Recipes

unfussy sugar cookies

Last month, after 13 years of stubbornness, I shared a roast turkey recipe and then a funny thing happened — many of you made and loved the turkey and your turkeys looked so beautiful (yes, turkeys! beautiful!) the warmth beamed off them and onto to me and left me inspired to shake loose another recipe I’ve been promising you for almost as long: Sugar cookies. Or butter cookies. Or roll-out cookies. Or holiday cookies.


what you'll need

It’s just, they can be kind of boring! And a lot of work. So many of the intricate, stunning ones that I admire with awe fall short on taste. And personally I just cannot with hours upon hours of work for someone to inhale my masterpiece in one bite, spilling crumbs on the floor, and then immediately ask for another, rude as it may be to come for my kids so publicly. I knew I’d never be able to share a sugar cookie recipe until I could find a way to make them as unfussy as I want them to be, the kind of thing you could decide to make, say, right now, and be eating not very long from now, decorated to the hilt. That brings us to today.

There are five really cool things about this recipe (and if you’re familiar with this post, a few are paraphrased from it):

1. No softened butter. I began making cookies with cold butter in a food processor or stand mixer (or, with patience, a hand mixer) a few years ago and haven’t looked back since. What I found was that there was no discernable decline in the final quality of the vast majority of cookies made this way, but a steep incline in my enjoyment of the process, now that I didn’t have to add 30 to 60 minutes to my prep time to get the butter exactly soft enough whoops too soft, back to the fridge, yup, now it’s hard again, repeat until you can no longer remember why you even wanted to make cookies.

cold butter, nothing to softenbutter, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt

2. No multi-hour chill in the fridge. Instead of fighting a firm, cold dough into a flat sheet, I instead roll my cookies out when it’s the easiest — right away. I then slide the flattened dough onto a baking sheet or thin cutting board and pop it in the freezer for 10 to 20 minutes (vs. 4 hours or overnight in the fridge), until it’s completely solid, then cut the cookies in wonderfully crisp shapes from it. You can put your cookies in the oven within 30 minutes of starting the dough.

3. No flour to roll it out. I roll my cookie dough between two sheets of parchment paper with absolutely no extra flour. Having no powdery mess to clean up is downright revolutionary in my kitchen and all of the rooms floury feet might drag the spillover mess into. Plus, flouring can toughen up the dough as it absorbs extra, and leads to annoying notes in recipes like “don’t reroll scraps.” I mean, what? You can reroll your scraps with abandon here.

immediately ready to rollroll out warm -- no flour

4. No cookie cutters. Or, you know, have no scraps. I have about 100 more cookie cutters than any human being needs (although most are crusted with Play-Doh these days). But nothing gives me the joy that using a smooth or fluted pastry wheel to cut an entire sheet of dough into squares, rectangles, diamonds, and other parallelograms for a tessellated slab of cookies with nothing left to re-chill and reroll. Yes, some that come from the edges are irregular; I find them charming. If you do not, you can use them for snacks, or decorating practice.

cut into a gridseparate and bake

5. No piping bags, food dye, and while we’re at it, no tweezers. Okay, I cheated because I bought a roll of these in 2015 and will never use them up, but my goal here was a decorated sugar cookie that required no paintbrushes or piping tips. Dipping cookies in a thinned royal icing gives you an evenly frosted cookie that you can finish with sprinkles, or, once it sets, add a thicker icing from a sandwich bag with the corner snipped off in any kind of doodles. Keeping it all white allows you to skip mixing batches of frosting with food dye and, bonus, evokes the sparkly winter wonderland that NYC is too rarely for my tastes. I used two kinds of sprinkles here (I’ll link to options at the end), pinched them on messily and inconsistently and I’m absolutely at peace with the results.

simple sugar cookiesdecoratingunfussy sugar cookiesunfussy sugar cookies

I hope you find all of these shortcuts deliciously lazy, maybe a little bit triumphant, and, at least in my case, a bit miraculous in that this level of cookie ease has turned me into a person who will willingly make sugar cookies going forward. I can’t wait to see what you do with these.

Previously

Six months ago: Burrata with Charred and Raw Sugar Snap Peas
One year ago: Falafel
Two years ago: Dutch Apple Pie
Three years ago: Union Square Cafe’s Bar Nuts
Four years ago: Pull-Apart Rugelach and Tres Leches Cake + A Taco Party
Five years ago: Decadent Hot Chocolate Mix and Gingrebread Biscotti
Six years ago: Eggnog Florentines
Seven years ago: Cashew Butter Balls
Eight years ago: Caesar Salad Deviled Eggs
Nine years ago: Garlic Butter Roasted Mushrooms
Ten years ago: Coffee Toffee
Eleven years ago: Zuni Cafe’s Roast Chicken + Bread Salad
Twelve years ago: Chicken and Dumplings
Thirteen years ago: Pecan Squares

Unfussy Sugar Cookies

The cookie recipe (ingredient list) is adapted from the one I’ve been using as long as I’ve known about it and a cult favorite on the internet, from the wonderful Bake at 350 blog. What I like about them is that they crisp without being being unpleasantly crunchy or dry, and they hold shapes nicely when baked, and they don’t forget the salt. The original recipe calls for salted butter; should you only have unsalted, add 1/2 teaspoon fine sea or table salt. However, the process (immediate roll out, no flour, etc.) is just the way I prefer to make — unfussy and very doable. The icing recipe makes enough to coat the cookies as shown, but you might need extra if your designs are thicker or more elaborate.

    Cookies
  • 3 cups (390 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea or table salt (if using unsalted butter only)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (8 ounces or 225 grams) salted or unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • Icing
  • 1 large egg white, ideally pasteurized (or use meringue or egg white powder as per label instructions)
  • 1 1/4 cups (150 grams) powdered sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • A few drops of a flavoring of your choice (optional) (lemon, almond, vanilla)
  • Food coloring and sprinkles, as you wish

Make the cookies in a food processor: Combine flour, salt (if butter is unsalted), baking powder, and sugar in a large bowl or the work bowl of your machine, whisking to combine well. Cut butter into small cubes and add to dry ingredients. Run the machine, scraping down as needed, until the butter fully disappears into the flour mixture, which will look sandy and clump easily between your fingertips. Add the egg and vanilla and run the machine until it blends into an even cookie dough, scraping down a few times to make sure it mixes evenly.

Make the cookies with a stand or hand mixer: Combine sugar and salt (if butter is unsalted) in a large bowl or the bowl of your mixer. (The order here is different because the butter takes longer to soften, longer than we want to beat the flour for.) Cut butter into small cubes and add to the sugar mixture and beat with the paddle or beater attachments until the butter and sugar are an even, soft texture — you’ll want to scrape down the bowl a few times and be patient, especially with a hand mixer, but once the two are combined, no need to beat further (until fluffy) as you would with other cookie recipes. Add egg and vanilla and beat until evenly combined, scraping down bowl. Add baking powder and beat it an additional 30 seconds beyond what is needed to make the baking powder disappear (we want to disperse it extremely well). Add flour and mix only until it disappears.

Both methods: Divide dough in half and (edited to add) if it’s in loose chunks, gently knead it together into one mass on a sheet of parchment paper. Place a second sheet of parchment paper over the dough and roll each dough half between 2 large pieces of parchment paper into your desired thickness — I like these the most in the 3/16- to 1/4-inch range (link to the optional spacers I’m using at the end), the thinner one is shown in the final cookies. Slide each parchment-and-cookie-dough slab onto the back of a baking sheet, thin tray, or thin cutting board and place in freezer for 15 to 20 minutes, until solid.

Heat oven: To 350 degrees F.

Shape cookies: Carefully remove top sheet of parchment paper from first cookie dough slab and place the side that touched the dough down on a large baking sheet. Cut cookies into your desired shape. Here I’m using a fluted pastry wheel (link at end) to cut the cookies into 1.5-inch squares. Peel each cookie off the bottom sheet of parchment (this should be easy if they’re still frozen; if they’re not, return the slab to the freezer for 3 to 5 more minutes) and arrange on baking sheet with 2 inches between them. Repeat with remaining slab of cookie dough. If you have any dough to reroll, do it again between two sheets of parchment paper and freeze this slab until solid again before cutting into it.

Bake cookies: Until they are a light golden brown at the edges (if there’s no color, there’s little flavor), rotating trays once while baking to ensure even baking, about 10 to 12 minutes. Thinner and smaller cookies are done faster; larger ones will take longer, of course. Use cookie color as your guide, however, not the timer.

Let cookies set for one minute on the tray after removing from the oven then transfer to a cooling rack to let the cookies cool completely. It’s not like this takes very long inside, but I’m impatient and put them outside when the weather permits. You can stop right here — look how fast you made cookies! you’re a wizard! — or you can decorate them…

Make the icing: Whisk your egg white (or substitute reconstituted from egg white or meringue powder) in a large bowl until loose and frothy. Add salt and 1 cup of powdered sugar, beating until smooth. Add flavorings, if desired, and last 1/4 cup of sugar — it’s pretty stiff at this point, which is how you want it.

Decorate cookies as shown here: To dip your cookies, scrape half of icing into wide bowl. Add water, 1/4 teaspoon at a time (a little goes a long way) to thin the frosting until it can thinly but mostly opaquely coat a dipped cookie. Skim the top of each cookie in the frosting, using a knife, spatula, or your finger (I won’t tell) to catch any drips before you flip it over. Arrange back on parchment-lined baking sheet to set completely. Once again, I tend to rush this outside.

Scrape the remaining, thicker half of your icing into a sandwich or freezer bag, cut the tiniest nip off the corner of the bag, and pipe designs of your choice on top. If you’re adding sprinkles, do so every 3 to 4 cookies or the icing will begin set and the sprinkles won’t adhere. Let them set until completely solid, anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on how thick the piping is.

Store: Iced, set cookies will keep for weeks in an airtight container at room temperature.

Tools: I have this food processor, this stand mixer, and this handmixer, although the latter is not my favorite. I find these two brands of parchment paper to be the most reliable/least sticky but of course haven’t tried them all. I’m using this pastry wheel. I am using these thick rulers to make rolling even slabs of dough really easy, but this is probably better, or you might just prefer rolling pin bands. If you don’t want to use a raw, pasteurized egg white, meringue powder is a wonderful thing. I’m using this pearly sanding sugar to decorate and can’t find dragees as tiny as I have online (think: large poppy seeds) but I’d buy these stars or this mixed sprinkle set in a heartbeat as an alternative. As always, nothing here is sponsored, I just hoped it would be easier to put all the links in one place vs. scattered throughout the comments as people ask.

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206 comments on unfussy sugar cookies

  1. sallyt

    these look amazing! I’ll try them this weekend when we make our holiday cookies. I tend to up the vanilla to 1.5 t in a sugar cookie since it’s the only flavoring.

    (FYI, the pastry wheel isn’t linked)

  2. reddoerr

    I love you. Seriously. Roll dough when soft?! Roll dough between parchment so no flour all over?! Re-roll the scraps?! Now I have zero excuses.

    1. Game changer!! I’m planning on making a few types of biscuits for Christmas this year, & between your “quick cookies” techniques, using a pastry wheel instead of fussy cookie cutters, & a couple of easy “roll dough into little balls and flatten” recipes, I might even enjoy the process.

      Thank you for always making cooking easier!

    2. Kelly A Haag

      Okay I’m glad I’m not the only weirdo who who wanted to say “I love you” to Deb! I love to eat sugar cookies (and the dough) but always regret making them because of all the hassle. She’s taken away all the excuses!

  3. judyinthedyes2016

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! One of our Christmas traditions is for me to make the dough, cut out the cookies, bake them, make the icing and then the grandkids decorates them. Can I tell you how very much I HATE making the cookies! So, this year I’ll be using your method….cannot wait!!

  4. Dian

    I made cut out cookies with the roll out method using parchment paper and chilling before cutting them out. AMAZINGLY easy with great results! Thanks Deb! ❄☃️🎁🎄

  5. Laura B

    I’ve been using your confetti cookies recipe for our Christmas cookie recipe the past few years. It’s our favorite! But I will definitely try the royal icing on them this year

  6. embrita

    I remember the first time you talked about rolling it between parchment paper and then chilling and it was revolutionary. Now I basically keeps 1/4″ thick discs of dough (both sugar and your brownie-roll-out cookies) in my freezer at all times. I’m the designated baker for our school and having dough on hand is more necessary than you’d think. Thank you so much for the tip!

    PS: I have started finding tessellated cutters and I am very excited about that. Lazy baking for everyone!

  7. Alexandra

    How long would you recommend chilling them for in the fridge? For those of us who have side-by-side fridge/freezers and thus freezers that are more narrow than our large cookie sheets.

  8. Katy

    My family has always decorated sugar cookies by brushing them with milk (egg wash would probably be good too) and then sprinkling with colored sugar, red hots, sprinkles, etc. and THEN baking. No frosting. Now that I have a child helper, I realized one bonus of this approach is that any germs applied to the cookies in the decorating process–which invariably involves a lot of licking fingers and too little hand washing–can then be killed by the hot oven. Or at least that is what I tell myself.

  9. Tee

    Perfect timing and a perfect alternative to the elaborate Christmas cookie decorating extravaganza I had planned for today, which now is canceled due to a sick grandson. They look great!

    1. tenmiler

      Hi Deb curious why the note on the egg (“ideally pasteurized”) and why? I don’t even know what a pasteurized egg is tbh. :)

      These look amazing and I can’t wait to give them a shot!

      1. Libby

        Pasteurized eggs have been gently heated to a safe temperature for eating. You can buy whole pasteurized eggs or you can buy pasteurized egg whites in a carton. You’re supposed to use them for royal icing because you’re not going to cook the eggs.

      2. Emily

        Pasteurized simply means the egg has been heated to the point where it can be consumed raw. In this case Deb calls for pasteurized egg whites for the icing, because the icing will not be baked. The whole egg in the cookie dough does not need to be pasteurized. I’m repeating what Libby has said, I know, but perhaps in more detail. For the same reason, cow’s milk is pasteurized because we drink it without cooking it!

        1. Melissa

          These were wonderful! Had to knead them a bit but so easy and delicious. We did sugar sprinkles instead of icing for a kid friendly activity

  10. Megan

    Ideas for iced cookies that don’t have any egg/diary in the icing? We have a kiddo with an egg/dairy allergy (Can tolerate baked dairy) and have resorted to using a drippy icing made of confectioners and water. But it is not the best tasting or most beautiful looking. Thanks

    1. Francoise

      Instead of water, I would just substitute any non-dairy milk that you like. Without having done any testing, I would think that coconut cream would work really well and likely make a thicker frosting

    2. Illana

      I melt some non-dairy chocolate chips with a tiny bit of water in the microwave for 20 seconds. Stir, decorate, let set for a few minutes (or not!) delicious!!

      1. Mary

        If your kiddo can have butter (maybe? maybe not?) and you’d like a chocolate glaze, this works well: 2 c. powdered sugar, 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter (melted), 1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/4 c. hot water, 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract. It firms up fairly quickly, so I add additional splashes of hot water to the bowl to keep it the right consistency as I work my way through glazing a batch of cookies or cupcakes. Not for the kiddos, but it’s also delicious with orange liqueur instead of the hot water (I love chocolate & orange together).

    3. Ashley

      If you want it thicker, use less water or more powdered sugar. If you the taste doesn’t appeal to you, you can add extracts (vanilla, almond, peppermint, etc) or use orange or lemon juice instead of water. Adjust the liquid/ sugar ratios until it’s as thick or thin as you want.

  11. Alicia

    These look fantastic! One tip that’s worked for me is to sub a gluten free flour blend, with no gluten to develop you literally cannot overhandle dough. Especially great if you have young helpers.

  12. Emjay

    If I were thinking of doing a lightly spiced cookie, just to add a little dimension, would 0.5 or 1 tsp of, say, cinnamon or cardamom be alright? I know few people come to sugar cookies for something super flavourful, but I’ve been obsessing over the idea of a cardamom sugar cookie. That said, I don’t want to OVERdo it.

    1. deb

      Absolutely. I felt like this post was long enough so I didn’t get into flavors but you could easily add dry spices (with the flour mixture) or citrus zest (I like to rub it into the sugar before using it for maximum flavor release) or even vanilla bean sugar, if you keep that around.

  13. Cambria

    I’ve been putting off baking my Christmas sugar cookies this year because they take SO much work and time (time!!!), but no longer! God bless us, every one!

  14. LitProf

    I just took your cranberry bars (from the first cookbook) out of the oven and was beaming as my kids devoured them for an after-school snack on a cold December day. And now this! Our weekend will be devoted to making batches of these cookies. Deb, you make every day better and sweeter. THANK YOU!

  15. I LOVE YOU.

    I mean, there’s a lot of things I could say here, but that sums it up. I love sugar cookies, but they’re such a pain to make that I rarely do. This will make it so much easier. Seriously, will you marry me?

  16. Jen

    Bridget’s recipe converted me to a (semi-) regular sugar cookie baker, too! Love your tips and tweaks to make these even more do-able on a regular basis.

    1. Jen R

      I lay the parchment on a silicone baking mat. It works, though your space is limited to the size of the mat. It’s the only thing I’ve found to work.

    2. Vee

      Some brands are much more slippery than others. If you sprinkle a few drops of water on your counter it really helps to stop the slide. Also try rolling between plastic wrap instead. Works as well if not better and is also less expensive.
      With the plastic wrap you can also make many sheets ahead of time and just leave them in the freezer. The plastic wrap seals them and you’ll always have them ready to go. Just take them out a few minutes before you want to get baking. Works for all cookie and pie doughs.
      Don’t throw out your paper or plastic wrap, fold and put in freezer bag and keep in freezer for reuse.

    3. Helena

      You know what works great? I got a pastry roller from PC for hosting once, and I’ll never use a traditional pin again. You only need one hand to roll, and the other holds the parchment paper!

      Another cool thing I found at the grocery store last night is, pre-cut parchment paper. It wasn’t much more than a roll (obviously you’ll get less paper) but they’re the size of a cookie sheet. The ones I found are made by Reynolds, I don’t know if other companies make them, too, but they’re scored and folded so they’re much less likely to slide all over infinity.

      I know the pastry rollers are available on Amazon, but I’ve seen them in kitchen stores, also. Seriously a game changer.

  17. MR in NJ

    My cookie and pie crust life changed forever when I started to roll the dough between two large Silpat sheets (too large for the oven). If the dough gets warm, the sheets plus dough can be slid over whatever’s in the refrigerator until the dough has hardened enough to continue. Works perfectly every time.

  18. BethS

    I made these and while I like the crispy cookie, I felt they were too dry and crumbly during the rolling. Maybe my flour was too heavy? I added an extra yolk, but it wasn’t enough. My recipe is very similar to yours, but has 2 yolks (instead of your whole egg) and up to a 1/3 cup of whole milk blended in alternately with the flour mixture. Oh and I make mine with my paddle mixer. However, the game changer for me was The pastry cutter and your royal frosting! To split the frosting into two parts is genius!!! It made it easier and I made a blue glaze (scrapping with my finger!) and white patterns with some pearl sprinkles! So beautiful! I sometimes cut my frosting with a TBL of corn syrup, but with your recipe, I didn’t need to! Thank you, thank you!!

    1. Same here — dough came out far too dry to roll, would hardly clump at all. I started by adding a bit more butter, then consulted a couple other recipes and added a bit of milk. Then when rolling, it showered out the sides and onto the floor. It’s now chilling in the fridge.
      What I would’ve appreciated seeing is how many sheets of dough should come out of this recipe, even if that varies according to how thick you roll your cookies.

      1. deb

        I may have forgotten one tiny detail in the recipe — I’m sorry! — which is that when you dump the dough out onto your parchment to roll it out, you can knead it once or twice if it hasn’t come together. That’s all it needs if the measurements are right and it was blended as described. I’ll add it now. This recipe doesn’t need milk or an extra yolk. I’ve made it a dozen times and it always comes together as written.

        1. Sara

          I had the same issue – even with kneading, the dough wouldn’t hold together. Is it possible for the butter to be too cold? My roommate snagged the refrigerator butter so I pulled two sticks from the freezer at most an hour or two before starting the cookies. I weighed all my dry ingredients and otherwise followed the recipe. I did end up adding 1/3 cup milk – which was too much as the dough got sticky, even after being put in time out in the fridge, but I still ended up with a tasty crumbly cookie, so I’m calling it a win

          1. deb

            It just needs to blend longer if kneading didn’t do it. The butter is cold. It’s not going to be as tacky or sticky as a cookie dough with whipped, softened butter, one that easily merges with the flour. But the formula — so long as the flour isn’t over-measured — absolutely works. You don’t, and shouldn’t, add anything else to it to get it to come together. Just measure carefully, blend more if needed.

      2. Suzy

        Same here too – dough never really got past the “sandy” stage, even after I took it out a kneaded for a bit. I added a yolk based on the comment above and it came together.

      3. Cara

        I would recommend weighing your flour, if you didn’t. I always get more flour in a cup than Deb, but when I weigh my flour to match hers I get a good dough.

    2. My dough was dry too, and I was just about to add more liquid but I decided to just knead it for a few minutes. That did the trick. The flour seemed to absorb the fat more and the dough went from crumbly to perfect.

    3. Rachael

      I had to add a couple splashes of water to get the dough to clump. Wondering if this was because I used the hand mixer instead of a food processor. In any case, the end result rolled beautifully!

    4. Susan Fain

      This might be a little out there but I noticed that my food processor work bowl is taller and narrower than the one Deb has. When I added the egg, the dough on the bottom just spun around and the dry stuff on top never incorporated. I ended up dumping the mix out onto the parchment and adding about a tablespoon of milk and hand kneading it for a few turns. Worked like a charm.

  19. Donna c

    Dude! This is so perfect! I haven’t made decorated cookies in years and I’m excited to do these! Fate made me buy those exact Wilton sprinkles last week without a plan in mind. Thanks so much for sharing! Happy Holidays to you and your family and friends!

  20. Vee

    Since discovering this game changing rolling system some years ago, I now deal with all my cookie doughs and pie crusts the same way. I also find that rolling between plastic wrap instead of parchment actually works a little better. Also, handy hint, don’t toss the parchment sheets or plastic wrap when you’re done. Just fold them and keep in a freezer bag in the freezer. They can be reused many times.

  21. Ellen Painter Dollar

    I’m going to try rolling out between parchment for making sugar cookies later today – I’d love to avoid the floury mess! One thing I do with my holiday sugar cookies is add some orange or lemon zest. I also increase the vanilla extract, as someone else mentioned. Amazing flavor allows for extra leeway if your decorating skills aren’t so great, or you have lots of help from kids (my teenagers haven’t yet outgrown the desire to mix up every color of sugar and pile it on, or create weird faces on the Santas and snowmen).

  22. caroline

    These look amazing. I have one suggestion, if I may? As a Brit cooking in the US I notice a difference in the type of butter typically used here. US butter makes great cakes (or anything that needs to be light and airy), but for a crisp, buttery finish go for something like Kerrygold and I promise you will notice the difference.

    1. deb

      European-style butter is always wonderful in cookies but I want to note that I always test recipes like this with regular old butter from the grocery store here because if it can’t taste good with basic butter, I’m not interested in publishing the recipe. These do. So, you can use whatever you prefer, or have around.

  23. Paula Gilmore

    I LOVE this idea! Wish I had thought of it. When I make biscuits (which is rare these days) I always just roll out the dough and cut them into squares. Lazy or creative? I prefer to think creative. Should have thought about doing that with sugar cookies too. Thanks for doing all the work for us!

  24. Lynn

    Made these this morning. My mess was so minimal, I really thought I had missed cleaning some things. I made in the food processor. I did dump all the ingredients out onto parchment and return to the fp as some floury ingredients on the bottom weren’t mixing in (I then reused the parchment for rolling.)

  25. Holly

    Fabulous as always, Deb. Just one side comment about your inspiring photography… You need to invest in a P-Touch Label Maker! Forget the masking tape and Sharpie pen. Give a list of all your bottle and jar labels to your kids and let them have at it. My family teases me mercilessly about my joy of label-making, but it makes me feel so organized and it is almost as fun as cooking!

    1. deb

      Lolol. Something about having one more thing to keep “in stock” (label tape, batteries, perhaps, ink? who knows. does anyone else feel like they spend their whole life buying more toilet paper and foil?) pushes me over the edge. I’ll always have masking tape and sharpies.

  26. Rose

    Hi! I would like to try the cookies with the icing, but i have never done royal icing before… i bought a package of pasteurized egg whites. Will that be safe for the icing and keep being safe if i store the cookies in a tin?

  27. Amy

    Two questions:
    1) Can I shape the dough into a log, freeze 10-20 minutes, then slice 1/4 inch rounds instead of rolling?
    2) just decorating with drizzled chocolate and sprinkles- which goes first (want to do chocolate first, but afraid the sprinkles won’t stick)
    Thanks!!

    1. deb

      1. I haven’t but I definitely think you can. It will need much longer than 10 to 20 minutes to freeze a log, though. These freeze in 10 to 20 because they’re already no more than 1/4-inch thick.
      2. Chocolate then sprinkles; sprinkle them right away.

  28. Joycelyn

    Wouldn’t the two teaspoons of baking powder ( that’s a lot for a batch of cookies ) cause the sugar cookies to puff and spread too much even though the cut cookies have been in the freezer for a bit to prevent too much spreading? Also, why would you not whisk the baking powder with the flour so both can be added already mixed, instead of adding the baking powder first, then the flour?
    Sorry for all the questions but I’ve been baking cookies for a good 60 years and am always interested in trying new or latest popular recipes I find online, but have to say, this particular recipe’s directions are the oddest I’ve ever come across.
    Not doubting your expertise at all, I have both your cookbooks which I love, but just had to ask my questions. Hope you don’t mind.

    1. deb

      It’s not too much baking powder. The cookies look exactly like this! You can whisk the baking powder with the flour; I just prefer not to dirty an extra bowl. And yes, the directions are odd. I try not to waste anyone’s time with things that are already in every other recipe on the internet and instead share things I’ve found that made my cooking life better, easier, or more delicious. :)

      1. Joycelyn

        Think I’ll stick with the extra bowl as that’s how I’ve always done it. Thank you for clarifying my other questions too, much appreciated.

  29. lauriewendy

    Ha, I feel you on the cookie cutters and play-doh. That’s the status of 99% of my cutters right now, but the kids do play-doh way more often than I make cutout cookies, and those moments of harmonious play are priceless. My favorite recipe to use for cutouts is my mom’s shortbread. They’re easy, delicious, and really forgiving.

  30. Tara C.

    I just read your post about rolling dough between pieces of wax paper…..I’ve been baking cookies for 20+ years and never heard of/ thought to do this. Genius!!!! I used your trick for three different batches of roll out dough yesterday. My Kitchen Aid already has been taking care of the butter I never remember to bring to room temperature for many years. And I’ve always stayed far from decorated sugar cookies just because they so fussy. What a wonderful way to dodge that fussiness!

  31. DD

    I made these today, substituting 1 tsp each baking soda and cream of tartar for the baking powder and almond extract for the vanilla. The turned out just like the photo. Easy, fast, delicious. Very little mess, no flour to contend with on the counters. Parchment and chilling the rolled dough is my new go to method for roll out cookies.

    1. DD

      They should work just fine with cookie cutters. The SK recipe is similar to my own roll out cookie recipe. Chilling the rolled out dough ( on the parchment) makes it so much easier .

  32. Sandy

    I made sugar cookies, the old.., old, old way yesterday. Baked half of the dough, never enjoyed the process. I cannot wait to try this recipe. I will make chocolate chip cookies any day of the week, they are quick, easy and delicious. Maybe these will be the same experience, like your style girl!

  33. judyinthedyes2016

    Mine came out perfectly! It was amazing and such a revelation after 45+ years of making sugar cookies and having such a huge mess!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!😀😀😀

  34. Finally, the unfussy sugar cookie I’ve been waiting for is here! Thank you, Deb. I’ve had the same issues with sugar cookie recipes (boring, taking too long with chilling times, etc). Yet I love seeing beautiful sugar cookies, and I have lots of lovely, unused cookie cutters languishing in my kitchen. I’m eager to try your recipe.

  35. Char Ortiz

    Amazing I love this – the work of making sugar cookies is what prevents me from doing it at all. I’d love to try this recipe but…question…why baking powder in a cookie recipe where you do not want the cookie to rise? I’ve noticed some sugar cookie recipes rise and blow out the shape of the cookie. Just curious because I came across another recipe where they left it out completely to keep the cookies hard edge.

    1. deb

      You do want them to rise a little, or they’ll be like crackers. These have an airiness to them which is nice in sugar cookies, while holding their shapes once baked.

  36. Victoria

    I am not sure what I did wrong but the dough was not very user friendly – first batch was so sandy i just could’t get it to form. Second try was a bit better but I definitely didn’t get 80 1.5 inch cookies. Love the idea and the look but I definitely need more practice at making these “unfussy”.

    1. Julie

      My dough was crumbly and sandy at first. I needed to break up all the dough with my fingers to get it to come together, then it rolled out cohesively.

  37. heidi

    You’ve transformed my cutout cookie experience from torture to fun! Thanks so much for the eye opening suggestions to getting it done without all the stages and mess.

  38. Christine

    I don’t have a food processor or stand mixer (I have a hand mixer but would prefer not to have the extra effort). Could I start mixing the dough in a Vitamix blender?? And if so what setting?
    Thanks!!

    1. deb

      I have a Vitamix but I haven’t tested it in there. I suppose it could work but I’d need to test it. I’m not sure how smooth it will get a thick dough.

  39. Kristina

    My mixer doesn’t do a great job of incorporating the hard butter stick so I started softening it by putting it in the microwave on “speed defrost” for 12 seconds. Works great.

  40. Sue Caldwell

    Oh Mah Gawd Deb!
    Here’s the backstory: I wanted to make mahjongg tile sugar cookies for our group, and just couldn’t face the thought of piping all the fiddly details of the characters on a flooded sugar cookie. Was talking to my daughter, who recommended fondant and food coloring markers for the designs. Smarter, not harder, right? I’m not a fan of fondant, but I liked the marker idea.
    Then I thought “if only there were a recipe for rolled sugar cookies that I can just cut with a pizza wheel into mahjongg tile shapes.” And then I also thought, “man, it would be so easy if I just had a nice easy way to flood them with royal icing without having to pipe! Like dippable icing or something?”
    Well, you get exactly where this is going. Of course, I went to the Smitten website to see if you had a good cookie recipe (aside from those insane sprinkle cookies with the cream cheese in them that I make ALL THE TIME.)
    And VOILA! Bob’s my uncle! You had the exact thing I was looking for, dippable frosting and all.
    Will be baking them next week, and I already picked up the food markers. So I will update this comment with photos of the finished beauties.
    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for basically reading my mind.

      1. Susan

        These are amazing! Thanks for sharing. My husband’s family is Chinese and his mom loves mahjong, so I can’t wait to surprise her with these

  41. Sayuri Shimada

    Just made the cookies and it was painless. I didn’t have the special cutter, but I’m so proud of my baking hack. I do have a square tart pan, so I used the fluted edge of the tart pan and simply cut out squares in just several chops. Thanks for the simple and elegant look of these cookies.

  42. Sharon

    I have always struggled with sugar cookies. My daughter always asks to make them. This recipe made them so much easier. I did have to bake them for about 14-16 minutes to get them done, but my oven is slow.

  43. Helena

    Made the first batch this afternoon, while making my peanut butter blossoms, and (holy mother of God, whoever thought of the two pieces of parchment paper? They deserve a Nobel Peace prize! I can’t even count the times I’ve looked at the mess afterwards and bemoaned my loathsome cleanup task with loud emphasis.)these are super easy, taste great and even my pickiest eater liked these better than the ‘fancy’ recipe that includes maple syrup. The whole square/rectangle/diamond/etc idea tho? I’ll never use my drawer with at least a hundred cookie cutters ever again.
    You’re 100% right- with the ease of these, I actually enjoy making cookies again!!
    One thing I did cave to, is the traditional buttercream frosting, which serves a great purpose btw-the moisture in the frosting settles into the cookies and keeps them so soft! I did, however go to your method of a single color with piping of the same color & sprinkles/dusting sugar/etc of the same color.
    You make me want to bake all night, well done!!

  44. CWells

    First, I your recipes! Thank you.
    One question: I rolled out the dough and put in the freezer for probably 20 mins. I used cookie cutters and the dough kept getting caught in the cutter. And when I tried to push the dough shape out, the shape broke. Does this mean the dough was too frozen or not frozen enough? Thank you!

    1. deb

      You can let the dough warm up a little if it was breaking. It might have been the cookie cutter, it might have just been the sheet of dough not being absolutely flat.

    2. Nat

      If the cutter is too small or detailed, or the dough is too warm, the dough tends to stick. One trick I love to help with this is to put a little flour into a bowl, and stick problematic cookie cutters in before pressing out each cookie. The flour helps make sure the cookie comes out of the cutter easily.

  45. No fuss????? I am not a detail-oriented person, so this didn’t suit me or the cleanliness of my kitchen well. Also, either I put on too much icing or the recipe didn’t give enough icing. And the end result was wayyyyyyyy to sweet for me. Sad. I guess I’m sticking to tray bakes and other things that don’t need consistency or prettiness…

  46. Nat

    I followed the recipe and these are perfect! I doubled everything and used a standing mixer because my food processor wouldn’t fit everything. The dough came together beautifully, and the baking powder gives the cookies the perfect satisfying yet delicate crunch. The cookies look like they are getting puffy while they bake, but they come out with nice sharp edges and no noticeable puff. I love the idea of not having to use cookie cutters to make fun sugar cookies that you can still decorate. We made half of the cookies with traditional cookie cutters, and the other half as triangles. Life changer to just cut shapes with Deb’s method. It goes so much faster! Thanks, Deb!

  47. Jane

    This recipe is right up my alley. I make about 20+ cookies for Christmas and I’m always looking for easy ways to decorate them etc. in fact I am looking for easier ways to do it all!
    Love love the simplicity of this recipe. This is a keeper!
    Thanks for all the tips….keep them coming.

  48. Madie

    F—ing brilliant! I hate making cut out cookies (the time, the mess, the less than lovely result) but this is so much easier. No more arguments over who gets a star and who gets the last reindeer. And with squares the little one won’t cry when the big brother bites off Santa’s head. Thanks Deb. Great post and just in time.

  49. I’m almost mad about this post since it comes 5 days AFTER a sugar cookie incident that involved three little girls, four shades of pink icing, and five cookie-cutters leading to a sea of garish broken misshapen tress and stars.

    (it was a sweet charming sticky mess and yes i’m still finding sprinkles on my kitchen floor)

    But Next Year! This is the way to go.

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  51. JS

    These were fantastic – they came out perfectly and tasted delicious. One tip – when you’re doing the final blend in the food processor, you’re going to think that the dough is too dry and crumbly, it’ll never come together, and you’ll be tempted to add milk or an extra yolk. Resist the temptation. Keep blending. It will all come together in a large ball (or a couple of smaller-but-still-large balls). It will not be too tough. Trust.

  52. These were the FUSSIEST sugar cookies to make. As others have noted the dough is far too dry and was more a pile of crumbs than a dough. I kneaded and kneaded and kneaded and it still didn’t hold together. I tried freezing one rolled out crumb-block, still crumbly, and got a few cookies out of it but the edges were so crumbly I had to re-knead and re-roll so many times just to get a few cookies. Ultimately I ended up adding milk and it worked fine, but what a headache! I’d rather just use a traditional method and know what I’m getting in to rather than be told it’s ‘easy’ and spend twice as long on it. Sorry to say I think this recipe fail is enough to turn me off Smitten altogether.

    1. I have no idea why I’m so defensive of Deb, but this comment seems a bit dramatic/harsh, especially given the success others have found with this recipe. I don’t know how many recipes you’ve tried, but I’ve found good success with the vast majority of her recipes, and she’s gotten me to try making things I never thought I would be able to. If you’ve tried making a lot of her recipes and just not had success, then so it goes, but if not, you might be happy to give some more of her recipes a try?

  53. Wendy Urban-Mead

    Dear Smitten Kitchen,
    I would like to make your unfussy sugar cookies. BUT BUT BUT — I would like to try this in a GF version.
    Thus, do you have any opinion on how viable it would be if I tried substituting 2 cups of my favorite all-purpose baking GF flour mix and 1 cup of almond meal flour, for the 3 cups flour called for in this recipe?
    I see that someone else asked a similar comment this morning — keen for your input if you have any…
    Sincerely,
    Wendy

    1. Wendy Urban-Mead

      I made them today — I used 2 cups GF flour mix (containing xanthan gum) and 1 cup of almond meal, and I added an additional egg white. I otherwise followed the process as the recipe instructed. They came out beautifully !

      1. Whitney

        I made these with Bob’s Red mill GF baking flour and they came out sooooo crumbly. I added an extra egg white based on your suggestion and it worked beautifully! Thank you!

      2. Wow Deb, not to pile on, but these are AMAZING! My husband is GF so I looked through the comments for anyone who had tried subbing in GF flours. Wendy–thank you for doing the testing. Needed to do two batches last night (one GF and one regular wheat flour) started at 7, all cookies baked and cooling by 8:15. I was rushed so they were not as tidy as they might be. The almond flour really masks the graininess I usually detect when I use the measure-for-measure flour. Better flavor, too! Mine spread a bit but, not chilled long and my eggs are home-grown, so I think closer to extra large. I am seriously thinking of using 1 cup almond flour in the regular flour batch next time as well. Will likely need to tweak moisture level a bit. Way to go both of you!

  54. Christian Boehnke

    Incidentally, this was going to be the year where my wife decided not to make sugar cookies “because they’re too much fuss”.

    So … this was the year where I made unfussy sugar cookies, and I may indeed be the one who makes sugar cookies for years to come.

    Need some more practice with the frosting, but that didn’t hurt the taste one bit.

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    1. Missy

      Wow. Deb, you are amazing. My family has been baking Christmas sugar cookies for generations, using my great grandmother Oom’s recipe. This recipe tastes better and is so much easier. I will be using it instead from here on out. Oom’s recipe adds milk and chills overnight. I love that this one can be made day of and think it has better flavor. I had no issues with the dough coming together. This recipe also worked well for our traditions. I cut out the dough using cookie cutters, then my children painted the raw dough with colored egg wash (one egg yolk, a splash of water and food coloring) and sprinkled with colored sugar before baking. I LOVED that my kitchen wasn’t covered in flour. Thank you Deb!! P.S. I found it tricky to keep the parchment paper still as I rolled out the cookies. If you make it long enough, you can fold it down over the counter and anchor it with your hip while you roll.

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  58. Jeffrey Olive

    I just made these yesterday with the kids and they turned out amazing my kids said I’m the best baker because of this tutorial.

  59. Emily

    I wish this had popped up into my feed yesterday… when I rolled out, cookie cuttered, and iced with a butter knife dozens of sugar cookies.

    Genius tips to save for next time! Thank you for sharing.

  60. Jen

    My dough was also too dry after mixing also. I weighed all the ingredients and followed the instructions. I added a whole egg to the mixture and it pulled together perfectly. I have been trying to find the perfect sugar cookie recipe that mimics the ones I remember from a bakery I went to growing up, this (with the extra egg) is finally it!

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  62. Lysie

    Question: Did you use the dough blade on your food processor, or just the regular metal one? Finally decided to make room in our small kitchen for a full-sized food processor, and am still getting the hang of it. But also, so thrilled not to do this with a hand mixer! Buttery sugar everywhere!!

  63. I made these last night and had to comment – they are delicious and SO easy to make! I’m a medical student with limited time but wanted to make cookies for a holiday party. It took me under an hour to make the dough, roll it out, pop it in the freezer and clean up (which was minimal considering no extra flour to roll and it all goes in a food processor). Then, after studying for a bit, I took the dough out and cut out shapes with cookie cutters – I had no problem getting the shapes out frozen (and it took me maybe 10 minutes to do both sheets). I didn’t re-roll the dough because of volume and time, but I definitely could have. Baking was a breeze! Before they went in the oven I let them soften a bit and then topped with sprinkles (I love icing but again, extremely limited on time) and they came out great. They tasted just like the cookies I remember making growing up but took a third of the time. Great with coffee this morning, too! Thanks for another great recipe, Deb!

  64. Riley Walker

    I’m in Colorado and it’s very dry here so I thought I was going to have trouble getting the dough together in the food processor. I read the comments and Deb’s words “keep blending” and I did – for quite a while – and it worked fine. I had to knead a little but the cookies are great. The technique about rolling between parchment is game-changing.

  65. Elizabeth

    These are perfect cookies and I will never make them another way! Another fave, Dorie Greenspan, recommends the same roll-out method in the beginning of her Cookies book, so obviously I trust the two of you. I added a little bit of extra salt when using Morton’s Kosher (vs. sea salt) and it worked well! Love the simplicity of this recipe in conjunction with their beautiful flavor. Thank you!

  66. 4angela

    Omg, this recipe is a game changer!! I’ve always dreaded making royal icing decorated cookies and now they seem so simple. Thank you!!

  67. Wendy Urban-Mead

    I made the unfussy sugar cookies today. To make them gluten-free, instead of 3 cups flour, I used 2 cups Bob’s one-to-one GF flour mix and 1 cup of almond meal. I also added an egg white. Other than that I followed the process as the recipe instructed. They came out beautifully !

  68. Natalie

    Thanks, Deb – this method was a game-changer in making the punition cookies you featured a few years back and I appreciate the extra detail here. Q: do you think this method would work for doughs with extras in it (dried fruit, poppy seeds, chocolate shards) that are more traditionally sliced and baked v. rolled? I love how neat the shapes are here but not sure that how the roll/freeze/shape method would work for that style of cookie.

  69. Jen

    These were delicious, thanks!

    One tip re: royal icing. I used pasteurized egg whites for the first time, since I was cooking for children, and discovered that pasteurized egg white won’t whip into a froth unless you add a bit of cream of tartar! (thank you, internet).

  70. Debby Szatmari

    Made these the other day and wow!! So so easy! And I am so the gal leave butter out to long re-cooling then Taking out then repeating cause I ran out of time To bake! Do you have more cookie recipes made with processor like this? Can you just follow the same general direction for say a basic drop cookie? Or icebox slice cookie?

  71. T

    Your technique for rolling and chilling the dough is LIFE-CHANGING. Used it with storebought sugar cookie mix for even more “unfussy” sugar cookies.

  72. Annie

    Can I make the dough ahead and freeze it to roll out later? Or would you recommend freezing it in some other form, like a log? I’d like to make your square cookies, rather than slice it, though.

  73. I followed this recipe exactly, since it was my first time through, and these cookies are fantastic! I decided to use star cookie cutters and with regular quick trips to the fridge, I had no problem getting them out or with rerolling. I didn’t keep them 2″ apart, and I didn’t see much spreading (none of them ended up touching), but YMMV. I’ll definitely be making these again!

  74. Nikki

    I just finished making these, still need to ice, but my 15 year son came into the kitchen, “why are they all box shaped?” Ummm, because no one helps me make them and ice them, they are “unfussy” sugar cookies! Followed recipe exactly, dough came together beautifully! Unfortunately, I have zero patience with my cutter, so my “box” shapes aren’t exactly uniform! Doesn’t take away from the taste!

  75. sallyt

    could I make the dough the day before and store in the fridge? Hosting a hanukkah party for many tiny 7 year olds who will design their own cookies… thanks!

  76. Susan

    I made these using goat butter for my dairy allergy daughter and they were fabulous. Frosting was perfect and easy as were the cookies. Thank you for sharing the great recipe.

  77. Hi! I would like to try the cookies with the icing, but i have never done royal icing before… i bought a package of pasteurized egg whites. Will that be safe for the icing and keep being safe if i store the cookies in a tin?

  78. Erika

    If I wanted to give these an almond flavor, would that be a 1:1 substitution for the vanilla? I swear my mom used to make our cookies with an almond flavoring!

  79. Andrew

    Like a few others here, the dough was too dry to come together for me even after kneading, some time in the fridge, and more kneading (so much for “unfussy”). I sprinkled a tablespoon of water on the dough and it came together beautifully.

    In the end, these cookies are great and were a big hit with our crowd!

    1. deb

      If the dough is on the dry side, it can be one of two things: Too heavy scoops of flour (the weight will be more accurate but if you’re using a measuring cup, always fluff really well and then scoop lightly, making sure not to pack as you level it) or the dough needing to blend longer (this is not a pie dough, we want the butter fully and completely blended into the dry stuff, and then some — if the flour is right, it will always cream as it warms up). Glad it’s working out, regardless.

  80. Dianev

    I feel like a teenage girl who has been searching and searching, and who has finally found “The One”! After years of decorator cookie failures, roll out disasters, and tough, tasteless, floury puffy cookies when I wanted thin crispy ones, I am now officially in love with this recipe and technique. Cookies taste great with my addition of the zest of a lemon, and I’m looking forward to this afternoon’s artistic decorating session. Thank you, Deb!

  81. Aurora Gandara

    I made these tonight will decorate tomorrow ( just got back from the first of two christmases).
    Did not have time to chill them at all but to my delight they worked.
    Crisp and buttery.
    I cut then into Christmas tree shapes. A quick dip in royal icing then green sugar. Voila

  82. WHB

    Here to report: even if your beloved food processor STOPS three turns into this recipe, you can and should carry on! You can turn the flour/butter mixture into a bowl—first using a pastry cutter, then your fingers, then a hand mixer to achieve the right wet-sand texture. Proceed and be delighted with the results.

  83. Suzanne

    Deb, this is one of your best recipes to date, and I’ve been cooking with you for about 8 years now. I trust your recipes, but I honestly underestimated how unfussy this would truly be. They truly are not the utter pain in the ass that most sugar cookies are. Additionally, I’d been thinking about getting rid of my food processor because I never use it. Well, I whipped it out for this recipe, and it earned its keep. No pulsing, changing speeds, any of that needed. Just zap all of the ingredients for about 30 seconds and boom, cookie dough. The fussiest part was freezing the rolled out dough because my freezer stays disorganized and full. We cut the cookies into snowflakes with a cookie cutter to make “Frozen” cookies. We also just cut squares with a pizza cutter. I used a dash of peppermint extract in the icing, which was perfect. In the past, when we’ve made decorated sugar cookies, half of them would end up trashed. Not this year.

  84. Katarina

    I’ve been trying to make sugar cookies for years and failing so miserably every time. I can’t believe how easy these were to make! And they were a HUGE hit! I even took out cookie cutters for the 2nd half and all the cookies came out perfectly! Thank you SO much for this recipe :)

  85. Laurie Hickey

    Thank you for these tips. The “tradition” in our house is I would make cutout sugar cookies grudgingly; a legacy of my mom’s reluctance and complaints when she made them. As luck would have it, cutouts are my husband’s favorite and the only cookie he’d ask for at the holidays.
    Fast forward thirty years. My daughter told me about these hacks, I used them and my husband is thrilled to have his delicious cookies without the grumpiness. There were even sparkling and pearl sugar under the Christmas tree from him after he ate them!
    A big thank you for the fine work you do to make cooking and baking delicious and part of everyday life.

  86. Jennifer

    Made these and LOVED them. Recipe worked perfectly for me. I weighed all the measurements. Used cookie cutters, a tree and a snowman. My kitchen is small, with little counter space for rolling etc and cleanup was easy. Dipped once and decorated with a blend of silver, black and white sprinkles, some silver dragees, and chunky sanding sugar. Cute and classy!

  87. Pat S

    I NEVER make cookies. Too fussy. Christmas is over and I’m now taking time to catch up on my favorite blogs. After reading this, I might (MIGHT) consider making cookies next Christmas. No promises – I just turned 80 lol. Anyway, thanks. I do enjoy your blog and I’ve definitely enjoyed making some of your other offerings, like sweet and smoky oven spare ribs. I think that was the first of your recipes I tried and everyone loved them.

  88. Emily M

    Made these with my kids. The Cusinart method was super no fuss and made it easy for the 3-year-old to help. I used the dip method to ice the cookies – also super easy – and then my kids decorated them with sprinkles and food colouring markers. The white designs are beautiful but the littles really wanted colour. This was a perfect, easy compromise that saved me a lot of work making different icings. This will be my good to recipe for sugar cookies. We still have half the batch rolled and waiting in the freezer for Valentine’s Day.

  89. Susan

    You have solved a long lasting problem for me. I have a truly minuscule amount of counter space. Rolled cookies just aren’t a possibility for me. (A pie crust is pushing it for me, just to give an idea of my space problem.) THESE are rolled cookies a can (and did!) make! The parchment paper and the fluted cutter let me make rolled and cut cookies. THANK YOU!!!

  90. Rachel

    I was a little disappointed… dough came out a bit on the dry side so harder to work with and cookies were fine (nothing special). I guess I just usually throw butter in the microwave for a few seconds and deal with a little over or a little under ‘soft’ and things turn out just fine, so I wasn’t overwhelmed by the cold butter method.

  91. Hands off the cookies

    One of the most brilliant parts of this, for me, is that it doesn’t require a cookie to be handled a thousand times as all the millions of decorations are added. The older I get the more weird, squeamish tics I develop — and one is that I try not to think about how much cookies are touched before I eat them. I completely accept that it is normal for food to be touched and this is my problem, not a problem with other people’s cookies. This technique minimizes the amount of pawing cookies undergo and it’s perfecto for me!

  92. I bake a lot, but sugar cookies are my nemesis. my daughter asked to make some this year and I said NO! but these directions might have me moving onto the other side. we might give this a go on our next day off from school.

  93. Leslie S.

    Hey, Happy New Year and thanks for the great cookie recipe! They’re just as easy as promised and even more delicious than imagined. We make trays and trays of cookies over the holidays and these were among the favorites, not just for the utter ease of preparation but for their excellent taste and texture. I pressed coarse grained sugar into the tops of some, so as to skirt even the Royal Icing portion of this nearly effortless assembly, and I was not disappointed. Love your prose and your recipes, and now I’ve got another highly rated cookie to add to my (ever increasing) repertoire. Thank you!

  94. Marie M. C.

    I’ve never read a recipe that used the words — “parallelogram” or “tessellated” in it! I love that your recipes are so detailed and compare things like “stand mixer” vs. “food process”. Thank you so much!

  95. Carol

    I saw some small drakes online at globalsugarart.com. Would any of those sizes be similar to what you use? I see 3mm, 4mm, 6mm sizes for white ones. Some are called sugar pearls but look similar.

  96. Kate

    Made these today and they turned out perfectly! The dough did seem dry and crumbly at first but I found that it did come together with kneading, just as Deb said. The cookies are absolutely delicious! Thank you for another gem!

  97. Heather

    These are amazing! They taste great and look wonderful. I just kept pulsing the food processor until it looked like cookie dough, then took it out. Thanks!

  98. Jen

    I think I did something wrong – my dough was really crumbly and I couldn’t get it put together properly. The cookies were absolutely delicious once I got over my tantrum, but I wonder if there’s a way to get the dough a little softer.

  99. A++++ for the unfussiness! I just made these with my almost 4-year-old who is forever into cookie cutters, sprinkles & frosting but I’m always struggling to find a recipe that’s not, well, fussy. We halved the recipe as we’re in quarantine mode and not really sharing any home-baked goods. Have you ever considered making a “kid-friendly” tag for recipes, as in the recipe is somewhat simple enough that readers could *potentially* make it with their kids (depending on said kids’ attention span/enthusiasm for cooking with parents, of course)? SK is pretty much my go-to source for all recipes and I have a little one practically attached to my hip at all times. :-) So I find myself looking up recipes and sorting through for the most straightforward if I know I’ll be baking with her.

  100. Help! I’m in the middle of making this with my 3-year-old (chaos!) and I accidentally followed the food processor directions with a hand mixer. The dough looks like sand :( Is there any way to salvage this? I hate wasting ingredients.

  101. Amy

    Where have you been all my life. I’m new to the site but thanks to a good friend Devon, have found you.
    Absolutely loved this recipe and the flexibility you gave for no need to room temp the butter and ok to make in the food processor (first ever mixer is enroute from KitchenAid). For some reason our icing wasn’t as beautifully white as the picture. It was almost transparent. Guessing it had to do with the organic sugar we used? They were delicious though.

  102. I am going to try this recipe with all of the tips for this year’s holidays. I tried a another recipe last year and let’s just say that I struggled a lot! Fingers crossed that this will work!

  103. Anna

    Honestly, I was ashamed to admit I make my cookies with cold butter. Thank you! I also made your knackebrod and it’s wonderful, as are your shows, simple, creative and informative.

  104. Anna B

    I have made these cookies several times at sea level. I’m now at 6000 ft I made a couple batches and they are not soft in the middle like they are at lower elevations. Any tips?

  105. Michelle C.

    The last time I made these I iced and decorated most of them for an event, but I had some leftover dough, so I cut the extra dough into little star cookies and then tossed the star cookies in cinnamon sugar before baking them. I liked them even better than the iced cookies! (But I love cinnamon.)

    Making these again tonight for another (socially-distanced) event (with individually-packaged cookies), and I’m definitely planning to make a little extra dough, so I can make more cinnamon stars for me!

  106. lynn

    These cookies are so good! Has anyone tried freezing the cookies either after shaped but before baking or after baked? And is one way better than the other?