This recipe is the perfect sugar cookie cutout recipe for holiday baking. The dough is easy to work with, won’t spread when baking!
I’ve included lots of tips and tricks to help you make the perfect Christmas cookies!
Who doesn’t love to gather family around during the holidays and spend quality time together decorating sugar cookies?
This sugar cookie recipe is simple and you’ll love how tender they are.
What Ingredients are in Cut Out Sugar Cookies
- unsalted butter
- granulated sugar
- vanilla extract
- all-purpose flour
How to Make Cut Out Sugar Cookies
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until light well combined.
- Add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix until incorporated evenly.
- Add the flour and salt and continue to mix until the dough starts to pull away from the sides.
- Divide the dough into 3 equal parts, shape into a disk and roll the dough between two pieces of wax paper to a 1/4″ thickness.
- Chill the sheets of dough in the fridge for at least 1 hour to let it set up.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use a cookie cutter to cut out desired shapes and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the bottoms are a VERY light golden brown. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the cookies cool on the baking sheet.
- Use buttercream or royal icing to decorate the cookies. Store cookies in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
Tips for making Perfect Cut Out Sugar Cookies:
- Use rolling pin guides to get an even thickness across the cookie. I use a 1/4″ guide to roll out my dough. I’ve had really great success with the Joseph Joseph 20085 Adjustable Rolling Pin with Removable Rings. You can also use a couple of unused paint sticks on either side of your dough to use as thickness guides for your rolling pin.
- I like to roll the dough between two pieces of wax paper right after I mix the dough, place on a cookie sheet and refrigerate them for an hour before cutting out my shapes. The dough should be hard to the touch.
- Always use parchment paper to line baking pans. This will prevent sticking and over-browning on the bottom of the cookies.
- Use light colored baking sheets when baking your sugar cookies. Darker colored baking sheets will cause the bottom of the cookies to over-bake slightly and turn a darker brown.
- Don’t over crowd the baking sheet. If you are baking a standard size 3″ sugar cookie, only bake up to a dozen cookies at a time. This will ensure that there is plenty of room around the cookies so that they bake evenly on the tray. Over time, my personal preference has become 8 cookies to a tray.
- If your cookies come out a bit puffy, you can use a fondant smoother to flatten the top of the cookies right when they come out of the oven. This will make it easier to decorate the cookies with royal icing. Press down very lightly because you do not want the cookie to lose it’s shape. You don’t want to flatten the whole cookie either, just smooth the top of the cookie. If you don’t have a fondant smoother just use something that has a flat smooth surface.
- Always use ingredients that are at room temperature. This makes the ingredients easier to incorporate with each other and makes a smoother cookie dough.
- Don’t over mix the dough. Mix until dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
- Bake until the cookies are just starting to turn a light golden brown. This is usually about 10-12 minutes for a cookie that is 1/4″ thick. Keep a close eye on them until you get to know your oven so they don’t over-bake.
- Leave the cookies on the baking sheet after you remove them from the oven. The cookies still need to cook a little after they’ve been removed from the oven. You can transfer them to a cooling rack after about 7-10 minutes or just leave them on the baking sheet.
- Omit baking powder in sugar cookie cutout recipes because it causes the cookies to puff while baking.
Get the family together this week and crank out a few dozen of these amazing little sugar cookies. I’ve also included a link to my royal icing recipe so that you can get busy decorating! I hope that you and your family have a wonderful Christmas!
Cut Out Sugar Cookie Recipe
- 2 sticks unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups all purpose flour sifted
- 1 teaspoon salt
Royal Icing Recipe
- Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar and butter on low speed for about 2 minutes. The mixture should be light and fluffy but be careful not to over-beat.
- Add the eggs, one at a time and beat on low speed until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Add the vanilla extract and mix until everything is combined.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, sift the flour and salt together.
- Add the dry ingredients to the mixer and beat on low speed for about 30-45 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then continue to beat until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Another 30-45 seconds.
- Place half of the dough between two pieces of wax paper and roll out into desired thickness. I prefer ¼ inch thickness. Repeat with the other half.
- Stack the sheets of rolled out dough on a baking sheet (do not remove wax paper) and chill in the refrigerator for about an hour or until the dough is hard to the touch.
- Preheat your oven to 350°.
- Cut your shapes out of the rolled out dough, place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 10-14 minutes. You want them to be very light golden brown around the edges. Do not over-bake!
- Remove the cookies from the oven and leave them on the baking sheet to cool down completely before decorating.
- Use a rolling pin with guides to help get the perfect 1/4" thickness.
- Chill for at least one hour before cutting out shapes.
- Don't over-bake. The cookies will be a very light golden brown color on the bottom of the cookie.
- Store in a container at room temperature for up to 4 days.