We are only a few short weeks away from the most cookie-crazy holiday of the year, and I'm sure most of you are knee deep in flour, sugar, and butter right now. I know I am.
One of my favorite holiday traditions is baking sugar cookies and decorating them with my son. Today, I am sharing my best Cut-Out Vanilla Sugar cookie recipe with you. If you have ever tried baking sugar cookies that are perfect for decorating, I'm sure a lot of you have run into trouble just like I have.
For the longest time, I couldn't figure out why my sugar cookies wouldn't keep a shape. I would use a cookie cutter to cut out my shapes, pop them in the oven, only to realize that during the baking time they spread all over the place, and puffed into unrecognizable blobs.
With this recipe, you will no longer get unrecognizable blobs. I promise. After a lot of trial and error, and lengthy research, I found out what I was doing wrong.
I was using recipes that contained baking powder.
If you think about it, what is baking powder made for? It's considered a leavening agent, and it causes the batter to rise when baked. It primarily helps the dough to puff and spread out. Oops!
After I figured out my mistake, I was able to make perfect cut-out sugar cookies every single time.
One thing I want to mention about my cookie recipe is that I don't use cornstarch. There are a lot of people out there who swear that cornstarch adds a much smoother texture to your sugar cookie recipes, but I have never tried it. Maybe an idea for a future cookie recipe?
My favorite frosting to use is Betty Crocker's Cookie Icing. I swear by this stuff! It is easy to spread and hardens within minutes for quick stacking. I use the ready-to-use pouches, and then use a butter knife to spread the frosting over corners and hard-to-frost shapes.
If you are tired of sloppy edges and fluffed-out sugar cookies, you have to try this recipe. Decorate them according to holiday by using your favorite sprinkles. The best part about cut-out sugar cookies, you can shape them to be anything you want. They are perfect for creating family traditions, and I hope that you enjoy making them with your children as much as I have.
- 1/2 cub butter, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 cup and 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Beat butter, vanilla, and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy.
- Add egg, beat until blended.
- Combine flour and salt; slowly add to butter mixture. Beat just until blended. Do not over mix.
- Flatten dough into a disk and cover with cling wrap. Chill in the freezer for 10 minutes.
- Place chilled dough on a lightly floured surface, and roll to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutter of your choice. For this recipe, I used a 2.5-inch Christmas Tree cookie cutter.
- Place cookies 1-inch apart on a lightly greased baking sheet.
- Repeat this procedure with any remaining dough.
- Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-12 minutes, or until the bottom of the cookies are lightly browned.
- Let cool for about 15 minutes or until completely cooled.
- Decorate as desired.