually flat but the edges rounded off. Is there something I can do to make the edges of the cookies look like yours LOL is there a trick to that because that is what I have been trying to do

  20. To do the chocolate chip cutout cookies, do I just add the additional ingredients to the ones already listed for the sugar cookie? Will they take additional time to bake? What flavor icing would you recommend for them?

    1. I haven’t posted the recipe for chocolate chip ones. I generally sub white sugar for brown sugar, 3/4 cup micro chips or mini chips. If you’d like you can also add a touch of nutmeg. I think they will go well with plain vanilla icing, but I like like raspberry, or even coffee is nice.

      1. I was just going off of what you posted in the flavorings section for chocolate chip cut out cookies at the bottom of the sugar cookie recipe. Thank you for your feedback!

    1. Hi Michelle, depends on how thick you make them and how big of a cutter you are using.
      1/4 inch thick, about 3 inch across about 20 pieces.

    2. I don’t know if this will be helpful for anyone else.. but I just made two batches of this dough, anticipating to get close to 20 per batch and it wasn’t even close! 🙁 So I’m going to scramble to make a third one.. I did 3″ rounds and them 1/4″ thick and only got about 14 per batch of dough..

      1. Hi Renee, sorry you had to make another batch.I have to double check my guides then. I better make the adjustment in the recipe. Hope they turned out ok.

  21. Hello again Hani 🙂
    I forgot I had one more question..How long do I let the butter sit out for at room temperature to avoid it getting too soft? Want to make sure I do this right the first time!
    Thank you!!

  22. Hello Hani,
    I discovered your blog after watching your sugar cookies video on You Tube. I plan on making these in a few days but I have never baked cookies from scratch before (testing them out to make Super Mario cookies for my son’s birthday next month). Here are my questions if you have a moment please:
    1. Can I bake these on a stainless steel baking rack?
    2. I plan to use ready rolled fondant since I will be using the Super Mario cookie cutter for it too (never attempted fondant either!). Once cookies have cooled & I add the ready rolled fondant, do I need to place the cookies in the refrigerator? I plan to wrap them up & tie them the morning of the party.
    Thank you for your time & I cannot wait to make these 🙂

    1. Hi Jocelyn,
      thanks for stopping by.
      1. It really depends on the of stainless steel baking sheet you have. Are they black steel? Black steel is a good heat conductor but cookies can brown rather fast. I’d suggest lining your pan with parchment and lower the temp by 10F.
      2. You don’t need to place decorated cookies in the fridge. Keep them on a tray in one layer. You can cover them with a parchment paper.Then package them into bags.

      1. Thank you so much for responding! No the rack is not black steel & I think I should just go the safe route & use a light colored baking sheet or silicone mat instead as you suggest on this blog then, see what a newbie I am! 🙂 Appreciate your guidance!!

    2. Hi Hani,
      I have to make 160 cookies for my friends wedding as favors. If I were to use this recipe how long should i bake them to get crunchy cookies?

      1. Hi Vicky,
        depending on how thick you are making the cookies I’d start with 12-13 minutes to get golden edges. Hope it helps.

  23. Hi Hani, I have a question about the flour. You list 3 cups/450 g. I use King Arthur Flour brand, which is 120 g per cup. Do you recommend I use my measuring cups to come to 3 cups or should I weigh out 450 g? I can’t wait to try these!

  24. Hi. I am Mariella. I love your website and YouTube chanel. I have a question: How to fix cookies in a box 10x7x1″ so they do not move during delivery and transportation preventing and eliminate breakage? Thank You.

    1. Hi Mariella,
      are they being shipped via delivery carrier or just transported from one location to another, in the car ? I’d use crinkle paper or nest them into a tissue lined box.I’d use crinkle paper only if cookie are individually wrapped.

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