These Cut-Out Sugar Cookies are soft and melt in your mouth with a just-right balance of sweetness; use your favorite shapes and decorate your way!
WARNING: PINK OVERLOAD! Because I can’t get enough.
Valentine’s Day is officially four days away, and if you checked out the Red Wine Cupcakes, you know I’m excited this year. And really I’m just excited about the amount of sweets I’ve been eating – and have the excuse to eat, you know, because it’s Valentine’s Day and all. Yeah, January’s work-out plan was great, but my sweet tooth just hasn’t gone away.
This sugar cut-out recipe has been in my family for, um, ever? I remember being a little girl, standing on a chair in our kitchen, helping my mom cut out the cookies (which was usually for Christmas). I would take the excess dough, squish it into a ball, roll it out myself, and then cut out my own cookies, pretending I was a baker. I also learned at this young age that sneaking bites of the dough scraps was one of the best parts of making cut-out cookies (thanks for these valuable lessons, mom!).
The dough though. Ah, yes, the dough is amazing. The texture is to die for, it’s soft and smooth from being rolled out into a thin layer. When you sneak a piece, it melts in your mouth with its sweet perfection. Which, ahem, also means the cookies themselves are spot on. Excellent dough = excellent cookies, does it not?
I actually used to have my mom leave some unfrosted for me; the cookies themselves are just TOO GOOD.
But the light layer of frosting on top totally adds to the melt-in-your-mouth factor! My favorite way to top these (surprise, credit to my mom again!) is with a simple powdered sugar icing.
All it takes is a small bowl and spoon to stir together some milk (or half-and-half, or heavy cream if you want) into powdered sugar.
Before your eyes, icing will appear; spread it on the cookies and you’ve created something magical. Extra magical if you add sprinkles, becuase sprinkles are everything.
P.S. I don’t usually do the border/flooding technique where you have a thicker layer of icing, use it as a border, and then “flood” the inside of the cookie (once the border is dry!) with a less thick icing. Usually we just mix up the icing to our desired thickness and spread it on, letting it drip off if it does while it’s drying on a cooling rack. However, here I did use the border/flooding, so I am going to post it in the recipe. Feel free to use whatever method you want – the border will have defined edges, something I can’t promise that if you don’t use it. Regardless – the taste is still going to be outtta this worrrld.
P.S.S. This dough needs to be chilled! To get the perfect texture, I highly recommend letting the dough chill overnight; if you’re in a rush, at least let it chill a couple of hours! I promise it will be worth it.
Get the Recipe Cut-Out Sugar Cookies
- Stir together: flour, baking soda, cream of tartar.
- In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer, blend together the powdered sugar and room temperature butter.
- Add in the egg and vanilla, continuing to beat until mixed.
- Add in the dry ingredient mixture (flour, baking soda, cream of tartar) and mix until combined.
- Chill dough overnight. I recommend dividing dough into two discs and wrapping in plastic wrap before chilling; this will make it much easier to roll out the next day.
- After chilling, pre-heat oven to 375°F.
- Roll dough to 1/8th of an inch thick. Using whichever shape cut outs you desire, cut out and place on a baking sheet.
- Bake for 6-8 minutes, until barely beginning to brown. Make sure you take the cookies out when they're just set and barely beginning to brown - this ensures they stay soft!
- Place on cooling rack to cool.
- Combine powdered sugar, milk, and food coloring (if using) in bowl; stir to combine. Add milk or powdered sugar to reach desired consistency. Frost cookies and let dry before storing in an airtight container. See notes regarding border/flooding.