This recipe is so simple and makes a great tasting cookie with plenty of structure to hold (and not disfigure due to puffing/spreading/etc.) whatever shape you cut it into. The best part is there is no chilling time for the dough. Yes, I’m being serious. NO CHILLING TIME. Mix them up, roll them out (on the thick side for a softer/sturdy result, thinner if you want them crisp), use desired cookie cutters and BAM, you’re set to bake. *I should note: There are two types of sugar cookies in my baking dictionary. One is a soft tender fluffy cookie, not suitable for cutouts because that type of dough would spread significantly and not be attractive. Tasty, just unattractive. The other type of sugar cookie is a stiff dough, easily rolled out, cut and baked so the structure is maintained. Not as tender, not as awesome…. in my book.
The more tender, flavorful (not suitable for cutout cookies) recipe for Grandma’s Double Citrus Sugar Cookies may be found here.
My daughter and I had quite a fun time baking together today. She’s all about independence in the kitchen and she’s better at running my KitchenAid stand mixer than I am. (she always locks the tilt head… good girl.) We’re taking these cookies to her preschool tomorrow. She wanted pigs so we could write “Hogs and Kisses” on her homemade Valentines. The “Tiffany Blue” frosting threw me for a loop but she was noticeably upset when I suggested pink. Apparently the boys in her class would not eat the cookies if they had pink frosting. Sweet.
Enjoy! “Hogs and Kisses” from our family to yours. We’re on baby-watch 2014 with Cinnamon’s first litter coming soon. We’re hoping for the best, that she gets along well and we’ve got fun news to share soon. She’s really irritated right now with Mike… he keeps trying to touch her belly and check to see if her milk is in and in her own pig-ka-rah-tay she’s telling him to stop it NOW. That girl can kick! Look out.
Simple Cut-Out Sugar Cookies
Step By Step Photographs, full recipe at the end of the post.
First off, gather up your ingredients.
Then add 2 sticks of room temperature butter to a mixing bowl. (You can use your stand mixer, or sturdy hand mixer.)
Beat butter until creamy.
Add 2 cups of granulated white sugar.
Lock your mixer head in place. *Good girl.
Beat until smooth and somewhat fluffy.
Crack 1 egg.
Shell check! (None… yay.) My trick to check for shells is a glass container on my black granite or a dark container… shells are much easier to see that way.
Add it to the butter/sugar mixture. Mix until combined.
Add extracts… 2 tsp vanilla.
Measure 3 cups of all purpose flour into a separate bowl.
Add 2 tsp (scientifically measured) baking powder to the flour.
Toss around with your hands to incorporate the baking powder into the flour.
Add it to the wet mixture.
Mix until a stiff dough forms. (You may have to hand knead, this stuff is stiff… it must be this way so we don’t have to waste time chilling the dough in the refrigerator.)
Play in flour-explosion. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Turn the dough out, divide into 3 balls and cover the 2 you aren’t tending to with a damp paper towel so no dry crust forms on the outside.
Lightly flour your workspace if necessary and roll dough out to at least 1/4″ thickness cut with desired cutter. Place scraps in next dough ball to be rolled out.
Transfer cut out cookie dough to sheet pan lined with parchment or silicone liners. (Silicone lined pans make such better cookies!) This nifty bench scraper/cake mover tool is awesome for cut out cookies and pie pastry. Love it, costs less than $15 too.
MAN DOWN! Be careful, I said.
Once transferred to baking sheet, bake in a preheated 350 F oven for 10 minutes or until set. (just barely golden on the edges.
Remove, cool a couple of minutes on the sheet pan.
Told you, they’re sturdy! Transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting/icing.
The pigs got a little rosette, in case some of them didn’t like frosting.
Boys like cookies too!
Hogs and Kisses!
It is NOT a real day in the kitchen for me unless I’m baking in my nightgown. Ha, you thought I was kidding. Photo creds to my 5 year old. And yes… that is a HUGE garbage can in the background, my #1 kitchen must have. (We have a little pull out garbage bin too… it just doesn’t hold enough for me!)
Here’s a brief rundown of the frosting. (See recipe below.)
Process all suggested ingredients until fluffy and smooth.
*The way I cut out these cookies I ended up with roughly 2 dozen. The yield of the recipe will change with the thickness of your dough after being rolled out and with the size of your cookie cutter.
Easy Perfect Cut Out Sugar Cookies
1 C butter, softened
1 C granulated white sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 tsp baking powder
3 C all purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In the bowl of your mixer with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer, beat butter for one minute until soft. Add sugar, cream until well combined and smooth.
Beat in egg and extracts, only until combined. In a separate bowl combine baking powder with flour, mix together with fingertips or whisk. Add flour/baking powder mixture to the wet ingredients. Mix until dough comes together. This dough is quite stiff. Hand knead if your mixer cannot keep up.
Use dough immediately. Not necessary to chill. Divide into 3 batches. Roll out to ¼” thickness, cut with desired cutter. Transfer carefully onto parchment or silicone lined baking sheets.
Bake at 350 for 10-11 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet until firm enough to transfer to a cooling rack. Cool completely and frost as desired. *recipe follows.
*You do not need to chill this dough. If you must, let it warm on the counter a bit before rolling out.
4 C powdered sugar
1 C butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
pinch of salt
Blue and green food coloring (7 drops blue, 2 drops green)
Combine all in mixing bowl. Beat until well mixed and fluffy. Use immediately.