Whether you go crazy decorating or leave them plain, these not-too-sweet Cut Out Sugar Cookies are perfect for any holiday or any occasion. Edible Valentines, anyone….!
A simple recipe that comes together easily with a hand mixer, its great fun to get the kids involved with not only the decorating, but the cutting out! Tiny hands are perfect for this task, and I remember well the vast quantities we’d help make when on the farm, especially at Christmas!
When I asked my sister if she still had the recipe we used, she replied that she didn’t, and gave me this one. I’m not sure where she got it, but I’m very glad to have it!
I’ve never added sprinkles to cookie dough before – usually saving them for the top! Wanting to see what happened, I thought maybe they’d bleed and look odd… but they didn’t. I only wish I’d added more! (I also wished I’d tried adding poppy seeds.)
To the half of the cookie dough I’d baked plain, I added some lemon glaze, and then sprinkles or poppy seeds. I think those getting the edible Valentines will approve~
MY best tips:
1. Chill the dough – for at least 30 minutes. It’ll be much easier to lift up the cookies! In fact, this dough is a great make ahead and since the recipe makes about 4 1/2 dozen – you might want to refrigerate some dough for another time.
2. Roll between parchment paper on the bottom, and plastic wrap on the top. It’s easier to see what’s going on, and the thin plastic makes it easier to handle. It’s much cleaner, and better, than adding additional flour.
3. If you’re adding anything to the mixed dough; sprinkles, mini chocolate chips, poppy seeds, etc, work it in by hand. Then wrap & chill the dough before rolling!
Rolling, rolling, rolling.
I found that just shy of 1/4 inch made the perfect cookie! Don’t go any thicker, but you could do thinner if you like a really crisp cookie! As for degree of browning… we all know that means flavour, so let them get at least a little browned around the edges.
Let them cool, before doing any decorating; if you’re pressed for time, wrap the cookies well, to decorate the next day. I used a mixture of lemon juice & icing sugar; it adds brightness and sweetness at the same time. Yum~
For decorating and glazing… go crazy! Don’t forget, you could colour any glaze or icing to match whatever holiday/occasion you’re making them for, as well as choosing what to add to the dough, and/or decorating the tops. THAT’S the pleasure of making it yourself!
Cut Out Sugar Cookies
An easy to make recipe, it’s fantastic for cut out cookies - of any shape, for any holiday. Not too sweet, you can add icing and decorate to please!
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
additions to the dough:
- 1 tablespoon sprinkles or poppy seeds for half the dough
- 1/2 cup icing sugar approx. 3 teaspoons lemon juice
- 3 teaspoons, approx. lemon juice
- sprinkles, poppy seeds, mini chocolate chips, etc
With a hand mixer, cream the butter for a few minutes until light & fluffy.
Add the sugar and beat for another couple of minutes.
Lightly beat the eggs, then add with the vanilla to butter-sugar mixture, and mix again.
Combine the flour, baking soda & salt together in a separate bowl. Add to the butter mixture and slowly start mixing (to keep the flour in the bowl!) then turning up the speed. It’ll become firm and you can finish by hand; if you’re adding sprinkles, this is the time to do it!
Separate the dough into in 4 pieces, place each in plastic wrap and press down to flatten somewhat (it’ll help with rolling later). Chill for about 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 375°F, and line 2 or 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
To roll out the dough, get a large sheet of parchment paper and place the dough on it. Top with a large sheet of plastic wrap. Press down lightly with your hands, then roll out with a rolling pin, to just shy of 1/4 inch thick.
Cut out with your favourite shapes, and using a small off-set spatula if needed, move the cookies to parchment lined baking sheets, leaving at least an inch between the cookies. (Gather up and re-roll any scraps!)
Bake 10 - 12 minutes, until lightly browned at the edges. (You'll know how many sheets you can bake at once in your oven!) Remove to cooling racks for them to firm up. Decorate when cool.
I recommend chilling the dough before rolling & cutting, as it can get quite soft; 30 minutes should do it. (This is included in prep time!)
You could roll the dough thinner,if you like a really crisp cookie.