Oh, the dreaded cutout cookie. I love sugar cookies but used to hate making them. To be honest, I was afraid of the dough! It’s sticky, makes a mess, and takes forever. However, I found THE best recipe and I’ve used it many times so I know it will work for you, too. There are a lot of steps and it does take a while from mixing dough to eating an actual cookie but it is so worth it! Just be patient, take your time and you will master the cutout 🙂 I frost my sugar cookies with a powdered sugar glaze that hardens. I included that recipe in this post. Here we go…
What you will need:
One or two cookie sheets lined with parchment paper
Cookie cutters, any shape
An extra sheet of parchment paper and wax paper
For the sugar cookies:
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the glaze:
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
4 teaspoons light corn syrup
6 +/- teaspoons milk (depending on how thick/thin you want the glaze)
Food coloring (optional)
To make the dough:
(Tip: This dough needs to be refrigerated a couple hours before rolling and baking. I make mine the day before and then let it sit on the counter about 10-15 minutes to soften it up before rolling.)
In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside. In another large bowl (or bowl of your electric mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture until you have a nice, smooth dough. Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one to two hours, or overnight.
To roll, cut, and bake the dough:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
Remove one half of the chilled dough from the refrigerator and take off plastic wrap. Place on a large piece of lightly floured parchment paper (this eliminates any dough sticking to your counter). Lightly flour the top of the dough and place a sheet of wax paper on top (this eliminates any dough sticking to your rolling pin). With your rolling pin, roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick. Then, with the cookie cutter, cut out desired shapes and transfer cookies to the baking sheet. (Note: if you are not frosting your cookies, now is when you can sprinkle them with sparkling sugar.) Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes to chill the cookies (this helps the cookies hold their shape while baking). Gather remaining dough, roll out and cut out more cookies until you have no more dough.
Bake cookies for about 8-10 minutes or until the edges are starting to brown. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on baking sheet about 1-2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.
To make the glaze:
In a medium sized bowl, stir together the powdered sugar, corn syrup and 6 teaspoons of milk. Next, add food coloring (if using). If needed, add more milk, teaspoon by teaspoon to get desired consistency. Frost completely cooled cookies. Tip: I pour my glaze in a shallow bowl (like a pie pan) which makes it easier to dip the cookies and get an even layer of glaze on top. Let the glaze harden, about an hour, before storing in an airtight container. Enjoy!