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Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,992
Registered: ‎06-06-2011

Cut Out Cookies

I'm going to make Christmas cookies this year using cut outs. It's been years. Any tips you can offer? I will use a sugar cookie recipe, but tips as far as how to roll dough? Do you use powdered sugar for the icing? I bought a set of colored goodies to decorate with ~ should be fun.

Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea-Robert A. Heinlein
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Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,213
Registered: ‎02-07-2011

Re: Cut Out Cookies

I have good memories of making butter cookies at Christmas in various shapes, e.g. Christmas tree, Santa Claus, angels.  We used to coat the cookies after cutting them out with a egg white wash and then put colored sprinkles or nuts on top.  Sorry, can't help with the dough--that was mom's department!!

 

 

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Honored Contributor
Posts: 20,495
Registered: ‎01-08-2011

Re: Cut Out Cookies

Cut out cookies are so much fun!

 

Make sure your dough is really cold so it will stick to you less!  Cool the rolling pin as well.

You will also need cooling racks so they will keep their shape.  Be sure each cookie sheet is cool.  if the sheet is warm, that changes the shape and affects timing.  Remove before edges brown.

 

This icing hardens:

Combine sugar, 2 Tablespoons of milk, corn syrup, and vanilla extract in a medium-sized bowl and stir until combined. If frosting is too thick, add more milk, about a teaspoon at a time, until the frosting is thick but pipeable. If you accidentally add too much milk, add powdered sugar until desired texture is reached.
 
You can use a soft icing or sprinkles also.

 

This was the first lab in my Foods classes because they learned to measure and follow directions.Smiley Happy

 

Have fun!Smiley Happy

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Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,689
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Cut Out Cookies

I would use plenty of flour on the surface you’re using and on the rolling pin. For frosting I start with 1/4 cup of softened butter, add some milk, vanilla and powdered sugar to get the consistency I want (hand-held mixer).

They will freeze well and a butter cream frosting softens the cookies until they melt in your mouth. 

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Registered: ‎11-24-2013

Re: Cut Out Cookies

[ Edited ]

About 40 (gasp) years ago I told DH I was going to make a batch of Christmas cookies for all 12 people in my office as well as our family and a couple of neighbors!

 

I used the basic sugar cookie recipe in The Joy of Cooking. One important thing: Roll the dough from the middle out toward the edge.

 

Also, I used flour on my roling pin to prevent sticking and also on the surface to prevent the dough from sticking. It won't affect the flavor of the cookies.

 

I don't  think I had cooling racks back then so I let the cookies cool on the sheets before removing. As far as I recall that worked ok but racks are better!

 

Good luck, I had SO much fun doing that.

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Honored Contributor
Posts: 8,231
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Cut Out Cookies

[ Edited ]

I also like a butter cookie:

 

1 1/4 cups powdered sugar

1 cup + 2 tbsps room temperature butter

1 egg yolk

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsps vanilla

2 3/4 cups flour

 

Beat sugar, butter, egg yolk, salt, and vanilla in big bowl until smooth.  Mix in flour until smooth.  Shape half portions of dough into flattened disks and wrap each separately with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for 2 hours (can refrigerate overnight).

Let dough soften at room temperature until soft enough to roll, 20-30 minutes.  It should still feel cold, but not rock-hard.  Sprinkle rolling surface and pin with flour.  Working with disks of dough separately, roll dough to 1/8-inch thick.  Cut into shapes.

Bake on parchment-lined baking sheet in 350 degree oven until barely browned on edges, 12-14 minutes.  Decorate when completely cooled.

 

Icing:

2 1/4 cups powdered sugar

2 tbsps light corn syrup

2 tbsps milk

 

Mix sugar, corn syrup, and milk to soft, spreadable consistency (add milk if necessary). Spread on top to edges of cookies.  Let icing harden before storing cookies. 

   

 

 

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Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,530
Registered: ‎11-24-2013

Re: Cut Out Cookies

Forgot to add: When your cookie cutters get sticky, wipe off and dip them in the flour on your cutting board. Works great.

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Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,080
Registered: ‎08-25-2010

Re: Cut Out Cookies

One of my early QVC purchases was a covered, oval board for rolling out pie crust and cookie dough. It has a removable, elasticized cotton cover that slips over the board and that you flour before rolling out your dough. This really helps keep the dough from sticking to your roll out surface. They don’t sell it anymore, but you could make something similar by slipping a clean pillowcase over a flat cutting board and holding it in place with binder clips. I put a couple of thin silicone mats underneath it to keep it from moving around on the counter as I roll the cookies out. I also use a silicone rolling pin that I flour. If you notice little bits of the cookie dough sticking to your rolling pin, scrape them off because they’ll cause the dough to tear.

 

Regarding the dough, most recipes tell you to form the dough into one or several discs and to refrigerate them for about a half hour to make it easier to roll out. I usually make 3 cookie shapes and divide my dough into 3 discs. Once you take your first “cutting”, you’ll probably have enough leftover dough to roll out for another tray of cookies. This is fine, but don’t re-use each disc more than once or the cookies will be tough (so for 3 discs, you’d have 6 trays). I swear by Silpat silicone baking sheets to line my cookie sheets. Parchment paper’s good too, but it can slide off the cookie sheet if you’re not careful (don’t ask how I know this). I’m not the least bit artistic, so I decorate my cut-outs with colored sugar, which I sprinkle right onto the raw cookies before they go into the oven. You can get it in almost any supermarket. 

 

Good of luck with your cookies! They’re so good with a cup of tea or hot chocolate!

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Posts: 61
Registered: ‎12-04-2014

Re: Cut Out Cookies

Chill your dough, separate into small batches keeping the remaining dough in the fridge until it ready for rolling. I roll the dough in between parchment paper and plastic wrap so I do not need to use any additional flour.  I freeze my cookie sheets and after the cookies are cut out and on the sheet; I re-freeze for a few minutes to keep the cookies from spreading. 

I always use parchment paper for baking and will use the same sheet several times.  Use a flat cookie sheet (not one with sides). 

I recommend Sweet Sugarbelle’s cookie and royal icing recipe. 

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Posts: 340
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Cut Out Cookies

We had 4 kids and I was a child care provider; I searched for years for the PERFECT sugar cookie recipe/skills.  I found it, and always get compliments when I whip out the decorated cookies.  (Mind you I'm no decorator, but everyone loves the smear of butter cream icing and the cookies look as good as they taste.).   My tips for really good cookies include: 1. Bake one pan (flat, no sides; I use spray oil) at a time.  Allow the sheets to cool before using them a second time.  2. Bake just until the cookies are "done on the bottom" ; DON'T OVER BAKE.   3. Chill dough for several hours/overnight.  4. You will need some flour on your board/rolling pin, but try not to have an overabundance.  5.  Only roll out about 1/4 of the dough at a time.  Cut the cookies out and lay the scraps aside.  When you get all of the cookies cut, combine the remaining scraps and roll a second time to cut.  Try not to overwork the dough.  6.  I cool my cookies on waxed paper.  7.  Whip the icing until it's light and fluffy.  8.  Chill the frosted cookies until the icing "sets".  9.  To store iced cookies, I layer them between pieces of waxed paper in a tightly covered container.  Once the frosting  is set, they don't have to be refrigerated, but don't put them in the sun/warm environment.

 

THE BEST SUGAR COOKIES

3 eggs, separated

1 cup melted margarine

1 cup sugar

2 tsp. vanilla

2 T baking powder

4 cups flour

1/4 t salt

Melt margarine and set aside.Beat whites till stiff, set aside.  Beat yolks till creamy.  Combine the two gently.  Combine the cooled margarine, sugar and vanilla with the eggs, mix well.  Sift the dry ingredients together and mix into the egg mixture.  Chill dough in covered container.  Roll dough on slightly floured board (about 1/4" thick) and cut as you wish.  Bake on oiled cookie sheets for 8 minutes at 350 degrees.  WATCH CAREFULLY, DON'T OVERBAKE!  Decorate as you wish.  This recipe is very good for cutting and produce a thick, cake like cookie with a butter flavor.

 

BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

1/2 cup soft butter

4 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 1/2 t vanilla*

5-6 T milk

Combine all ingredients together and whip until light and fluffy.

Almond Buttercream:  add 3/4 t almond extract

Chocolate Buttercream:  add 1/c cup cocoa, to only 4 cups of powdered sugar and 6  

                                         -7 T milk

Lemon Buttercream: 5-6 T lemon juice instead of milk, 1 t lemon peel

Orange Buttercream:  5-6 T orange juice and 1 t orange peel

Peanut Buter Buttercream:  1/2 cup peanut butter with 6-8 T milk

Peppermint Buttercream:  1/2 - 3/4 t peppermint extract