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Sugar-Cookie Cutouts

Use our holiday cookie templates or your own cookie cutters to create a variety of festive shapes. Also see our step-by-step directions for decorating the Little Girl Cookies.

  • prep: 1 hour 10 mins
    total time: 3 hours
  • yield: Makes about 1 dozen
Photography: Bryan Gardner




  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Cook's Note

The cookies can be stored at room temperature up to one week.


  1. Step 1

    Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Beat together butter and sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour mixture until combined. Shape dough into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until firm but still pliable, at least 30 minutes or up to 3 days.

  2. Step 2

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Transfer half of dough to a lightly floured piece of parchment; roll to just under 1/4-inch thick. Transfer dough on parchment to a baking sheet and freeze until firm, 30 minutes. Repeat with other half of dough.

  3. Step 3

    Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Using a craft knife and the template (or a cookie cutter), cut out cookies and space 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.

  4. Step 4

    Bake until golden on edges, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks.

Martha Stewart Living, December 2013



Reviews (2)

  • Greediguts 16 Dec, 2013

    I made these yesterday. The dough is quite crumbly but I didn't have any serious problems when rolling it out or cutting my cookies. If you are using cookie cutters, skip the freezer and just get to cutting. The cookies are delicious!!! The recipe says it makes a dozen or so cookies but I probably got three times that amount.

  • Jonathan M 15 Dec, 2013

    This recipe is terrible. I couldn't get past rolling out the dough. It crumbled as soon as my polling pin touched it.

    Don't bother wasting your ingredients.