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Kittencal’s Buttery Cut-Out Sugar Cookies W/ Icing That Hardens


  • 1cup butter, softened (no substitutes)
  • 1cup sugar
  • 2eggs
  • 1⁄2teaspoon vanilla
  • 1⁄2teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 1⁄4cups all-purpose flour
  • 1⁄2teaspoon baking soda
  • 1⁄2teaspoon baking powder
  • 1⁄2teaspoon salt
  • 2cups sifted confectioners' sugar (the sugar must be sifted)
  • 1tablespoon milk (adding in more if needed for proper spreading consistency)
  • 1tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1⁄4teaspoon almond extract (can use 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in place of the almond)
  • food coloring (use your choice of colours)


  • For cookies; in a large bowl combine butter with sugar, eggs, vanilla and almond extract; beat using an electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy.
  • In another bowl combine the flour with baking powder, baking soda and salt; gradually stir into the butter mixture until well blended.
  • Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.
  • Set oven to 400°F.
  • Line cookie sheets with parchment paper (do not grease cookie sheets use parchment paper only).
  • On a very lightly floured surface roll out the dough into about 1/4-inch thickness.
  • Cut into desired shapes using cookie cutters.
  • Place cookies 2-inches apart on cookie sheet.
  • Bake 4-6 minutes.
  • Remove cookies to wire racks to cool completely before icing.
  • For the frosting; in a small bowl mix the confectioners sugar with milk (start with 1-2 tablespoons, you will likely need more milk for the perfect spreading consistency).
  • Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until the icing is smooth and glossy (if the icing is too thick add in a small amount more of corn syrup).
  • Divide into as many separate bowls as you wish for different colours.
  • Add in food colouring until desired intensity is achieved.
  • Paint the icing over the cookies using a brush, or dip edges of cookies into icing.
  • Allow to set on waxed paper.


  • tealeafs

    “You will not find a better sugar cookie anywhere you search, this will most likely be the only sugar cookie you will use … ”

    And I was about to pass this one off as another of those recipes claiming to be ‘the best’ or the ‘ultimate’ … but I’m SO GLAD I gave it a go, and the only reason I’ve created an account here is to give this recipe my thumbs-up and say, yes, you will not find a better sugar cookie anywhere you search, and it will definitely be the only sugar cookie I will ever use.

    The search is over. Thank you, Kittencal.

  • sugarlipsbakery

    I loved this recipe. It was easy to make & the dough is easy to work with – and DELICIOUS. I doubled it because I needed 60 cookies. I’ve never painted with icing so I wasn’t sure about it, but it works just like the recipe says. Get a nylon (or something besides real hair) paintbrush and paint the thinned icing on the cooled cookies. It was very easy & didn’t run down the sides like I thought it might. I will make this recipe again & again!

  • fatty mcgee

    Kittencal’s stuff is normally awesome, but this one did not make the grade. Added 1/2 cup more sugar and the cookies came out like butter cookies and not sugar cookies. Revise the title and they are much better.

  • Kimberly Keller

    I too was set to try a different recipe when I came across this one. This dough is fabulous to work with. The flavor is buttery without being too rich or sweet – the perfect foil for the icing. Mine actually baked up perfectly with a little crunch on the outside while the inside was softer. I subbed all vanilla as I am not a fan of almond flavoring. The cookies did not spread much at all. I did chill my dough well in addition to cooling my cookie sheet down between batches. The icing was just what I needed as I didn’t really want to make a batch of royal icing. Instead of spreading it on with a spatula or putting it in a piping bag, I placed it in bowls with wide rims and held my cookies upside down and dipped them in. I was even able to dip some of the cookies so they had multiple colors on them by dipping one color, allowing it to dry and dipping the next color. My cookies were iced very quickly this way. It dried firm and glossy and did not smear or smoosh when I layered my cookies on a serving platter and covered them with plastic wrap for transport. An awesome recipe that has become my standard for sugar cookies.

  • CoffeeB

    My newest favorite Christmas cookie. And..the frosting works wonderfully.

    p.s..don’t refrigerate for more than two hours. The dough will be virtually impossible to work with. I had to microwave mine to soften it a bit.

  • Cook+Princess

    Didn’t make the cookies, but the icing was terrific for piping with a fine writing tip and spreading inside outlines. I used water instead of milk and added extra vanilla plus lemon extract to give it a nicer flavor.

  • andrewwilliam

    Really a great recipe. I loved how these cookies have good body and are not too sweet. So good with a cup of coffee — seriously. They’re firm but give nicely when you bite them. I added fresh lemon juice (strained) instead of milk in the icing mixture to give it a little zing. It still set up beautifully. I’m attaching a picture so you can see how well they turned out. Thank you so much.

  • Sarah*Belle

    deeelicious…but i’m lazy.after an hour of refridgeration I got a ziploc bag, put the dough in and got all the air out. then i rolled it into an log (inside the bag, rolling the dough on the counter) and cut circle cookies with floss. And I used margarine….(oops) Best cookie ever. Thanks!

  • allgirlsmom

    Not so sure about the, “…not find a better sugar cookie anywhere you search” part. Yes, the recipe was super easy and the dough was very good to work with for cut-out cookies. However, these are very BLAND. I made these for my daughter’s teachers, but they were so tasteless, I opted to not gift them. Per my oldest daughter’s suggestion, we’re saving the cookies for Santa, hoping he’ll eat them. 😉 A cookie recipe shouldn’t focus mainly on making the dough easy to work with; you also have to pay attention to the TASTE of the cookie. What’s the point in having a pretty cookie if no one wants to eat it? Also, when the instructions to use 1-2 tablespoons of milk when starting to make the icing, is ridiculous. Yes, we’ll “likely” need more, meaning it’s impossible to mix it without a lot more milk. I was happy with how the icing hardened, but even that didn’t taste very good. My normally icing-loving kids wouldn’t go near this icing. Overall, not very pleased with this recipe and I would not go so far as to say it’s the best recipe ever, taste-wise. Needs some tweaking for taste, and not just extra sugar.

  • bmabry1

    I don’t know, but I put all the right ingredients and it didn’t turn out. The batter was so dry couldn’t even blend it together. 🙁 Added a little water just to say the kids made cookies but they didn’t taste like cookies, they tasted like bicuits.