Cutout sugar cookies are classic, our moms made them, and our grandmothers, and there is a reason why – because they are delicious! What could be better than a simply sweet cookie covered in buttery smooth frosting?
I like to make them for every ovccasion
from Valentine’s Day
to Fall/Halloween (with a few early Christmas ones snuck in there!)
To Thanksgiving (that’s them on the end there, pie may be traditional for this holiday, but cookies are a winner too!
As for recipes, I am all about making things from scratch…..most of the time. I actually usually cheat (gasp! It’s true!) and use a boxed sugar cookie mix when I make my cutouts. Why, you might ask? Well, I HAVE done it from scratch before, and the few recipes I have tried turned out pretty dry and crumbly, which makes for hard work with the rolling pin!
I personally prefer the Krusteaz Brand of sugar cookie mix, it has a perfect consistency and the taste is really great. In a pinch, I have used the Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix, and while I am srating to like it better, I still don’t *love* it, for two reasons – the first being that it has an overly buttery almost shortbread-y taste which isn’t my favorite, and the second being that the cookies tend to spread a little more while cooking, which can make your cookie cutter shapes slightly less desireable looking. That being said, either one is easier than measuring and mixing it all from scratch!
Both boxed mixes take approximately the same ingredients (butter, egg, and some flour), and once you have your dough made I HIGHLY recommend wrapping it up and refrigerating it for a while (the longer, the better!) and then bringing it out in small batches to roll out on your floured, cooled countertop (cooled with some ice packs about half an hour before rolling) with your floured, cooled rolling pin (I stick it in the fridge with the dough). I know it may seem excessive to cool the dough, counter AND rolling pin, but trust me – any help you can get making the rolling and cutting is a big plus!
Once you have baked and cooled your cookies, its time to frost and decorate – my favorite part (well, next to eating them!). I do make my own frosting, and it’s really simple:
-2 cups powdered sugar
-1 stick butter
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-1-2 teaspoons milk
Beat it together until you get the consistency you want, I add 1 tsp milk to start, and then add more as needed to thin it out a bit. This makes about enough frosting for 1 box of cookie mix (about 2 1/2 – 3 dozen cookies)
When it comes to decorating, I like to make it a social affair, I often have my husband help me, or my friends, and I make up a few different colors of frosting and put it into disposable frosting bags with different tips (if you don’t have those supplies handy, ziploc bags with the tips cut off make a decent substitute), and I set out sprinkles and we go to town!
One thing I would recommend you buy is the Wilton 101 Cookie Cutter set, it has cutters for most holidays PLUS it has all the letters and numbers, which make for super fun edible messages (I make letter cutouts spelling out “Happy Birthday” and put each letter on a cupcake, and it was adorable and delicious!). It’s one of the smarter purchases I have ever made when it comes to baking!
And remember, even if your cookies don’t turn out perfect, you can slather them in frosting, and that makes everything better. Trust me.