The PERFECT Cut-Out Sugar Cookies! These cookies are soft and chewy with plenty of room for decorating. They’re fun to make and make a delicious addition to any holiday celebration!
If you ask me, no holiday celebration is complete without sugar cookies. They’re fun to make, easy to decorate, and the BEST part about them, of course, is that you can cut them out into any shape imaginable!
When my kids were little, we made sugar cookies for every occasion. Hearts for Valentine’s Day, shamrocks for St. Patrick’s Day, pumpkins for Halloween, and ALL the shapes for Christmas.
Between the rolling, the cutting, and the best part (the decorating!) they’re the perfect way to get kids involved and such a fun way to get into any holiday spirit!
Now that my kids are older, they STILL want to make cut-out cookies for every occasion… but they don’t always need my help. Aside from the recipe! So I figured I’d finally share the same recipe with you that I now share with them. The best and ONLY sugar cookie recipe you’ll ever need!
what you’ll need for this recipe
Flour – Flour is the main ingredient in this sugar cookie recipe. I used 4 cups of unbleached all purpose flour, but you can feel free to substitute another type of flour according to preference and dietary restrictions. *Be sure to follow substitution instructions on package.
Salt – 3/4 teaspoon of salt is the second dry ingredient in this recipe and helps to balance out both the flavor and texture of the cookies.
Baking powder – 3/4 teaspoon of baking powder is the final dry ingredient and serves as the leavening agent that allows the cookies to rise.
Butter – Butter is another key ingredient in sugar cookies, giving them a rich flavor and delicious tenderness. I used 1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, softened to room temperature.
Sugar – Sugar is what gives these cookies their sweet flavor. I used 1 cup of granulated sugar, combined with the butter until lightened and fluffy.
Eggs – Eggs provide structure and rise to this recipe. I used 2 large eggs.
Extracts – Finally, a combination of vanilla and almond extracts gives these cookies the most delicious flavor. I used 1 teaspoon of each.
how to make cut-out sugar cookies
Combine the dry ingredients. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder and stir well. Set aside.
Combine the wet ingredients. In a separate large mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, then add the extracts and mix until incorporated.
Mix the wet and dry ingredients together. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until incorporated.
Chill. Divide the dough into two equal parts and wrap each tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
Roll and cut. Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and allow it to soften slightly (if necessary) at room temperature. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough onto a flat surface sprinkled lightly with flour (I used parchment paper). Roll to about 1/4 inch thick, then use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes.
Bake. Place the cut-out dough onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Be sure to leave about 2 inches between cookies. Bake at 375°F for 10-12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
tips for success
By following these few simple tips, these cookies will come out perfect every single time:
- Measure your flour by spooning it into the measuring cup, then leveling it off with the edge of a knife. Never scoop flour when measuring.
- Bring your butter to room temperature and make sure it’s soft enough to indent with a bit of pressure, but not so soft that the stick loses its shape or starts to melt.
- Don’t skip the refrigeration process! Dough can be refrigerated for anywhere from 2 hours to 2 days, and doing so is key to the success of this recipe.
- Roll the dough out as evenly as possible for even baking. My ideal thickness is about 1/4 inch.
what you’ll love about this recipe
This is our absolute favorite sugar cookie recipe because it’s easy to make and the cookies come out perfect every time. They’re perfectly dense and deliciously soft, and using two types of extract gives them a flavor edge over any other recipes I’ve tried. Finally, you’ll love how sturdy they are… meaning no broken cookies on your cookie plate!
how to make powdered sugar icing
In a small mixing bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups or powdered sugar, 2 Tablespoons of milk, and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Stir with a spoon until smooth and creamy. Use as is or add food coloring as desired. (For almond flavored icing, substitute almond extract for vanilla.)
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder and stir well. Set aside.
- In a separate large mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, then add the extracts and mix until incorporated.
- Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until incorporated.
- Divide the dough into two equal parts and wrap each tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
- Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and allow it to soften slightly (until workable) at room temperature. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough onto a flat surface sprinkled lightly with flour. Roll to about 1/4 inch thick, then use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes.
- Place the cut-out dough 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 375°F for 10-12 minutes.
- Cool cookies on a wire rack, then frost as desired.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 36 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 122Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 99mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 0gSugar: 6gProtein: 2g