Sugar Cookies Recipe! With crisp edges, thick centers, and room for lots of decorating icing, I know you’ll love this soft-cut sugar cookie. Use your favorite cookie cutters and try my classic.
These are my favorite icing-topped sugar cookies. I published the recipe in my cookbook and featured it on Sally’s Baking Addiction some years ago. I’ve made these at least 38577 times (think all the butter), so I thought it was time to provide some new recipe tips, a video instruction, and other information on royal icing.
Why Will You Enjoy These Sugar Cookies Recipe?
- The cores are soft and thick, with somewhat crunchy borders.
- Delicious creamy vanilla flavor
- Leave plain or flavor with maple, cinnamon, and other spices.
- Keep their form
- Stay soft for days with a flat surface for decorating.
- Beautifully freezes
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Overview: How to Make Icing for Sugar Cookies
- Prepare the cookie dough. Only 7-8 components are required. With so few components, it’s critical to stick to the recipe exactly. The cookie batter is made with creamed butter and sugar. The egg provides the structure for the cookie, while vanilla extract contributes to the taste. Sugar Cookies Recipe! I generally always add a dash of almond extract for added taste and highly recommend you do the same! The obvious addition is flour, the baking powder gives lift, and salt balances the sweetness. There are so many little ingredients doing big jobs to make the perfect cookie. By the way, I make chocolate sugar cookies as well!
- Cut into two pieces. Rolling out smaller portions of dough is easier.
- Cookie dough should be rolled out. Roll it out to a thickness of 1/4 inch or slightly less. If you’re having trouble spreading out dough evenly, try this adjustable rolling pin. Speaking from my experience, it is quite useful!
- Roll out the cookie dough and chill it. These cookie-cutter sugar cookies will not maintain their shape unless they are chilled. The flattened-out cookie dough should be chilled for at least 1-2 hours and up to 2 days.
- Form into forms. If you’re looking for cookie cutters, I recommend Ann Clark. (This is not a paid post; I am simply a fan!) This heart set, dog bone, snowflake, snowman, leaf, and pumpkin are among my favorites.
- Bake and cool. The cookies take around 12 minutes to bake, depending on size.
- Decorate. See my frosting suggestions below.
When rolling out the cookie dough, have some flour handy. Flour your work surface, hands, and rolling pin lightly. This dough is quite soft. Sugar Cookies Recipe!
The Order of Steps is the Trick.
Have you noticed how I lay out the dough BEFORE chilling it in the fridge? That’s my technique, which you can see in the video instruction above. Sugar Cookies Recipe!
Allow me to explain why I do this. To prevent the cookies from spreading, chill the cookie dough in the refrigerator, just as you would when baking chocolate chip cookies. Roll out the dough immediately after preparing it, then refrigerate it. (The dough is too soft at this time to cut into shapes.) If you refrigerate the cookie dough before rolling it out, it will be overly cold and impossible to deal with. I always divide the dough in half before rolling it out, and I strongly advise you to do the same. Sugar Cookies Recipe! Sections that are smaller
Another ruse! To make it easier to transfer the cookie dough to the refrigerator, roll it out immediately on a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Pick it up, set it on a baking sheet, and put it in the fridge. If you don’t have enough place in your refrigerator for two baking sheets, stack the rolled-out dough pieces on top of each other.
How Thick Should I Make Sugar Cookies?
Because they’re rolled out so thin, these sugar cookies stay soft. Roll out the cookie dough to approximately 1/4 inch thick or a little less. Yes, this is a thicker batter, and yes, it yields extremely thick and soft cookies. If rolling out cookie dough isn’t your thing, try my drop sugar cookies.
Icing for Sugar Cookies
I have TWO sugar cookie frosting recipes, and you can use whichever one you choose.
- Favorite Royal Icing: This royal frosting is my go-to sugar cookie icing since it’s simple to make, dries quickly, and doesn’t taste like hardened cement. (It’s a little softer!) I use meringue powder to create it. Meringue powder replaces the raw egg whites required in classic royal icing recipes. It removes the need for fresh eggs while maintaining the same consistency. Meringue powder may be found in various baking aisles, most craft stores with a baking area, and online. The 8-ounce tub always lasts me a long time. The most difficult part in achieving the perfect royal icing consistency, but I include a video in the royal icing recipe to assist you.
- Simple Cookie Frosting: This simple cookie icing is perfect for beginners. It’s simpler to prepare than royal icing since you don’t need an electric mixer, and the consistency doesn’t really matter. It does not, however, produce the same level of intricacy as royal icing embellishments. It also takes around 24 hours to dry.
Wilton piping tip #4 was used to create the shown hearts using royal icing. If you don’t have piping tips, simply dip the tops of the cookies into the frosting, as I do with my animal cracker biscuits.
Tips and Tools for Making Sugar Cookies
Let me recommend some sugar cookie utensils before I leave you with the recipe. In my personal kitchen, I use and trust the following products:
- Baking Pans
- Parchment sheets or silicone baking mats
- Food Coloring: Because liquid food coloring might change the consistency of the icing, I prefer gel food coloring. I used a couple of drops of dusty rose and one drop of sky blue for the cookies shown.
- Piping Tips/Squeeze Bottle: For outlining and flooding with royal icing, I prefer Wilton piping tip #4. This is an excellent fundamental piping tip to have in your arsenal. I recommend using a squeeze bottle if you’re making my simple glaze icing.
- Piping Bag: If you’re going to use royal icing and a piping tip, you’ll need a disposable or reusable piping bag.
Sugar Cookies Recipe
I know you’ll adore these soft sugar cookies as much as I do, with crisp borders, rich cores, and plenty of area for decorating frosting. The quantity of cookies produced by this recipe is determined on the size of the cookie-cutter used. If you want to create a large batch of cookies, double the recipe.
- In a medium mixing basin, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Place aside.
- In a large mixing basin, using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the butter and sugar together on high speed for 2 minutes, or until totally smooth and creamy.
- Add the egg, vanilla, and almond extract (if using) and beat on high speed for 1 minute, or until blended. Scrape along the sides and up the bottom of the basin, then blend as required.
- Mix the dry ingredients into the wet components on low until well blended. The dough will be rather soft. If the dough is too soft and sticky to roll, add 1 tablespoon of extra flour.
- Separate the dough into two equal portions. Place each part on a piece of parchment paper or a silicone baking mat that has been gently dusted.
- Roll the dough out to approximately 1/4-inch thickness using a lightly floured rolling pin.
- If the dough appears to be too sticky, add extra flour. The rolled-out dough can be any form as long as it is 1/4-inch thick throughout.
- Flour one of the rolled-out doughs lightly. Cover with a sheet of parchment. (This avoids sticking.) Place the second rolled-out dough on top of the first.
- Refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours and up to 2 days, covered with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) once cold. Use parchment paper or silicone baking mats to line 2-3 large baking sheets.
- Remove the top dough piece from the refrigerator with care. If it’s stuck to the bottom, run your hand beneath it to help remove it (as seen in the video above).
- Cut the dough into shapes with a cookie cutter. Reroll the leftover dough and cut until all of it is gone. Repeat with the second piece of dough.
- (Note: It may not appear to be a lot of dough, but the dough scraps you re-roll yield a lot of cookies.)
- Place cookies 3 inches apart on baking pans. Bake for 11-12 minutes, or until the edges are gently browned.
- Rotate the baking sheet halfway through the baking time if your oven has hot areas.
- Allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool fully before decorating.
- Use royal icing or simple glaze icing to decorate the cooled cookies. You may color either icing with gel food coloring if you like.
- Recommended decorating tools are listed in the post above. There’s no need to cover the adorned biscuits while the frosting sets.
- If possible, decorate the cookies directly on a baking sheet so that you may place the entire baking sheet in the refrigerator to help the icing set faster.
- Serve the cookies immediately or wait until the frosting has set. These cookies are perfect for giving or shipping once the frosting has hardened.
- Plain or decorated cookies will keep soft for about 5 days if firmly wrapped and stored at room temperature.
- Cover and refrigerate for up to 10 days for prolonged storage.
- Amount Per Serving
- Calories 436
- % Daily Value *
- Total Fat 19g30%
- Saturated Fat 5g25%
- Cholesterol 11mg4%
- Sodium 291mg13%
- Potassium 147mg5%
- Total Carbohydrate 61g21%
- Dietary Fiber 0.9g4%
- Sugars 37g
- Protein 4g8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.