Sunday, October 14, 2012

Cut Out Cookies, Simplified

I don't know if you have the same opinion of cut out cookies as I did but they were not my favorite thing to make.  What a hassle.  Make the dough, refrigerate, roll out hard stiff dough and is not uniform in thickness.  Well, not any more!  I found the "Tidy Mom" way and it changed my opinion of making cut out cookies forever! 

You will need to get some trim molding (1" x 1/4") from your hardware/lumber store.  This will allow you to roll your cookie dough out to a perfect 1/4". 
  1. Make your cookie dough (see recipe below). 
  2. Place a sheet of wax paper on countertop, place trimmed sticks along both sides of the wax paper with the about one quarter of the cookie dough in between making sure the width does not exceed your rolling pin.  Place another sheet of wax paper on top and with a rolling pin roll out the dough using the 1/4" sticks as a guide.  You may have to pull up and reset the top wax paper to remove wrinkles and to allow for the spreading dough.
  4. Place rolled out dough onto a cookie sheet so it lays flat and refrigerate for about an hour or more.  You can stack the wax paper dough to save room but make sure you put plastic wrap in between the layers otherwise the layers will stick to one another.
  5. Remove dough from the refrigerator and cut out cookies with cookie cutters.  Once cookies have all been cut out, carefully remove cookies and place onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake as directed.

Rolling out the room temperature dough makes is so much easier on yourself.  Trying to roll out a hard lump of cookie dough is one reason I did not like to make cut out cookies.  The other reason I hated to make cut out cookies was that I could never get the dough rolled out correctly.  It was hard to judge just how much 1/4" was and to roll the whole dough blob out the same.  I had thick spots and thin spots which result in cookies that don't cook evenly. 

I put my sticks on top of a piece of wax paper inside a cookie sheet to keep the sticks from moving around.

Put cookie dough down and "smoosh".

Cover with another piece of wax paper and roll out with a rolling pin using the sticks as a guide for thickness.
Dough all rolled out.

Cookie shapes cut.
Cookies cut out and on parchment lined cookie sheet

Cookies all cut ready to cool and ice.

My Favorite Sugar Cookie Recipe:

6 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 cups unsalted butter (4 cubes), room temp.
2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs, room temp.
2 tsp. vanilla or almond extract (most of the time I use half and half)
  1. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Add remaining ingredients a little at a time to butter mixture until incorporated and the dough comes together.
  2. Roll to 1/4" thickness and cut into desired shapes.
  3. Refrigerate cutout cookies on a wax paper lined cookie sheet covered with plastic wrap for at least 20 minutes.
  4. Bake on ungreased baking sheet (I prefer to line cookie sheet with parchment paper) at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until just beginning to turn brown around the edges. Makes up to 5 dozen 3″ cookies.

Now that the cookies are done and cooled, what do you do with them?  What is the best thing to ice them with.  I suggest you go through the information at University of Cookie there is a wealth of information in the recipes and tutorials.

For these Halloween cookies, I used a royal icing icing in which I followed the instructions on the Wilton container only I doubled the recipe and exchanged 2 tablespoons of light corn syrup for 2 tablespoons of water.  I also used the parchment triangles for piping.  Using the piping bags and tips would give you better details, but, still happy how they turned out.

If you want to go for the Lofthouse type cookie that are round and have the bright colored flavored frosting, you can simply use a buttercream frosting flavored with LorAnn oils.  My favorite is orange but there is a huge selection of different flavors.  The flavors and very strong so a little goes a long way.

Here are some other cookies I have done:

Used a powder sugar glaze for these cookies.  The cookie shapes are free-formed.  I should have used a thinned royal icing to make the color solid.  To make the marshmallow have the melted look, place a few marshmallows on a place and microwave for a few seconds, place on freshly glazed cookie but be careful, the marshmallows are hot.  Once it has cooled and the glaze has set up, finish with details.

I used a powder sugar glaze for these racy cookies. I incorporated sprinkles and sugars to the glaze while it was still wet.



  1. That is a cool idea! I think the cut out cookies are a lot of fun-as far as artistic expression with the decorating you can do!