Cut-Out Cookies

Total Time:
1 hr 42 min
Prep:
30 min
Inactive:
1 hr
Cook:
12 min

Yield:
25 to 30 cookies
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • Cookies:
  • 6 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Icing:
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons just-boiled water
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • Food coloring, preferably pastes
  • Special equipment: cookie cutters
Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and moving towards moussiness, then beat in the egg and vanilla. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter and eggs, and mix gently but surely. If you think the finished mixture is too sticky to be rolled out, add more flour, but do so sparingly as too much will make the dough tough. Form into a fat disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Sprinkle a suitable surface with flour, place disk of dough on it, and sprinkle a little more flour on top of that. Then roll it out to a thickness of about 1/4-inch. Cut into shapes, dipping the cutter into flour as you go, and place the cookies a little apart on 2 parchment or silpat lined baking sheets.

Bake for 8 to 12 minutes; obviously it depends on the shape you're using and whether they are on the upper or lower shelf, though you can swap them around after about 5 minutes. When they're ready expect them to be tinged a pronounced gold around the edges; they'll be softish still in the middle, but set while they cool.

Remove the cookies with a flat, preferably flexible, spatula to a wire rack. When they are fully cooled, you can get on with the icing. Put a couple of tablespoons of not-quite-boiling water into a large bowl, add the sieved confectioners sugar and mix together, adding more water as you need to form a thick paste. Color,as desired. I think pastes are much better than liquid, not just because the range of colors is better but because they don't dilute the icing as they tint. Ice cooled cookies, as desired.


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4.1 55
Made these cookies yesterday with my 3.5 year old.  The cookies were super easy, and as everyone said, not too sweet.  We did just white icing and added fun sprinkles. It was a really cool activity for him and the cookies were very good.  Big stars was our cutout of choice.  Absolutely great for a fast but home-style activity and treat. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Lots positive feedback!! Good but easy. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I loved this recipe I am 12 and I could do it with no help, and they tasted great. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Holds shape very well. Without the frosting this cookie was very bland and flavorless, however with the frosting it made a good combination and the kids enjoyed them. Didnt take very long for the frosting to set which made the cookie pretty easy item not reviewed by moderator and published
easy to make, not too sweet... added extra vanilla and butter for a little richer flavor. Will definitely make again item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've looked for a sugar cookie recipe that would allow me to use cookie cutters, and hold their shape. This recipe fits the bill. I was leery of some of the negative comments about the cookies tasting like cardboard. If you follow this recipe, you will end up with a really delicious cookie. They are sweet and when you use cookie cutters, they bake perfect without loosing their shape. I'd give this cookie an A+. item not reviewed by moderator and published
These cookies keep their shape and taste lovely. A little on the can't-eat-without-some-sort-of-liquid side but overall a great recipe! : item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is the first cut-out cookie recipe I have ever used that turned out perfectly. Easy. Not too sweet. Perfect. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My best cookie ever and it is so simple to make! It's not too sweet. Goes great with tea! For my oven, i find 8 minutes is the best timing and a simple way to dress these cookies up is to make your own coloured sugar and sprinkle them on top of the cookie before baking. Yum! Making another batch right now! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Excellent and EASY! Love this recipe, they don't even last a day at my house!! I frost only half of the batch because for me, they are wonderful just as is but my husband and daughter disagree, they love the extra sugar and sprinkles. item not reviewed by moderator and published
these are great item not reviewed by moderator and published
Burn easily so only put in for maybe 10 min. Frosting needs to be made right when putting on and I made the frosting red with the liquid dye and it was diluted slightly but hardened when dried. Cute and easy, love Nigella! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Taste was nice to over powering sweet and easy to make. item not reviewed by moderator and published
These cookies are sooooooo good! I am baking another batch right now! They also taste good if you frost them and put sprinkles on! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made these in miniature fashion to put in small party bags as favors at my son and daughter's birthday party. I love how they retained their shape while baking, and they have just the right amount of sugar so I don't feel like I'm over-indulging the kids. The flavor is great and I added color to some and made my own topping for others to add a little variety to the mix. Great recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe needs no tweaking as far as I'm concerned. I follow it exactly every time and the cookies always come out great! They never last long because everyone loves them! It's so easy to make too! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I am so glad I tried this recipe. It was perfect! So easy to make, the dough rolls out so easily and doesn't stick to the rolling pin or surface. The cookie is so tasting....crunchy on the outside and so soft in the middle. I did a buttercream icing with it as I found the glaze not to be the consistnecy I wanted. But this will definitley be my new tried and true cut-out cookie recipe! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've tried many, many cut out cookie recipes for the perfect cookie recipe. This is by far the best one I've tried. The cookie is not overly sweet; but that makes it a perfect complement to the sweet icing recipe. The dough makes it easy to cut out cookies and they keep their shape when baking. I make a double batch each holiday. My two daughters, ages 13 and 2, love this cookie! Wonderful! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have about 3 of her books. Really, where was the editor? They are either too vague or way over the top. Mostly I use the books for ideas and then tweek the recipes so that they will be suitable for my use. This cookie recipe is one of the worst I've stumbled upon yet. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I love baking, and have never had cookies turn out completely tasteless... Until I tried this recipe. The cookies looked amazing and were really fun to decorate, but when I tried one, it was like cardboard! No one who tried them liked them, and I ended up throwing away over 3/4 of the cookies I made. :-( Perhaps adding more vanilla and sugar (and maybe even extra butter) might make them taste better, but I don't want to waste my time tweaking the recipe. As it stands, the recipe is horrible! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Seriously, "until pale and moving towards moussiness"? "mix gently but surely"? "tinged a pronounced gold around the edges"? Talk about trying TOO hard. It's just a cookie recipe, and a poor one at that. Spend more time tasting what you recommend and less time with your thesaurus 'Nigella'....(and I am sure your real name was like "Mary"). item not reviewed by moderator and published
These cookies are so easy to prepare. They stand up well under the artistry of the kids frosting and sprinkles. Yummy too. item not reviewed by moderator and published
The cookie was awful, it had no taste, I read the reviews prior to baking, I even added an additonal quarter cup sugar, used salted butter AND added an additonal 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, it still didn't have much flavor, the only thing that saved the cookie was the frosting, we used the Betty Crocker in a can, it was easy for the kids. The batter however, did not change shape, it was right on, that was perfect. Next time, I will definately add more flavor to the dough. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I think these cookies were fun and easy to make. Perhaps you can add a bit more flavor to the dough and icing by using a small amount of extract. Make the recipe work for you, is what I say. To each his own. Great cookie cutter shapes and bold colors for the royal icing make these cookies. Kids and adults gave my cookies great review. Way to go Nigella!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
These cookies tasted likie cardboard!! chocolate chips barely saved these cookies! the ingredients and prep. were easy and the dough was good but the cookies just tasted bad! and i love cookies and was hoping these would be good but....they weren't. :( item not reviewed by moderator and published
Just made these cookies. They are excellent for cookie cutters because they don't spread or loose their shape at all. Didn't take a lot to make them only thing is I had to keep putting them back in the freezer to chill because they get soft super quick. After everything was said and baked, they tasted good and overall fun. item not reviewed by moderator and published
These are the easiest cookies to make. Made them the first time for both my kids halloween parties at school. None came back. My kids and their friends have come to expect them for all of the class parties since. item not reviewed by moderator and published
so easy whipped these up in no time item not reviewed by moderator and published
I'm a huge Christmas cookie maker, and unfortuately I wasn't too impressed with these. If you want a lot of cookies, you need to double the recipe. I would advise using a different recipe for the frosting because it dries up really quickly, so if you want to put sprinkles on, you have to do it in a hurry! After taste testing them, I found them very sweet. Have a glass of milk close by! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I just made these tonight, and I thought they might of been more suger than I thought, at least my hubby and son liked them, didn't make a whole lot though, maybe about 20 or less, I put chocolate chips in them and so I guess I will be searching for more... I just don't know what was missing. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I am a horrible baker, everything I bake I ruin! This receipe was easy and I didn't ruin it!! WOOHOO! My family loved the cookies, in fact half of them I didn't get to ice! I did change the iceing to a lemon iceing. I just put lemon zest and a little bit of the juice and they were super yummmmmmmmy! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have tried this cookie recipe 3 times. I just can't get it. I do everything exactly as the recipe reads, but after their baked they just taste like eating thick cardboard. Dry and tasteless. Not even sweet at all. I've had success with other Nigella recipes, so it's just a set-back when this recipe doesn't work right for me. She does have another recipe for cut-outs in her book I may try. But I just have to give this one a low rating. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Absolutely the best cut cookie recipe although it didn't make nearly as many cookies as I wanted. I had to quadruple the recipe. Very tastey and easy to make. Way better than Martha's recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My children are allergic to eggs so I always have to bake egg-free. This recipe worked well even without eggs by substituting Enger-G egg substitute & a little water for the egg. I also tried the confectioner's sugar instead of flour when rolling the dough - great suggestion! item not reviewed by moderator and published
i made it for kids and they loved it! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was a wonderful, no-fail recipe! I've tried dozens of cut-out recipes and this one is by far the best item not reviewed by moderator and published
I found it difficult to roll out the dough because it was so dry and kept breaking. The taste of cookies was good, but I don't think it's worth the frustration of working with the dough. The icing, however, was easy to make and easy to spread. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have been looking for a good recipe. I make pie crust alot and do not have problems but until now could not work with cookie dough! I love the powdered sugar suggestion instead of flour. My brother-in-law loved these cookies. The recipe does not make many - so if you are making for a large crowd I suggest multiplying by 4. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have tried many cut out cookie recipes but this is my favourite so far. I have to admit i replaced the unsalted butter with regular butter and did away with the pinch of salt. The cookies were buttery and delicious and took icing very well. I didn't particularly like the icing that the recipe suggested and used my own. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I already have a great recipe for sugar cookies that I stick with but this icing is great. Very easy to work with and dries neatly like a glaze. item not reviewed by moderator and published
these cookies are so simple n easy to make plus my classmates love them item not reviewed by moderator and published
Easy and quite good! I think they're better when they're cool than when they're warm. item not reviewed by moderator and published
i Tried to make these cookies twice and both times they came out tasting like moist cardboard they had no taste and i would not recomend it to anyone who wants sweet tasting cookies it was an easy recipe to make they just don't taste good at all item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is amazing. It's fast, easy and delicious. Make sure you dont over bake them. I made about 200 heart shaped cookies. They were sturdy, easy to frost and I got rave reviews. item not reviewed by moderator and published
this was so easy and turned out great! only complaint i can think of is that i think i might add some vanilla to the icing...just to make it sweeter. the cookies themselves, while great, maybe could be a little sweeter, so i hope that solves my issue. then again, i have quite a sweet tooth. enjoy! item not reviewed by moderator and published
DELICIOUS. loved the taste. and it was really easy rolling it out and using cookie cutters. doesn't make alot tho? but probably because everyone ate it too fast. the icing tasted yummy too. dried enough so i can stack it on eachother. but i only used 2 tablespoon of water and not 3. i also rolled it on powdered sugar instead of flour and used parchment paper and saran wrap to prevent from sticking during rolling. A+ recipe! will definately make this again. family is already forcing me to make somemore and i just finished making it and icing it a few mins ago!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
these are WITHOUT A DOUBT the best sugar cookies EVER! they were so easy to work with and were sooo simple! even the batter tasted great! i loved em... this is my new basic recipe! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made these with my kids on 2 separate occasions. We had excellent results both times. The dough was easy to work with. I followed the suggestion of other reviewers and rolled the dough out with powdered sugar instead of flour. I have tried many other recipes for this type of cookie and never had very much luck. These cookies are mouth-watering in flavor and perfectly crisp. I will definitely search more of Nigella's recipes. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Not hard like some cut out cookie recipes. The kids loved them. item not reviewed by moderator and published
These cookies gave us some difficulties. Very easy to make, but the dough was a little hard to work with and the cookies kept breaking. About half of our batch ended up in pieces. However, the ones that stayed together were very tasty and fun to decorate. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I was a bit timid abt trying these cookies but to my suprise, they were quite easy! I used the powdered sugar instead of flour when rolling trick and got to use all the scraps of dough. None of them got tough. they were nice and buttery, kept their shape well too. will definitely bake these again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Very tasty cut out cookies. A lot of fun to make! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This a simple and perfect cookie! I made it last minute for some out of town athletes and they seemed to enjoy them a lot. It's defiantly a must try recipe! item not reviewed by moderator and published
These are the first cut-out cookies I have made that keep their shape so well! The dough was easy to work with, and the cookies tasted delicious. item not reviewed by moderator and published
These cookies turned out great! Thank you for bringing back Nigella!!!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published

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