What are Cut Out Sugar Cookies? | What’s so Terrible About this Recipe? | Why These Cut Out Sugar Cookies will Drive You Mad | How to Make Cut Out Sugar Cookies | Essential Baking Tools for This Recipe
WARNING: This cut out sugar cookie recipe will increase your appetite for cookies all year long…leading to more practice, better skills, and maybe even some mad royal icing skills.
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What are Cut Out Sugar Cookies?
Cut out sugar cookies are composed of butter, sugar, flour, eggs, salt, and flavoring. We omit leaveners so that the cookies do not rise and expand, causing them to lose their shape.
What’s So Terrible About This Cut Out Sugar Cookie Recipe?
It’s the sugar cookie that will have you saying, “Where have you been all my life?!” These sugar cookies are perfectly soft, have just the right balance of sweetness with a hint of saltiness, and they have a light, buttery flavor accented by fragrant vanilla. And they hold their shape too!
Doesn’t that sound awful? Who wants a recipe that produces a flavorful perfectly shaped cookie every time?
Did I mention that they stay soft and moist for days, and they are super easy to make & bake? I developed this recipe when I started teaching royal icing cookie classes, and everyone loves this cookie. Sounds awful, right?
Why These Cut Out Sugar Cookies Will Drive you Mad
- For one, there won’t be any left when you make them for friends and family.
- You may have to fight people off to get the last one because they are so delicious.
- Everyone will be asking you for the recipe, which will take up precious time because you will have to send it to gobs of people.
- People will think that you are a genius baker, and they will always want you to make a dessert for every event in the future.
- And lastly, you won’t want to stop eating them, especially if you top them with the BEST Royal Icing or this secret ingredient Buttercream Frosting. Your taste buds will keep chanting softly, “We want more. We need more!” until you finally give them what they want.
How to Make Cut Out Sugar Cookies
- Read through the recipe before you start! Reading through the recipe gives your mind a visual picture of what needs to happen, and it makes the process go smoother.
- Use cold butter every time. Cold butter helps the cookies to form a tighter structure so that they won’t spread easily.
- Chill the dough for at least an hour in the fridge. Cold dough will not lose its shape when you cut out your cookies.
- Roll the dough out on a piece of wax paper that fits the length of a half sheet pan. Rolling the dough on wax paper makes the dough easy to move to the refrigerator. Lightly dust the top of the dough with flour before rolling so that it doesn’t stick to your rolling pin.
- Use a 1/4 inch or 1/8 inch rolling pin if at all possible. Here is the rolling pin I use, and it creates perfectly uniform cookies every time.
DON’T brown the cookies! At the very most, it’s okay if there is a slight golden hue on the very edges of the cookies, but they are best if they are not browned.
Around eleven minutes should do the trick in most ovens, but of course every oven bakes differently, so start with 9 or 10 minutes and add a minute at a time to get your cookies just right.
Essential Baking Tools for This Recipe
- A stand mixer is essential because mixing cold butter is too difficult with a hand mixer and can burn up the motor. You can always mix by hand…but I can’t promise that your arm won’t fall off. Save your energy and use a good mixer.
- A 1/4 inch rolling pin is the most essential tool because it takes the guess work away. You won’t have thinner edges or thicker spots in the dough when you use a guided rolling pin. Your results will be consistent every time. Period.
- Rimmed half sheet baking pans are also essential. These pans help the cookies to hold their shape as they bake without browning too fast.
- Remove butter from fridge 15 minutes before mixing. Cream butter and sugar in a stand mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add whole egg and mix on low, then add egg yolk and vanilla and mix on low speed until blended in.
- Add flour and salt; mix on low/medium low speed until all of the ingredients are fully incorporated. Do NOT over mix the dough! If there is any butter or sugar stuck to the paddle, scrape it off and mix for a few seconds until just mixed in.
- Cut a piece of wax paper to fit a rimmed half sheet baking pan. Put the wax paper on your counter, and place the dough in the center of the wax paper. Sprinkle the top of the dough lightly with flour and roll out to **1/4 inch thick. Place the rolled dough on your baking sheet and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour. The dough can be frozen at this point if you do not want to use it right away.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees; remove dough from fridge, uncover, and gently lift dough away from wax paper on each side so it is not stuck to the paper. Cut out desired shapes and move cookies to a parchment lined cookie sheet. Refrigerate cutout cookies for 10 minutes.
- Bake for 8 – 11 minutes, but do not brown the cookies! They will still be light in color when they are finished. Sometimes a cookie with sharp corners, such as a star, will be slightly golden on the pointed edges, but the rest of the cookie should not be browned. Let cookies cool on a wire rack for an hour before icing.
- Ice cookies with royal icing or buttercream icing. Enjoy every bite of your perfectly soft, perfectly shaped sugar cookies!
This recipe is a Baker Street original recipe.
**You can also roll the dough to 1/8 inch thick, but the baking time will decrease. Start with 6 minutes for baking, but the cookies will most likely need another 1-2 minutes.
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