This tried-and-true sugar cookie recipe makes dozens of sugar cookie cutouts that you and your family can decorate for Christmas or any other occasion worthy of a great cookie recipe.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens
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Sugar Cookie Cutouts

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour. Divide dough in half. If necessary, cover and chill about 30 minutes or until dough is easy to handle.

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  • On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the dough at a time to 1/8- to 1/4-inch thickness. Using desired cookie cutter, cut dough into shapes. Place 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

  • Bake for 7 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are very lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack; cool.

  • If desired, prepare Royal Icing or Powdered Sugar Icing. Spread and/or pipe the icing (if using) onto cookies. If desired, top iced cookies with sprinkles and/or candies.

Candy Windowpane Cutouts:

Prepare as directed, except roll dough until 1/8 inch thick and use a 2-1/2-inch cookie cutter to cut dough into desired shapes. Place on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Cut small shapes out of the cutouts' centers. Finely crush 3 ounces hard candy (about 1/2 cup). Fill each center cutout with candy. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes; cool cookies on foil. Makes about 52 cookies.

Nutrition Facts (Sugar Cookie Cutouts)

80 calories; 4 g total fat; 2 g saturated fat; 0 g polyunsaturated fat; 1 g monounsaturated fat; 17 mg cholesterol; 63 mg sodium. 12 mg potassium; 10 g carbohydrates; 0 g fiber; 5 g sugar; 1 g protein; 0 g trans fatty acid; 120 IU vitamin a; 0 mg vitamin c; 0 mg thiamin; 0 mg riboflavin; 0 mg niacin equivalents; 0 mg vitamin b6; 14 mcg folate; 0 mcg vitamin b12; 6 mg calcium; 0 mg iron;

Powdered Sugar Icing

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Powdered Sugar Icing:
  • In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar and vanilla. Stir in enough milk until icing reaches spreading consistency. If desired, tint with paste food coloring.

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Royal Icing

Ingredients

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Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • In a large mixing bowl stir together powdered sugar, meringue powder, and cream of tartar. Add warm water and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Beat on high speed for 7 minutes or until stiff. Cover bowl with damp paper towels and plastic wrap. Chill for up to 48 hours.

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*Test Kitchen Tip:

Look for meringue powder in the cake decorating aisle of hobby and craft stores.

Reviews (11)

91 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 48
  • 4 star values: 14
  • 3 star values: 8
  • 2 star values: 4
  • 1 star values: 17
Rating: 3 stars
02/14/2018
Not sure if it's because I live in Southwest Florida or not, but the dough just wouldn't set up so that I could actually roll it out and make the cut outs. I feel like it may have needed more flour. Delicious and nice and soft.
Rating: Unrated
11/25/2014
Made them and they were chewy on the inside and crispy outside. Very good. Baked at 350 degrees for about 9 minutes.
Rating: Unrated
11/25/2014
Delicious. Chewy inside and crispy outside baked at 350 degrees for 9 minutes!
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Rating: Unrated
12/16/2013
This recipe is awful. It uses way too much butter, and took over twice as much flour to get the dough thick enough to roll out. It also says to bake at 375 for 8-9 minutes. I put them on 350 (I thought 375 was too high) and after 7 minutes they started too burn. Don't use this recipe. I threw them out and am looking for a new recipe now. The dog wouldn't even eat them.
Rating: Unrated
06/24/2014
I use this recipe to make thousands of cookies a year, decorative favor cookies are my etsy business. If the other commenters say its bad its because they are doing it wrong. Everyone loves my cookies. This a tried and true classic recipe. Just as with other baked goods, you have to know what you're doing for it to come out right. Always refrigerate the dough ( I do it overnight) Only cut out chilled dough (never add more flour to make it firm) & know the hot spots in your oven( check, check, & dbl check as it bakes) I work with a tripled recipe because I bake so many at one time ( it will give me about 40 four inch cookies). I like my cookies to be rolled out to 1/4" thick. I have a rolling pin with guides to achieve this. I don't like the backs to be more than slightly golden, thats why I constantly check on them. I bake at 350 for 10-12 mins. They are always moist, stay fresh for 2 weeks (at least) and I ship them all over the country without breaks. Ask your grandma if she has the red checkered BHG cookbook, if she does then this is the cookie she's made all of your life.
Rating: Unrated
12/23/2013
This is the worst sugar cookie recipe ever! so dry and they cracked!
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Rating: Unrated
01/02/2014
Love this recipe. My 7 year old helped make them and they turned out great.
Rating: Unrated
01/22/2015
The people who wrote negative comments either left them in the oven too long, over compensated with flour or didn't roll them thick enough. I roll mine so they are as thick as possible and then bake the until they're barely golden on the bottom and soft on the inside. I've used this recipe for as long as i remember. No matter how many I make they're gone quickly. Best sugar cookie recipe I've come across and I'm sticking with it. Thanks for sharing it for others to enjoy!
Rating: Unrated
05/09/2014
I made a few changes to this recipe. I added an extra 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 1/2 tsp of almond extract, and extra 1/2 tsp of vanilla, and 5 drops of lime juice...I didn't try to cut them into cutouts though...I just baked them as usual until golden brown on the BOTTOM. Hope this helps someone...
Rating: Unrated
12/10/2015
Odd, I was trying to share this recipe with friends as I use the recipe in the actual cookbook (the special edition pink one), but it's not the same! The measurements in the book are different than these and calls for milk. They are the most perfect recipe ever and everyones always asking for it. Guess I'll have to share the one from my book instead of the link to this one!
Rating: Unrated
12/29/2013
Lost my trusty sugar cut out recipe, so I decided to give this a try. Disaster! I refrigerated dough overnight, way to sticky. After cutting 12 trees using 2 cookie sheets on parchment. These cookies puffed and spread. Finally when cool, they were as hard n stiff as a dinner plate. Will not waste my time and ingredients again.