The Ultimate Sugar Cookie Cutouts

Saturday, October 11, 2008

More love for Katie this weekend. Every recipe I've tried from Good Things Catered has been a good one, so it's basically a no-risk situation, which I appreciate. :) The recipe is actually from Ashlee at A Year in the Kitchen.

I have plans to potentially make some sugar cookie cutouts in a couple of weeks, so I wanted to give them a trial run before then. I also had never worked with royal icing on cookies before (only on my Wilton Course II cake), so I needed to practice that.

So, on Friday night, I made the cutouts, and then today, I iced them. And given the time of year, what better shapes to practice with than Halloween shapes?

My finished platter of cookies came with us to a surprise party for my brothers. These were definite crowd pleasers. The cookie recipe is excellent... they taste great on their own, but are even more fabulous with icing.

I had forgotten how long it takes to ice/decorate cutouts. Holy hell! I can see why I normally only do this at Christmas time.

Fabulous Sugar Cookies
(Recipe from Ashlee)

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks - 24 tbsp.) butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 tbsp. lemon zest
5 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
Powdered sugar, for rolling

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (You may want to wait a while to heat the oven since it will take some time to make the dough and cut out the cookies.)

2. Cream butter and sugars in a mixer for 5 minutes.

3. Add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly.

4. Add vanilla, almond, and lemon zest.

5. Sift in flour, baking powder, and salt a little at a time. Do not over mix, this process should take about one minute.

6. Chill dough for up to a week in the fridge, or roll out and cut right away. (I had a terrible time trying to roll and cut the cookies right away. You definitely need to chill the dough first, so provide yourself with enough time to do so.)

7. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and bake cookies for 7-8 minutes. Wait until cookies are cooled before icing.

I think I got approximately 40-50 cookies out of this recipe. I used stiff consistency royal icing for the edges, and filled in by "flooding" (also with royal icing).


Anonymous,  October 13, 2008 at 4:37 PM  

I love your cookies! They look great! Can you share how you make your royal icing? I have yet to find a good recipe!

Anonymous,  October 13, 2008 at 10:17 PM  

OMGosh Heather! They look AWESOME!! Great job with the cookies! :) :)

Heather October 14, 2008 at 10:53 AM  

Anonymous--I make royal using the Wilton recipe (you can find it at

I think the biggest problem with royal icing is that a lot of people expect it to taste like buttercream. It will never be that good! :) But if you start off with a good-tasting cookie (like these sugar cookies!), royal icing does compliment the flavor nicely.

Good luck!

And Katie--Thanks!

Betsy,  October 25, 2008 at 5:53 PM  

Did you just use the black and brown gel colors to make your black and brown royal icing?? If so, did you have to use a lot of it. When you use so much it really tastes horrible, but it looks good! I love your cookie designs!!

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