Cut Out Sugar Cookies

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I do enjoy biscuits of almost any type.  Buttery ones are high on the list of favourites, so shortbread, butter cookies and sugar cookies are all near the top.

This recipe is for sugar cookies, but with a dough that is firm enough to roll and cut out, keeping their shape.  They can be flavoured, with vanilla, almond, lemon etc depending one a person’s fancy.  For mine I majored on vanilla, since I love that, but also added a little lemon extract.  If I had any lemons I would simply have added some zest, but the extract worked well.

This recipe is quite simple and just requires a little patience as the dough needs to be chilled before rolling.  Then it is just a case of rolling, cutting out, chilling a little longer and baking.

My cookies turned out very well, using a 32 star shaped cutter.  Of course any shape is ok, and depending on the size of the cookie cutter you can get more, or less, from this recipe.

I really like how the cookies are just a little firm on the edges and slightly softer in the middle.  The flavour, of mine, gave a decent vanilla flavour with the slightest hint of lemon.

Whenever I mention vanilla extract in my recipes I also mean real vanilla extract, in the UK only real vanilla extract is called that.  The artificially created flavour is called vanilla essence.

Although I serve these cookies just as they are, or with a little sugar sprinkled over the top they are also ideal for icing, with a simple icing, coloured as you wish.

Cut Out Sugar Cookies

Cut Out Sugar Cookies – Video


  • 450g (3 1/2 cups) plain flour
  • 225g (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 200g (1 cup) caster sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp lemon extract(or the zest of a lemon)
  • 1 medium egg(large in USA)
  • pinch of salt


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer(you can do it all with a hand mixer or by hand too) cream the butter with the sugar until all is combined and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg, vanilla extract and lemon extract(or zest) and mix until all is combined.  Don’t worry if the mixture looks curdled.
  3. Put the baking powder and salt into the flour and stir around to mix in.
  4. Add the flour mixture into the butter mixture and mix until it all starts to form into lumps, don’t mix it further than that.
  5. Use your hands to squeeze the mixture into a dough.
  6. Form the dough into a disc shape and wrap in plastic wrap then chill in the fridge for at least an hour, overnight is fine too.
  7. Once the dough is chilled remove from the fridge, if it is very hard leave for about 10 minutes to soften slightly for easier rolling. 
  8. Line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper, or silicone mats.
  9. Cut the dough into two equal sized pieces and form into a ball, then flatten to a disc.
  10. Roll out, on a lightly floured work surface, or between two sheets of parchment paper,  to a thickness of 1/4 inch(6 mm).
  11. Cut out using cookie cutters of your preferred shape(s).
  12. Place the cut out cookie dough onto the baking sheets, leaving a gap between each.
  13. Repeat with the second disc of dough.
  14. Refrigerate while you preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/375F.
  15. Bake the cookies in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until the edges are just beginning to change colour.
  16. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  17. If you wish to you can then ice the cookies with coloured icing, or sprinkle a little caster sugar over the top.

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