One of the cookie staples for any baker is the simple iced sugar cookie. I have a love/hate relationship with cut-outs because it usually starts with me craving the dough, and then 2 hours later, I’m still icing cookies. Sugar cookies are one of the best platforms for testing out different decorating techniques. If you mess one of them up, you have a dozen more to try!
There are sooo many sugar cookie recipes out there and it’s one of the only desserts where my mom and I use different recipes. Personally, I am a much bigger fan of shortbread than I am of sugar cookies, and this recipe reflects that flavor. These cookies are not as crumbly as traditional shortbread and they stay soft. I’m also not a huge fan of almond flavoring, so I stick to vanilla extract only in all of my baked goods. My mom is a fan of thick sugar cookies, and I get scolded for rolling the dough too thin at Christmastime. We don’t agree on much when it comes to these cookies!
For the cookies pictured with this recipe, I used a simple buttercream recipe for the icing and piped it with a pastry bag. Some of these cookies have a fondant arrow decoration, which I made with homemade fondant. If you’ve never made your own fondant, you can check out my post about the experience here.
For these cookies, you will need your butter to be softened to room temperature. Whatever you do, do not use melted butter. If you use melted butter, your cookies are going to lose their shape and spread like crazy. Nobody wants that. Beat together your butter and half of the powdered sugar. When that’s combined, add the second half of powdered sugar. Beat together. Add the egg and vanilla. When the egg and vanilla are well incorporated, all the baking powder and corn starch. The corn starch helps these cookies stay soft and chewy. Then, add the flour cup by cup.
Wrap your dough in plastic wrap in a flat disc shape and let it sit for at least an hour. I’ve found that the flavor is better when you refrigerate this dough before baking it, but it’s not a necessary step for this particular recipe. You’ll be fine if you bake the dough immediately after mixing.
Roll dough out to desired thickness and have fun with your cookie cutters! Bake for about 8 minutes at 400 degrees. Keep an eye on your cookies and take them out before they begin to brown on top. Allow them to cool completely before icing.
- 1 cup salted butter, softened to room temperature (do NOT melt butter)
- 1.5 cups powdered sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp corn starch
- 2 ½ cups of all purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Beat together softened butter and powdered sugar for about 2 minutes.
- Add egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated.
- Mix together baking powder, corn starch and flour and then slowly add to mixer.
- Mix and scrape down the side of the mixing bowl as needed.
- Wrap your dough in plastic wrap in a flat disc shape and let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour.
- Roll dough out to desired thickness and have fun with your cookie cutters!
- Bake for about 8 minutes at 400 degrees. Keep an eye on your cookies and take them out before they begin to brown on top.
- Allow cookies to cool completely before icing.