Dessert Featured Holiday Favorites Recipes — 21 December 2017

Grab your cookie cutters! This no-spread, quick and easy cutout sugar cookie recipe tastes as good as it looks –- a chewy-crispy shortbread texture with a sugar cookie flavor.

By: Jodie Shield, MED, RDN

Do you have a love-hate relationship with baking cutout sugar cookies? You love spending time watching your kids’ flour-smudged faces take turns rolling dough; you hate when those perfectly prebaked stars and trees pop out of the oven like unidentifiable blobs! My friend Helen told me, “Remember, it’s the experience that matters most.” True. I can think of at least five reasons why it’s important to bake cookies with your kids, especially over the holidays. Refusing to cave and buy refrigerated logs of premade sugar cookie dough, I’ve been on a quest for a cutout sugar cookie recipe that holds its shape perfectly and tastes amazing. After trying four classic recipes, three of which spread like the butter I used to bake them, I found one clear cutout sugar cookie winner, and I’m sharing it with you. It’s from Baking a Moment, and you’re going to love it because it’s so quick and easy. You don’t have to soften the butter, sift the flour, or chill the dough. In a matter of minutes, you and your kids are rolling and cutting out cookies that look as good as they taste! For more nutritious and delicious cookie recipes like gingersnaps and Kentucky Derby chocolate bourbon balls, look no further than my Eat Healthy Homemade Meals app that is available to download FREE on iTunes and Google Play.

Cutout Sugar Cookies

30 cookies

Prep time = 15 minutes

Rolling and cutting time = as long as you want!

Cooking time = 9-12 minutes Ingredients:

  • Parchment paper
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour (no need to sift!)
  • ¾ cup cornstarch
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup cold, unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Sanding sugar (optional)
  • Frosting (optional – see recipe below))


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, cornstarch, and salt; set aside.
  3. Cream the cold butter cubes and sugar (with a mixer using the paddle attachment) just until smooth and combined, no more than 2 minutes. Mix in the eggs until incorporated, about 1 minute. You will need to scrape down the sides with a spatula periodically.
  4. Add the flour mixture and mix on medium-low speed for about 3 to 5 minutes or until dough gathers itself into a ball and pulls always cleanly from the sides of the bowl. Then add the vanilla. (Note: The batter will look dry and sandy at first.) Be careful not to over-mix or your dough will be tough and your cookies will spread and lose their decorative shape.
  5. Roll the dough between two sheets of parchment paper, to a ¼-inch thickness. No need to use flour as the parchment paper will keep the dough from sticking. Use cookie cutters to make festive shapes. Carefully remove the excess dough from around the cookies (like making paper dolls) and transfer the cookies to the parchment lined cookie sheets. Space the cookies about an inch apart (No worries because they will not spread!). Sprinkle on sanding sugar now if using. Go ahead and reroll the extra dough to make more cookies.
  6. For a 2 ½-inch cookie, bake on the middle oven rack one sheet at a time for 9 to 12 minutes. Depending on the thickness, cookie times will vary so turn on the oven light and watch carefully– the thinner the cookie, the less cooking time.
  7. Remove the cookies from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack. Decorate them with your favorite frosting.*

Nutrient Information per Serving (2 ½-inch cookie without sanding sugar or frosting): 158 calories, 2 grams protein, 22 grams carbohydrate, 7 grams fat, 4 grams saturated fat, 29 milligrams cholesterol, 0 grams fiber, 54 milligrams sodium, 7 grams sugar

* Frosting Recipe: Mix ½ pound of powdered sugar, ¼ cup unsalted butter (softened), ½ tablespoon vanilla extract, and 2 tablespoons of milk in a mixer until creamy and easy to spread. Separate the frosting into small bowls; add a few drops of different food coloring into each bowl. Let the decorating begin!

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About Author


Jodie Shield, M.Ed., R.D., L.D.N.
Jodie Shield has been a consultant and spokesperson in the field of nutrition for over two decades. A former national media spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association (1989-1995), she has worked extensively with the Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center and taught nutrition and medical dietetics at the University of Illinois. Currently she is a complemental faculty member of the College of Health Sciences in the Department of Clinical Nutrition at Rush University in Chicago.

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