THE Best Sugar Cookie Cut-Out Recipe
It has been a yearly tradition since I was little for the ladies in my family to get together during December and have a cookie baking party. It isn’t JUST for the women, but the guys never really seem to want to come; they just want to eat lol. As we have lost some of our loved ones, and the children in the family have all grown up… Now, we do it at my house and we invite our friends to come too. We make it a fun-filled day of eating raw sugar cookie dough and making a colorful mess of icing and sprinkles all over my dining table.
What IS The Perfect Sugar Cookie Cut-Out?
I grew up on Betty Crocker sugar cookies…not even the ones from the cookbook, but actually the kind that comes in the bag. There’s something about them… the flavor… those cookies are nostalgic to me. I don’t even know what that flavor of nostalgia is. My husband says that the flavor I am looking for is the flavor of fake, and fake isn’t something you can recreate in the kitchen. LOL, he is probably right.
A few years ago, I spent hours over several days trying to recreate that perfectly nostalgic sugar cookie from scratch. One that had the best taste, but also had the ability to keep its shape but stay soft and chewy. Before you ask why I didn’t just use the Betty Crocker book recipe… it isn’t the same – trust me. So, after a lot of trial and error, I finally created the best sugar cookie recipe for christmas cookie cutouts! It’s probably as close as I am every going to get to the packaged kind that I hold a special place in my heart for, but obviously this one doesn’t have all that added fake unpronounceable”stuff” in it.
::EDIT:: In the process of making several batches, I learned that by using ghee, the flavor came closer to resembling what I would consider similar to the Betty Crocker cookies. A little more salty, a little more oily, I liked them.
Candy Canes, Stockings and Christmas Trees OH MY!
Decorating those beautfiul cookies…
Honestly, as the years have gone by I’ve gotten to a point where the only shapes I want to do anymore are Trees, Candy Canes, snowmen and Stockings. These shapes are the easiest to decorate in my opinion, and you really only need 3 colors: white, red, and green. Plus, sprinkles of choice will help to make them look fancy. This year I got my hand on a Rudolph cutter, so we’ll be trying that one out. I bought some sugar eyes to help with the decorating…
::EDIT:: note to self, re-think the decorating process for the reindeer… ::shudders:: they turned out rather terrifying…lol
Sugar cookie decorating is fun until about the 50th one you have to ice…
And in the end, you’re just slappin’ the icing on there and calling it good. The cookie is just gonna get eaten anyway, right? Who cares if this tree is yellow?!
Well, I am here to help you with the cookie cut-out details, and some tips and tricks so maybe the process will go a little more smooth. A stress free, cookie baking, and decorating day will stay fun for longer!
I hope the recipe is pretty straight forward. Feel free to print it and keep it. Pin it, share it, or write it down in your own recipe book. I am pretty confident you won’t be needing any other sugar cookie recipes. 🙂
Here’s a cute printable of my recipe! Feel free to print out and keep it for all the holidays, and anytime you may want to make some cookie cut-outs! This Sugar Cookie Cut-Out recipe works pefectly for things like cookie stamps/plungers too. I have these Star Wars ones that are always a fun little treat to have around any time of the year.
Aside from the cut-outs, we also like to make cookie press cookies. These are one of my favorite cookies too. Little tea cookies, flower shapes with red hots in the center and and green sprinkles.
Cookie presses are an easy way to use up the sugar cookie dough when you start to get burnt out on the rolling, and cutting, and icing. The dough consistency may need to be adjusted as it needs to be soft enough to press through, but firm enough it doesn’t stick and get clogged. We usually use the bag mixes for this because the consistency is perfect.
The press my mom uses is super old, plastic, and I am pretty sure was bought off of QVC by my great grandma sometime in the early 90’s… It still works the best though. She bought a nice higher end Kitchen Aide branded one a few years ago, but it isn’t nearly as good. I think this one from OXO, or this one from Baker’s Secret would be the closest to her old school one, if you are intersted in trying one out.
You’re gonna need some frosting to put on those cookies too… so here you go. Really be stingy with the liquid, because you probably won’t need much if any. If you can, opt for gel food colors rather than the liquid kind as they are more concentrated in color. The gel colors don’t affect the consistency of the icing as easily. Also, if you are using a naturally brown vanilla extract, you may want to invest in some white food coloring.
Or, if you are simply being lazy or don’t particularly want to go through all the hassle of making your own icing… buy it in the tubs. I won’t judge, sometime I just go with the tubs too. It’s easier, and faster, and less work.
Here’s a few pro tips- for making things a little easier!
Get some disposable pastry bags ( trust me, you will want to just throw them away in the end instead of dealing with all that colored mess), and a basic shell or star tip or a basic cake decorating kit. Put the bag in a cup, and fold the edges over the cup to scoop in the icing to make it a bit easier. Also, keep the filled bag in the cup so the icing doesn’t ooze out all over the place. Some cheap paint brushes can be helpfull too for spreading icing, making swirls, adding in light details, or moving around sprinkles.