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Best Cut-Out Sugar Cookies Recipe

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This recipe for Best Cut-Out Sugar Cookies, by , is from Carol Gentry Cookbook, one of the cookbooks created at We'll help you start your own personal cookbook! It's easy and fun. Click here to start your own cookbook!

Carol Gentry, Courtesy of House of Nash Eats (and Bon Appetit)


1 1/4 C. chilled butter, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 1/4 C. sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla
3 C. flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder

1) In a large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugar on high speed for about 3 minutes until well combined.
2) Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
3) Add in the flour, salt, and baking powder on low speed, mixing just until incorporated and the dough comes together. Shape the dough into a flat disk and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Chill for 1 hour or up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
4) When ready to bake the cookies, heat the oven to 325 degrees. Remove the dough from the fridge and let it sit on the counter for 10 minutes to soften slightly.
5) On a lightly floured surface, roll out the cookie dough to 1/4-inch thick. Cut out using cookie cutters and bake on a baking sheet lined with a silpat mat or parchment paper for 12 to 15 minutes, until the edges just barely start to turn golden. Cool completely before decorating with royal icing or frosting.

VARIATIONS: Add 1/4 tsp. almond extract or 1 1/2 tsp. lemon zest to the dough.

NOTE: I have also rolled these 3/8-inch thick, which doesn't seem like much of a difference from the 1/4-inch thick cookie, but is actually quite noticeable. While I liked the thicker cookies too, I prefer the 1/4-inch version for the cookie to frosting ratio and the different texture. The cookies will need to cook an extra minute or two longer if you opt to make the thicker ones.

Number Of Servings:
Number Of Servings:
24 cookies
Preparation Time:
Preparation Time:
Prep: 15 min., Chill: 1 hour, Bake: 8 min. TOTAL: 1 hour 23 min.
Personal Notes:
Personal Notes:
Soft sugar cookies with crisp edges and a buttery, almost melt-in-your-mouth quality to them, these really are the best cut-out sugar cookies ever. Perfect for using your favorite cookie cutter shapes for any holiday or occasion!

They have a medium-soft, slightly dense texture, as opposed to some recipes that tend to be too fluffy. If you prefer a crispy cookie, you can always bake them a minute or two longer.

I searched and tested and experimented with myriad recipes so I would have a go-to recipe once and for all. The one that ended up being the winner in my book was based off one shared by Bon Appetit in their ďBestĒ collection of essential recipes.

These sugar cookies start with the slightly unorthodox approach of beating the butter and sugar together while the butter is still cold. As long as you are using a stand mixer and cut the butter into chunks, this works really well and results in a better cookie texture than creaming softened butter together with the sugar.

The rest of the recipe is pretty straightforward. There is 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder in the dough, which might cause concern that these wonít hold their shape while baking, but itís just the right amount to give that melt-in-your-mouth texture to the dough without making the cookies fluffy or causing distortions while they bake. I found that sugar cookies without baking powder werenít quite as tender and this small amount was just right.

Donít overmix the flour into the dough when it is added. Once the dough starts to come together, it will be thick and similar to the texture of play-doh.

I DO recommend chilling the dough. It helps the butter re-harden in the cut-out cookies before baking so that they donít spread as much. Also, sugar cookie recipes that do not require chilling the dough tend to be heavier on the flour, resulting in a cookie with a texture that is slightly more crumbly and not as light as this one. Itís not like you have to wait overnight though Ė 1 hour will do it, and even then you could fudge it a little closer to 45 minutes if you needed to.

I find that leaving the chilled dough out on the counter for just 10 minutes before attempting to roll it out makes a big difference in how easy it is to roll these out evenly.

I have one sugar cookie specific tool that I HIGHLY recommend if you like making sugar cookies (besides fun cookie cutters, of course). Itís a Joseph Joseph rolling pin with adjustable rings that go on each end of the rolling pin to help you roll out your sugar cookie dough to an exact thickness, depending on which ring you are using.

Both the dough and the finished cookies freeze well. If freezing the dough, transfer it to the fridge the night before you want to roll them out, then let the dough sit out on the counter for 30 minutes before rolling it the next day.

Frost with royal icing or buttercream. Or just press the unbaked cookies in sprinkles before baking.

Once frosted, the sugar cookies can be stored in an airtight container on the kitchen counter. Royal icing helps the cookies stay fresh longer, but even unfrosted cookies are good for at least a few days without going stale if stored in a well-sealed container. For longer-term storage, freeze the baked and decorated cookies by wrapping them up well in plastic wrap and freezing. Just give them time to thaw when you are ready to eat them!




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