These easy-cut-out sugar cookies are the best sugar cookies and perfect for decorating. They are delicious and stay soft for a couple of weeks when stored well. The best sugar cookies I have ever made, and I hope you give it a try.
A sugar cookie is a type of cookie made from butter, sugar, flour, eggs, flavor, and baking powder, or baking soda. Even though most sugar cookies are rolled and cut into shapes, they can also be formed by hand, dropped with a spoon, or ice cream scoop. They are usually decorated with icing such as royal icing, buttercream icing, fondant, sprinkles, or made into sandwich cookies.
Why You Will Love This Sugar Cookie Recipe
Delicious and perfect for every taste bud.
Do not spread and hold their shape.
Perfect for decorating.
Stay soft for about 2 weeks when stored well.
The dough or the baked cookies can be frozen for later use.
Can be used as a base for different flavors of sugar cookies.
Soft with slightly crisp edges.
Watch How To Make Sugar Cookies
Ingredients For Sugar Cookies
Butter: use unsalted butter and the butter should in room temperature but not very soft.
Sugar: white granulated sugar is used for this sugar cookie recipe.
Flour: all-purpose flour is used, and the flour should be scooped into the measuring cup and leveled.
Eggs: the eggs should be at room temperature as well to help mix well with all the other ingredients
Flavoring: pure vanilla extract and lemon extract were used but other flavors can be used instead.
Salt brings all the flavors together.
How To Make the Sugar Cookie Dough
- Cream together room temperature butter and sugar until light and fluffy but not for long. This ensures that the butter and sugar are well blended.
- Add the eggs and flavoring and mix well to incorporate.
- Add the flour one cup at a time and mix until combine. Do not overmix the dough- it will produce a tougher cookie.
- Form into a flat disc and chill before cutting into shapes and baking.
Chilling The Cookie Dough
Chill the dough to help the flavors to mingle well for a better taste. When chilling the cookie dough, divide the dough into two parts and wrap them individually in plastic wrap. Flatten out the dough before chilling for easy rolling.
Chill the dough for 1- 2 hours before using, this will help the rolled dough to hold its shape and make it easy to work with.
Rolling And Cutting The Cookie Dough
For the even thickness of the rolled cookies, you can use wooden dowels or adjustable rolling pins. These produce even thickness every time. Always have some extra flour for easy rolling and to prevent the dough from sticking to the surface.
You can also roll the cookie dough on a silicon mat or parchment paper for flourless rolling. Roll the dough out to about ¼ inch thick and cut into shapes.
Baking and Cooling The Cookie
Always preheat the oven before using it for baking. The cookies will bake for about 11-13 minutes, baking time will vary depending on the sizes of the cookie shapes. Therefore, watch out when baking, also cookies should be very light brown on the edges and should not go beyond that. Cool cookies completely before decorating. Use parchment paper or a silicone mat for even baking and prevent the cookies from sticking to the baking pan.
How Thick do I Roll Sugar Cookies?
Roll out the cookie dough to about ¼ inch or as thick as you want. The thickness will also depend on the use of the cookies. Cookie sandwiches will need a much thinner roll than decorated sugar cookies. Most common sugar cookies have a thickness of 3/8 inch or ¼ inch thick. Other rolled cookies have ½ inch or 3/16 inch.
How to Prevent Cookies from Spreading
- Chill the cookie dough before baking to prevent the cookie from spreading.
- Reduce or omit leavening agents such as baking powder from the recipe.
- You can substitute some of the all-purpose flour with corn starch to help reduce the cookie from spreading.
- Use room temperature butter and not very soft butter to reduce the cookies from spreading too much.
- Allow cookie sheets to cool completely between batches: the dough will spread if placed on a hot cookie sheet.
- Do not over mix the butter, when the butter and sugar are over mixed, they trap a lot of air bubbles which causes the cookies to puff up or spread when baking.
- Cookie dough: cookie dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. For longer storage, keep them in the freezer. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and put them into a Ziplock or freezer bag. Label with date, content, and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow the cookie dough to defrost in the fridge overnight before using.
- Unbaked cookies: freeze the cut-out cookies on a flat tray in a layer until firm and well frozen. Then layer the frozen cookies with wax paper in between them in a freezer bag. Do not thaw frozen unbaked cookies completely but allow them to stand at room temperature for about 5 minutes before baking.
- Baked cookies: baked cookies can be stored in an airtight container for 3 weeks. If the cookies begin to dry out, add a piece of bread to the container to help retain moisture. Freeze baked cookies in an airtight container or freezer bag for about 3 months. Thaw unwrapped cookies at room temperature to prevent condensation and use it as desired.
- Decorated cookies: decorated sugar cookies will stay fresh for about 4 weeks when properly stored. Once the cookies are decorated and dried, package them in cello bags and seal them with a heat sealer. if you do not have a heat sealer, an airtight container will keep them fresh for some days. Or you can put cookies in cello bags and tie them with ribbon to help cookies stay fresh for a while.
Tips and Tricks for Successful Cookies
- Do not over mix the cookie dough or your cookies will not hold their shape when baked.
- Use ¼ inch rolling sticks on side of the cookie dough and then roll out dough to an even thickness.
- Always place parchment paper on top of the dough before rolling to prevent the dough from sticking onto the rolling pin. It also reduces the use of extra flour when rolling.
- Chill cookie dough in a small flat disc for easy rolling or roll the dough in between parchment paper before chilling them. This cookie dough recipe is soft when made fresh, so it does need chilling to make it easy for handling.
- Roll out the cookie dough directing on parchment paper for easy transfer to baking sheet.
- Bake cookies that are of the size and shape for even baking.
- Another way to achieve even baking of cookies is to place only one cookie sheet at a time in the center of the oven. When you want to use more than one cookie sheet in the oven at a time, then you need to turn the baking sheets halfway through the baking time. Do the same thing when your oven has uneven heat distribution.
- Bake the cookies on a silicone mat or parchment paper for even baking and easy cleanup.
- Always cool baked cookies completely before storing or decorating them.
- When storing cookie dough in the refrigerator or freezer, put a box of baking soda in it to prevent cookies from absorbing other flavors.
Sugar Cookie Icing
Five types of icings can be used to decorate the sugar cookies so choose the one which works best for you.
- Buttercream icing is made from butter, powdered sugar, and liquid. It is delicious and great for piping flowers but does not dry hard, therefore the cookies cannot be stacked.
- Melted chocolate or candy melts are one of the easiest ways to decorate sugar cookies. All you need is to melt the candy in the microwave or over a double boiler, and they are ready to be used. They also come in a variety of colors, so you can make your own custom colors.
- Royal icing is the most popular icing for decorating sugar cookies, and dries hard, making it the preferred icing for professional cookie decorators. Cookies decorated with royal icing can be stacked and shipped to friends and family.
- Sugar cookie icing or glaze icing is a very simple icing used to decorate cookies just like royal icing but easy to make than royal icing. If you want something easy to make, then try sugar cookie icing.
- Fondant is another icing that is used to decorate sugar cookies. Although fondant is mostly used for decorating cakes, it is also used to decorate cookies for a professional finish and intricate designs.
Sugar Cookie Tools
When baking and decorating cookies, there are a few basic tools that will make the work easy. you can read more on baking basics and tools here Basic Baking Tips For Beginners and Basic Kitchen Tools For Every Baker.
- Baking sheet for baking the cookies on.
- Rolling pins for rolling cookies.
- Food coloring for coloring the cookies or icing.
- Piping or decorating bags and piping tips for keeping the icing and piping the icing onto the cookies.
- Scribe or toothpick to spread the icing on the cookie to the tight corners.
- Rubber bands to help keep the icing from spilling out of the icing bag.
If you have any questions about this recipe, I will love to hear about them in the comment section below. Did you make this recipe, snap a photo and tag me #theduchezkitchen- I love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook? Find me @theduchezkitchen.
Thanks for reading. As always, know that God loves you, and stay blessed!
Happy baking and decorating!!
Soft Cut- Out Sugar Cookies
- 2¾ cups all-purpose flour plus extra for rolling (spoon and leveled)
- ½ teaspoon salt (avoid when using salted butter)
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 whole egg + 1 egg yolk at room temperature
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon lemon extract
- Measure all the ingredients needed for the recipe and set them aside.
- In a large bowl, which the flour and salt together. Set aside
- In a different large bowl using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the buuter and sugar together on a medium speed until completely smooth and creamy. that will take about 1 – 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
- Add the eggs, vanilla and the lemon extract and beat on medium speed just until combined.
- With the mixer running at low speed, add the flour mixture and mix until incorporated. Divide the dough into two balls and flatten each ball into a round flat disc with your palm. Wrap each dough in plastic wrap and chill for about 2 hours.
- Once the dough is chilled, preheat the oven to 350 °F (180 C) and position the rack in the center of the oven. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Unwrap the dough, place it on parchment paper and add another parchment paper on top. Place two ¼- inch rolling sticks on either side of the parchment paper and then use the rolling pin to roll out the dough to an even thickness.
- Use a medium cookie cutter to cut out desired shapes. Repeat with the second dough and place the cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared pan. Place the pan into the freezer to firm up the cut-out cookies for about 10- 20 minutes before baking. Gather the remaining dough and repeat.
- Bake the cookies for 11-13 minutes, or until the cookies have a ¼very light brown color at the edges. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Decorate the cookies with any of the icing listed above and enjoy.