Getting those crisp edges on sugar cookies you plan to decorate is so so so important. Without them, you’re more likely to have overflow during the flooding step which is incredibly frustrating. Thankfully, I’ve mastered an easy way to prevent this from happening. This recipe doesn’t spread, yet the cookies are still soft but chewy. They flavor can be customized to anything you prefer. I just recently changed back to lemon flavor, but have previously done a simple vanilla bean flavor and I did a cinnamon cookie for a long time as well! I honestly am still trying new variations all the time to develop a signature flavor for my cookies, but at this point, lemon is my personal favorite!
Cut Out Sugar Cookie Recipe
***Made in a 7qt mixer. Halve the recipe if you have a smaller mixer***
Makes: Approx 4 dozen, depending on cookie size
Prep time: 15 minutes (inlcuding chill time)
Total time: 35-45 minutes
- 1 lb unsalted butter, room temp
- 2 c sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp lemon extract/emulsion (or alternate flavor of your choice)
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 eggs
- 6 c AP flour
- Preheat the oven to 325. Mix butter and sugar on medium high with a paddle attachment until fluffy. (2-3 minutes)
- Add in salt, extracts, salt, cornstarch, and eggs. Mix until combined.
- With the mixer on low, add the flour: add 2 cups, mix, add 2 cups, mix, add 1 cup, mix, and add the last cup and mix again.
- Roll the cookie dough to 1/4″ thick between 2 pieces of wax paper. This prevents the dough from getting too dry from extra flour.
- Chill the sheets of dough on a flat surface in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. The dough should be firm but not solid.
- Once the sheets of dough are chilled, cut shapes, and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake at 325 until matte on top and lightly golden around the bottom edges. The time will depend on size but the average time is 18-22 minutes. When finished, flatten the top of the cookie with a fondant smoother.
- Cool on a baking rack. Store in an airtight container until ready to decorate. If you choose to freeze them, let them thaw, unstacked, at room temperature for at least an hour before decorating.
Steps number 4-6 are VERY important for preventing cookie spreading. Cutting the dough after rather than before chilling the dough ensures that the cookies don’t lose their shape by getting stretched during the transfer to the baking sheet. It also creates an extra sharp edge, even before being baked. Chilling the dough prevents the butter from melting during the baking process before the eggs cook, which binds the ingredients in the dough. Lastly, I use a fondant smoother to flatten the top of the cookies, just by lightly pressing/gliding. If the cookies are rounded at all on the top, this increases the odds of overflow when flooding.
Do you have any other tips for making cut out sugar cookies? Let me know below!
*I decorate my cookies using Sweet Sugarbelle’s Royal Icing Recipe with a combination of lemon and vanilla as my extract choices.