Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

Here is my current go-to recipe for cut-out sugar cookies. I'm a big fan of sugar cookies. Big fan. And I used to think baking cut-out sugar cookies was hard work and not worth all the mess. (Maybe it's because I always turn to this Dropped Cracked Sugar Cookie recipe when I need a fix asap)
But this recipe is not at all difficult and it's only as messy as you (or your little helpers) make it. ;)
Don't limit yourself to baking them only during the holidays! Trust me. After you make them once you'll be sure to make them again and again!

Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

1 1/2 c. sugar
2 sticks butter
2 eggs
1 T vanilla
1 T lemon juice
3 1/2 c. flour
1 t. salt
1 t. soda
1 t. cream of tartar

Cream together sugar and butter. Blend in the eggs, vanilla, and lemon juice.
Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl then add to the butter mixture. Mix well.
Divide into two rectangles. Wrap in plastic wrap or parchment paper, and chill 1 hour in fridge or 30 minutes in freezer.
Preheat oven to 350*. Lightly spray or line cookie sheets with parchment paper. 
On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough 1/8'' to 1/4'' thick. Cut out cookies with cookie cutters and place on prepared cookie sheets. More detailed outlines will require thinner dough; while simple outlines can be thicker. If dough becomes warm, chill cookies on cookie sheet before baking. Bake at 350* for 8-10 minutes. Decorate with icing of your choice.


  • If you like a slightly softer cookie, do not roll the dough quite as thin and  reduce baking time to 6-8 minutes.
  •  The original recipe called for half butter/half Crisco. I seldom have Crisco on hand so I use a full cup of butter.
  • My frosting for these cookies usually consists of melted butter, vanilla, powdered sugar and a splash or two of milk. Sorry...I don't measure. Just keep adding the powdered sugar or milk until the frosting reaches the consistency you'd like. This frosting hardens up after a couple minutes so make sure you add your sprinkles while it's still wet.

    Royal Icing
    5 T meringue powder
    1 16 oz box powdered sugar
    1/2 c water

    Beat until a spreadable consistency. Add a little powered sugar or water as needed.
    Add gel food coloring to achieve desired shade. Pipe icing outline on cookie, then flood the inside. Spread smooth with knife.

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