Dessert

Butter Cookie Cutouts

November 20, 2018

I make butter cookie cutouts to celebrate most holidays throughout the year, in part to justify an unfortunate sprinkle addiction. Who can resist the tiny red, pink, and white hearts on Valentine’s Day and creepy candy eyeballs on Halloween? Not this girl.

Plus, watching my children make and decorate the cookies always serves to remind me of my controlling tendencies, which is nice. Grit teeth as Child #1 stamps her cookie cutter down in the middle of my perfectly rolled dough, a good 2 inches from the edge but not far enough to fit another cookie in the gap. Smile tightly as Child #2 squeezes a giant blob of frosting into the middle of a cookie and pours out 1/2 jar of sprinkles on it. Breathe. Just breathe. Someday we will all fondly remember baking cookies together—and by then, they will be out of my house so that I can DO IT THE RIGHT WAY.

But I digress. I love this recipe because the dough holds its shape nicely when it bakes, and the cookies come out lightly sweet and buttery. They are delicious on their own, but also topped with icing and sprinkles. And the recipe is really quite simple.

Whisk flour, salt, and baking powder together in a small bowl. Then cream the softened butter and sugar in a large bowl with a hand mixer (or a stand mixer on medium speed using the paddle attachment) for 3-5 minutes, until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, and beat until smooth.

butter and sugar creamed

Then mix in the dry ingredients until just incorporated. Dump out onto a lightly floured surface and divide in half. Form each half into flat round disks, about 1 1/2 inches tall. Then wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for about an hour, until firm.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. When you’re ready to roll out your dough, take out your first disk, and sprinkle your counter with flour. Roll out dough using plenty of flour on both the counter and your rolling pin. Flip the dough over frequently and re-flour it, making sure that it doesn’t stick to the counter. If it does, you will have a terrible time getting the cookies off the counter and onto your baking sheet. Use a bench scraper to loosen the dough if it sticks. Stop rolling when the dough is about 1/4 inch thick.

Cut out as many cookies as you can, transferring to a parchment-lined baking sheet as you go. Combine the scraps into another disk and put back in the fridge to firm up, while you roll out the 2nd disk of dough from the fridge. You can re-roll the scraps once more, but that’s it. After that, the cookies will come out tough and not as tasty.

rolled dough ready for cutouts

You can put sprinkles on before you bake your cookies, or bake them and then top with cookie icing and sprinkles. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the edges turn golden. Let cookies sit on baking sheet for 1-2 minutes after you take them out of the oven, then transfer to a cooling rack. If you are going to decorate with icing, you’ll need to wait until they are entirely cool first.

Butter Cookie Cutouts

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By Molly Madigan Pisula Serves: Makes 2 dozen
Prep Time: 30 min, plus 1 hour to chill dough Cooking Time: 30 min

These easy and delicious cookies are perfect for any holiday. Lightly sweet and buttery!

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups (11 oz.) flour
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 t. vanilla

Instructions

1

Whisk flour, salt, and baking powder together in a small bowl.

2

Cream the softened butter and sugar in a large bowl with a hand mixer (or a stand mixer on medium speed using the paddle attachment) for 3-5 minutes, until fluffy.

3

Add egg and vanilla, and beat until smooth.

4

Mix in the dry ingredients until just incorporated.

5

Dump out onto a lightly floured surface and divide in half. Form each half into round disks, about 1-2 inches tall. Then wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for about an hour, until firm.

6

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

7

When the dough is firm, take out your first disk, and sprinkle your counter with flour.

8

Roll out dough using plenty of flour on both the counter and your rolling pin. Flip the dough over frequently and re-flour it, making sure that it doesn't stick to the counter. If it does, you will have a terrible time getting the cookies off the counter and onto your baking sheet. Use a bench scraper to loosen the dough if it sticks. Stop rolling when the dough is about 1/4 inch thick.

9

Cut out as many cookies as you can, transferring to a parchment-lined baking sheet as you go.

10

Combine the scraps into another disk and put back in the fridge to firm up, while you roll out the 2nd disk of dough from the fridge. You can re-roll the scraps once more, but that's it. After that, the cookies will come out tough and not as tasty.

11

Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, until the edges turn golden. Let cookies sit on baking sheet for 1-2 minutes after you take them out of the oven, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Notes

If you are going to decorate with icing, wait until they are entirely cool first. Cookies freeze well, without icing or sprinkles.

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