This easy cut out sugar cookie recipe makes a simple sugar cookie made with cookie cutters. This is the perfect Christmas cookie as it holds frosting and can be made into truffles!
It’s that time of year again to make Santa’s cookies. It’s day 18 of the 25 days of baking and I’m asking, “Which cookies are Santa’s favorite?” Christmas sugar cookies of course. Santa loves seeing all the creativity and love put into decorating his cookies, just ask Buddy the Elf!
Before I jump in to the decorating though, let me introduce you to my favorite sugar cookie recipe. It easy, delicious and perfect for gifting around the holidays.
How to make cut out sugar cookies
Cut out sugar cookie ingredients include flour, baking powder, salt, butter, confectioners’ sugar, egg and vanilla extract. Whisk the dry ingredients in one bowl and set aside. Beat the butter and sugar using a stand mixer or hand mixer. Add the egg and vanilla, and mix to combine. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix to combine.
This recipe does not require you to chill the dough. So right away you can flour your work surface and rolling pin. Roll the cookie dough out to 1/4-inch thick. Place on parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake at 400 F for 8 minutes.
How to cut out sugar cookies
Cutting out sugar cookies can be easy with a few tips.
- Roll cookie dough out to 1/4 inch thick. Make sure the dough thickness is even so the cookies bake at the same rate. This rolling pin guarantees even thickness.
- Use cookie cutters that are about the same size. Again, this way the cookies bake at the same rate. I like these round cookie cutters or these holiday ones for Christmas.
- Dip the cookie cutters in flour before cutting the dough. This will prevent the dough from getting stuck to the cutter.
How long to bake sugar cookies
Sugar cookies require about 8 minutes of baking at 400 F. However, that might differ depending on the size of the sugar cookies. Smaller cookies about 2 inches in diameter require closer to 6 minutes of baking. Larger sugar cookies about 4 or 5 inches in diameter may take closer to 10 minutes to bake. Sugar cookies are done when edges are set and about to turn golden.
Easy cut out sugar cookie recipe perks…
- No chilling necessary for the dough
- The recipe doubles easily
- The royal icing hardens nicely for cookie stacking and gifting purposes
- If you leave them out for Santa, I guarantee he will return the favor under the tree
Hurry down the chimney tonight… “Santa Baby” by Eartha Kitt
Easy Cut Out Sugar Cookie Recipe
- 2 1/2 cups (312 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (226 g or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cup (187 g) confectioners’ sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or almond extract
- Preheat oven to 400° F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine softened butter and confectioners’ sugar using a hand mixer.¹ Beat until light and fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat until thoroughly incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides as necessary.
- With mixer on low, slowly add flour mixture to the bowl. The dough is ready when most of it sticks to the paddle. When touched, it has a little give, but does not stick to fingers.
- Flour the work surface and roll dough to about 1/4 inch thick, using flour for dusting as necessary. Use cookie cutters to cut cookies and place on prepared baking sheet. Gather scraps and reroll dough when necessary.
- Bake for 7 to 8 minutes, rotating halfway through. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
- Alternatively, you can use a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
- If using different cookie cutter shapes, place cookies of similar size on the same baking sheet as they will bake at the same rate.
- Store baked sugar cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.
- Sugar cookie dough can be stored in the refrigerator for a week or plastic wrapped in the freezer for 1 month. Let dough come to room temperature before rolling and baking.
How to decorate cut out sugar cookies
If you would like to ice your sugar cookies, I suggest using this royal icing recipe! I use it every year for Christmas and gift the cookies to friends and family.
Meringue powder is the best ingredient to use for royal icing, but it can be hard to find. If you can’t find it at your local grocery to or specialty cook store, try Amazon.
- 4 cups (500 g) confectioners’ sugar sifted
- 4 tablespoons meringue powder
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp warm water
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine confectioners’ sugar and meringue powder on low speed, about 10 seconds.
- Add the vanilla to the water and slowly add it to the dry ingredients while mixing. At first the icing will be very liquid-like.
- Continue to mix it at medium-high speed until it is fluffy and stiff peaks form, about 7-10 minutes. Stop the mixer as soon as the icing becomes stiff (mixing times are approximate).¹
- Put icing in different bowls and mix with food coloring of your choice. Transfer to pastry bags with desired tip and ice away!
- Over mixing and oil-containing extracts can keep the icing from setting up, so keep this in mind as you work.
- It is best to ice sugar cookies the day after you bake them. This keeps the oils (aka butter) in the cookies from seeping into the icing.
Recipe from The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle