Taste: Just like sugar cookies from your favorite bakery! Texture: Light and soft yet still sturdy enough to hold their shape and transport safely. Ease: So much easier than traditional cut out sugar cookies and royal icing in my opinion! Pros: Fun and easy way to make festive cookies for a crowd. Cons: None! Would I make this again? Absolutely yes.
How festive and pretty are these snowflake sugar cookies?! No one has to know (or will even believe) just how easy they are.
In the past I had virtually no patience for cut-out cookies. Sure, they’re beautiful. But why should I have to chill and roll and cut and chill again when I could just make drop cookies and eliminate all those extra steps?
Well I’ve done some experimenting and have found a bunch of time saving tips to make cut-out cookies so much quicker and easier. Plus, you don’t need to deal with royal icing to achieve these pretty cookies.
This recipe also makes 40, so it’s perfect for any holiday party. You could even double it for a really big gathering, or easily halve it for a smaller group.
These cookies actually make a star appearance in my recent post on How to Host a Cookie Exchange (there’s a mini set of free party printables in that post).
Sugar Cookie Tips
All the tips you need to become a sugar cookie expert are in this step-by-step video. I go over every detail I could think of to give you a solid understanding of how sugar cookies work and what the best time saving tricks are.
Virtually all cookie dough can be made ahead of time, and baked sugar cookies store particularly well (especially in the freezer). So if you want even more info on how to make these ahead of time be sure to download my free Make Ahead Baking Guide here.
How to Make Easy Snowflake Sugar Cookies with time saving baking hacks and a full step-by-step video showing you how to get these gorgeous designs (without royal icing!).
For the cookies:
3sticks (339 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2cups(300 grams) granulated sugar
1/2teaspoonalmond extract (optional)
4 1/2cups(572 grams) all-purpose flour
For the icing:
2cups(250 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
4tablespoonswater or milk
Make the cookies:
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until well-combined and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, vanilla, and almond extract and beat until combined. On low speed, slowly add in the flour and baking powder and beat until incorporated.
Divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Place one dough portion between two sheets of parchment and roll out to 1/4-inch thickness. Repeat with the remaining portion of dough. Place the two sheets of dough on a baking sheet and chill for at least 1 hour or up to 1 day. You can also freeze for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Remove the dough from the fridge and cut into shapes with a cookie cutter, rerolling any scraps and cutting more shapes. Transfer the shapes to the prepared baking sheets.
If the dough is warm, freeze for 15 minutes or until firmed again.
Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cookies are set and begin to brown. Be careful not to over-bake. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Baked un-iced sugar cookies can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
Make the icing:
In a small bowl, use a fork to beat together all the ingredients except the food coloring. The mixture should be very thick but still pourable.
Transfer the icing to a squeeze bottle using a funnel. You can also scoop into a pastry bag fitted with a very small plain tip. Before you begin icing any cookies, take a few moments to practice on a piece of parchment paper to get the feel of the icing.
Holding the bottle or bag tip directly over one corner of a cookie, create lines and dots to enhance the snowflake shape as seen in the photos. If desired, garnish with edible dragees, glitter, or sprinkles. Let the icing set before serving.
If you don't have almond extract, feel free to omit. It simply adds an extra element of sweet flavor to the recipe.
If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a picture and share it on Instagram with #handletheheat so we can all see!
I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)
I share trusted baking recipes your friends & family will love alongside insights into the science of sweets. Learn more here.
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