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Easy Cut Out Sugar Cookies with Icing features a simple dough that's fun to work with so you can make any festive shaped and decorated cookies you want!

Easy Cut Out Sugar Cookies

Easy Cut Out Sugar Cookies with Icing features a simple dough that's fun to work with so you can make any festive shaped and decorated cookies you want! Click here to download my 10 Favorite Christmas Cookies!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chilling Time 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Yields: 40 cookies (depending on size)
Recipe by Tessa Arias

Ingredients

For the cookies::

  • 3 sticks (339 grams) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
  • 4 1/2 cups (572 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

For the border icing::

  • 1 cup (125 grams) powdered sugar, sifted (plus more as needed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons water or milk
  • Food coloring, if desired

For the flood icing::

  • 1 cup (125 grams) powdered sugar, sifted (plus more as needed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons water or milk
  • Food coloring, if desired

Directions

Make the cookies:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  4. 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.
  5. If the dough is too warm, freeze for 15 minutes or until firmed again.
  6. 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.

For the border icing:

  1. In a small bowl, use a fork to beat together all the ingredients except the food coloring. Beat in the food coloring, a few drops at a time, until colored to your liking. The mixture should be very thick but still pourable. Add more powdered sugar as needed.

  2. Transfer the border icing to a squeeze bottle using a funnel. You can also scoop into a pastry bag fitted with a 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.
  3. Holding the bottle or bag tip directly over one corner of a cookie, begin tracing an outline of the cookie, squeezing gently and using both hands if needed to maintain consistent pressure. I prefer to allow a little slack in my icing line as I go. If you mess up, simply wipe the icing off and start again. Allow the icing to dry slightly before continuing with the flood icing.

For the flood icing:

  1. In a small bowl, use a fork to beat together all the ingredients except the food coloring. Beat in the food coloring, a few drops at a time, until colored to your liking. The mixture should still be pretty thick, but will drizzle more freely than the border icing. If needed, add additional water or milk to loosen until the consistency is pourable. Pour the flood icing into a squeeze bottle or into a pastry bag fitted with a small plain tip.
  2. Prepare as many batches and colors of flood icing as you need to decorate your cookies.
  3. Begin filling the interior of the border drawn on each cookie with the flood icing, being careful not to add too much that it overflows the border icing. Use either the nose of the bottle or a small toothpick to push the icing evenly over the cookie and up against the corners.
  4. Leave the iced cookie to dry for 24 hours. The cookies are dry when the surface is completely smooth, dry, and resists smudging when touched. Store the dried cookies between sheets of parchment paper in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 10 days.

Recipe Notes

The amount of powdered sugar needed  for the icing will depend on whether you use milk or water, the sugar brand used, and the humidity of your kitchen. Adjust until you get the desired consistency. For best results, use organic powdered sugar which is made with tapioca starch for a thicker sturdier consistency and better flavor.