You’ve just discovered the best sugar cookie recipe for beautiful cut-out cookies that hold their shape! Included are essential recipes for sugar cookie frosting used for glazing, and royal icing for making fine decorative touches. This past weekend my daughter Brooke and her fiance Darin enjoyed a fabulous couples wedding shower hosted by both families. A special touch to this stylish event were gorgeous bakery-style sugar cookies in the shape of a diamond wedding ring. With great love and attention, each was artistically decorated to perfection!
About This Sugar Cookie Recipe
UPDATED SUGAR COOKIE RECIPE + NEW PHOTOS! Do you remember the last time you made beautiful cut-out sugar cookies only to have them expand into unrecognizable blimps in the oven? Or maybe your sugar cookie frosting didn’t hold up when your desserts were carefully stacked? Say goodbye to those baking fails! Today I teamed up with popular Sacramento baker Melanie to share her best sugar cookie recipe along with fabulous recipes for sugar cookie frosting and royal icing. So tie on your apron and let’s get baking! (If you live in the greater Sacramento area of California and would like a professionally-made batch of these gorgeous treats, I can connect you directly with Melanie.)
Cut-Out Sugar Cookie Recipe Ingredients
These are the simple ingredients needed to make cut-out sugar cookies that actually keep their shape: butter, margarine, cream cheese, sugar, egg, vanilla extract, all-purpose flour, and baking powder.
Ingredients for Sugar Cookie Frosting
These are the basic ingredients for making glaze to frost your sugar cookies: meringue powder, confectioners sugar, warm water, and colored food paste (desired color).
Ingredients for Royal Icing
The ingredients for a batch of royal icing (to put fine decorative touches on your cookies) include: meringue powder, warm water, confectioners sugar, vanilla, cream of tartar, and food coloring paste in desired color.
How to Make Sugar Cookies
In a mixing bowl with a paddle, beat the butter, margarine and cream cheese. Add sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg. Mix until combined. In a small bowl, whisk the flour and baking powder. With your mixer on slow speed (so a white dust storm doesn’t erupt in your kitchen), gradually add the flour to the main mixing bowl.
Best Sugar Cookie Recipe
Scrape the sides of the bowl, as needed. Divide the dough into two disks, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 3 to 24 hours. On a lightly-floured surface, roll the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch. With a floured cookie cutter, cut out desired shapes. Place sugar cookies one-inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 375 degrees. Cool on a wire rack.
Sugar Cookie Frosting Recipe
Here’s how to make delicious sugar cookie frosting: With a fork, beat together meringue powder, about half of the sifted confectioners sugar, and warm water until smooth. Add in additional confectioners sugar until the consistency is smooth and spreadable, not runny. Tint with food paste colors, as desired. Once the sugar cookies are completely cooled, spread the glaze over each cookie. Allow the glaze to dry completely before stacking between pieces of waxed paper, or proceeding to decorate with royal icing.
Royal Icing Recipe for Sugar Cookies
This yummy royal icing recipe is easy to make! Add all the ingredients to a medium bowl. With an electric mixer, beat on low speed until combined. Raise the speed to high and continue beating for 7-10 minutes until very stiff. Divide the royal icing into small bowls. Tint with various colors, as desired. Use the royal icing to make all fine decorative touches to your sugar cookies. This is done directly over the set and dried sugar cookie frosting.
Best Kitchen Tools for Sugar Cookies Recipe
If you’re a collector of beautiful cookie cutters like me, then you enjoy making sugar cookies all year long! This yummy sugar cookie recipe is perfect for Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, 4th of July, Halloween, Fall, Christmas, wedding showers, baby showers, birthday parties and more. Fabulous cookie cutters are not always easy to find, so whenever I happen to stumble upon a great one I’m quick to add it to my growing collection.
This is the best sugar cookie recipe for producing bakery-style cookies that are glazed with a yummy frosting and decorated with royal icing! These special cut-out sugar cookies hold their shape. The frosting and icing harden up nicely so the cookies can be carefully stacked in even layers, using long sheets of waxed paper in between.
- 1 stick butter (8 tablespoons), room temperature
- 1 stick margarine (8 tablespoons), room temperature
- 1 8-ounce block cream cheese (full fat), softened
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 + 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
SUGAR COOKIE FROSTING (GLAZE)
- 2 tablespoons meringue powder
- 3-1/2 cups powdered sugar (confectioners sugar), sifted
- 1/2 cup warm water
- food coloring paste in desired color(s)
- 3 tablespoons meringue powder
- 1/3 cup warm water
- 1 16-ounce box powered sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- food coloring paste in desired color(s)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, margarine and softened cream cheese on medium-high speed for 30 seconds until combined.
- Measure out the flour and baking powder. Add them to a small bowl. With a wire whisk, mix these two ingredients together. In 3 to 4 small batches, add the flour mixture to the bowl of the stand mixer. Mix well after each addition, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
- Divide the sugar cookie dough in half, and form two disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap (or put them in zip-top kitchen bags with the air pushed out) and chill in the refrigerator for 3 hours to 24 hours (or overnight) until the dough is easy to handle.
- Adjust your oven rack to the center position. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
- On a lightly-floured surface, using a rolling pin, roll out each disk of dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Cut the dough into desired shapes using cookie cutters that have been lightly dipped in flour.
- IMPORTANT BAKING TIP: After the initial rolling and cutting of the two disks of dough, gather together the scraps to form another disk. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill it. After chilling, roll out the dough and repeat the cookie-cutting process. This second chilling of the scraps is very important! Otherwise the dough will become too soft and the sugar cookies will lose their shape while baking.
- Place the cookies 1-inch apart on an un-greased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are firm and the bottoms are lightly browned. Carefully remove the cookies and cool them on a wire rack. This recipe yields about 36 sugar cookies (2-1/2- to 3-1/2-inch cookies).
SUGAR COOKIE FROSTING
- Using a fork, beat together the meringue powder, half of the sifted powdered sugar, and warm water until the texture of the glaze is nice and smooth.
- Gradually stir in the remaining sifted powdered sugar until the consistency of the glaze is spreadable, but not runny. Divide the batch, as desired, and tint with food paste coloring. This recipe yields about one cup of sugar cookie frosting.
- When the cookies have fully cooled, glaze them by evenly spreading frosting over each cookie. Scrape off excess frosting from the edges. Allow the the frosting to completely dry and solidify before stacking the sugar cookies between waxed paper, or applying decorative touches with royal icing.
- In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients except for the food paste coloring. Beat with an electric hand mixer on low speed until combined, then mix on high speed for 7-10 minutes or until the mixture is very stiff. Divide the royal icing and tint with desired colors.
- Fill a disposable decorating bag fitted with desired tip. Use the royal frosting to outline or add details to your batch of glazed sugar cookies.
- When not using, cover the royal icing with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out. This recipe yields 3 cups of royal icing.
Keywords: Christmas cookies, holiday cookies, party
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What do you think about these beautiful glazed sugar cookies decorated with royal icing? This recipe is perfect for special occasions! Would you love to make these cookies for an upcoming event? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Join the conversation in the comments below.