These Super Soft Cut Out Sugar Cookies have been a family favorite since I was a kid. They are super soft on the inside with a crispy, light golden brown outside, and so easy to make with cookie cutters! If you're a cookie artist in search of that perfect sugar cookie recipe, look no further!
- 2 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
- 1 cup Unsalted Butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups Sifted Confectioners Sugar
- 1 Large Egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract
sugar cookie glaze
- 2 cups Sifted Confectioners Sugar
- 2 tablespoons Light Corn Syrup
- 2 1/2 tablespoons Milk (I used Fat Free)
- 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 teaspoon Almond Extract
- 1/8 teaspoon or Pinch of Salt
- Food Coloring or Icing Gel
- 8 tablespoons Water
- 3 tablespoons Meringue Powder
- 4 cups Sifted Confectioners Sugar
- Food Coloring or Icing Gel
additional items needed
- Cookie Cutters (mine came from Michael's and A Touch of Finland)
- Sanding Sugars
- Small Piping Bags or Mini Piping Bottles (piping tips do not have to be used with the bags. I just snipped mine off when I ready to start decorating)
- Assorted Cookie Decorations (check out my Homemade Gingerbread Houses post for decorating ideas)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Set to the side.
- Using your hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the unsalted butter on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy.
- Add in the confectioners sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract, and egg mixing until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Switch the mixer speed to a lower setting, gradually adding in the whisked dry mixture until fully incorporated.
- Transfer the sugar cookie dough onto a clean, lightly floured work surface, then divide it into 2 sections. Roll out each section of cookie dough to a 1/4 inch thickness slab. Carefully move the slab onto a sheet of parchment paper, then place the sheet onto a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan. Repeat with the second section of dough, place it on a sheet of parchment paper, then place on top of the first layer. Refrigerate the cookie dough for a minimum of 1 hour or (my preference) overnight.
- After chilling is complete, adjust your oven rack to the 2nd level position and preheat your oven to 375ºF. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Flour your cookie cutters and cut out your shapes. Place each cut out shape about 1"- 1 1/2" apart on the cookie sheet. If you'd rather just use sanding sugar to decorate your cookies instead of the sugar cookie glaze or royal icing, now is the time to sprinkle them on top of the cookies.
- Bake the cookies for 7-8 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Allow them to cool on the cookie sheet for 5-10 minutes before transferring them to a wire cooling rack. Let them cool completely before decorating them with either the sugar cookie glaze or royal icing.
sugar cookie glaze
- Using your hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the confectioners sugar, light corn syrup, milk, vanilla extract, almond extract, and salt until very smooth.
- Divide the glaze into separate bowls for each color you plan to use, then add the food dye or icing gels. Start by adding a little bit and build to the color you're satisfied with.
royal icing (for a glue-like piping consistency)
- Using your hand-held mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment mix together the meringue powder and warm water on medium speed until blended.
- Reduce the mixer speed and gradually add in the confectioners sugar until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then mix once more on medium-high speed.
- For a flooding consistency that is runnier than glue and will disappear back into the mixing bowl within 10-15 seconds, I typically add in another 2 tablespoons of warm water.
decorating the cookies
- When ready to decorate, dip the top of each cookie into the colored glaze and allow any excess to drip off.
- Place on a wire rack with a paper towel underneath to dry.
- If you're topping the glaze with only sanding sugar, add it now before the glaze dries.
- If you're using royal icing, wait until the glaze has dried to the touch.
- After decorating all the cookies, allow to dry overnight completely.
- You can keep these stored in an airtight container with wax or parchment paper in between the cookies so you don't smoosh you decorations.
- Add in a slice of bread to keep them nice and soft (optional)
- Recipe bake times are approximate and will vary based on your oven. Always begin to check on your recipe at the first recommended bake time listed.
- Recipe does not include time for cooling of cookies after baking.
- Sugar cookie glaze and royal icing prep times are not noted in the recipe, but take approximately 45 minutes. This includes making both the glaze and icing, coloring, adding to piping bags (if needed), and setting up your work area.
- Total decorating time for these super soft cut-out sugar cookies will vary based on how many cookies are made (based on size of cookie cutter shapes) and experience level.
- Whatever cookie sheet or jelly roll pan you use for chilling the slabs of cookie dough, make sure it fits in your refrigerator!
- If your cookie dough is still too sticky while rolling it out, you can add a little more flour to the work surface.
- I prefer to roll my sugar cookies out to a 1/4 inch thickness. If you would like to roll them out thinner, make sure to pay attention to the time you bake them because they'll bake faster than thicker rolled cookies.
- You can roll the cookie dough directly onto a sheet of parchment paper which will make it easier to place onto the cookie sheet or jelly roll pan for chilling.
If you’d like, you can reuse the parchment paper you used earlier to roll out the dough.
- If time allows, you can chill the cut out cookie shapes in the freezer for 10-15 minutes before baking. This is an optional step.
- Sometimes the more you handle the cookie dough, you can end up with air bubbles after baking. If this happens, remove them from the oven and gently tap the tops of them with a spatula/turner.
decorating the cut-out sugar cookies
- You can skip using the glaze and royal icing and just decorate the cookies with sanding sugars. If you choose to do this, you'll add the sugars before you bake the cookies. This option is less messy and possibly better for little kids who are just getting into cookie decorating. It's how I learned to decorate cut-out sugar cookies as a kid!
- Allow the glazed cut-out sugar cookies to fully dry before adding the royal icing.
This is a family recipe and was given to me by my late Grammy. The sugar cookie glaze recipe was adapted from My Name is Yeh.
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