I only started making cut-out cookies a few years ago. The kids look forward to using the cookie cutters and then decorating the baked cookies with a variety of candy. And for my youngest it’s an opportunity to eat more candy, which is really her favourite part!
I love this recipe for making cut out cookies. The dough is really easy to work with and has a lovely vanilla flavour. These vanilla sugar cookies are also delicious plain so you don’t have to decorate them 😉
Vanilla Sugar Cookies
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 pinch salt
- In the bowl of a mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, scrapping the sides of the bowl at least once.
- Add egg and vanilla and beat until well mixed.
- Reduce the speed of the mixer and add the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix until well blended.
- Remove the dough and divide it in two parts. Form a disk with each half and wrap it with wax paper or saran wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
- Position a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Line baking sheets with non-stick baking liners or parchment paper.
- When ready to start, remove one disk from the refrigerator (leave the other one in until you are ready to use it). Between sheets of waxed paper (or on a lightly floured counter), roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thickness.
- With cookie cutter, cut out shapes, and place cookies onto baking sheet, 1 inch apart. If the cookies are breaking as you move them you can use a spatula to move them onto the baking sheet.
- Gather the dough scraps and re-roll, cutting as many cookies as possible.
- Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until pale golden on bottoms and edges, about 10 minutes.
- Let cookies cool for a couple of minutes on baking sheet before moving onto racks to cool completely.
- The baked, undecorated cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days and can be frozen for up to 1 month; thaw cookies in the refrigerator before decorating.
- Once cookies are decorated they can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 days. I decorated the cookies using leftover royal icing that came with our ready to assemble gingerbread house. Make sure you add the candy (I used dragées) before the royal icing sets.
- Let the cookies sit on the rack until the icing is set, about 3 hours. Store the decorated cookies, in single layers between waxed paper in an airtight container or a pretty cookie tin if gifting them.
The preparation time includes the time the dough rests in the refrigerator.
This recipe does not include the recipe for royal icing, but a good one can be found here: http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/royal-icing.aspx