Rating: 3.4 stars
634 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 123
  • 4 star values: 175
  • 3 star values: 199
  • 2 star values: 106
  • 1 star values: 31

Use this recipe for sugar cookie cutouts, adapted from "Martha Stewart's Cookies," to make adorable Santa Cookies (pictured) or charming One-Piece Cookies, a perfect treat for baby showers.

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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl.

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  • Put butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Gradually mix in flour mixture. Divide dough in half; flatten each half into a disk. Wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or overnight.

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees with racks in upper and lower thirds. Let one disk of dough stand at room temperature just until soft enough to roll, about 10 minutes. Roll out dough between two pieces of plastic wrap to 1/4 inch thick. Remove top layer of plastic wrap. Cut out cookies with a 4-inch one-piece-shaped cookie cutter. To make an ornament, cut out a hole from the center of the neck about 1/4-inch from the edge using a straw. Transfer cookie dough on plastic wrap to a baking sheet. Transfer baking sheet to freezer, freeze until very firm, about 15 minutes. Remove baking sheet from freezer and transfer shapes to baking sheets lined with nonstick baking mats. Roll out scraps, and repeat. Repeat with remaining disk of dough.

  • Bake, switching positions of sheets and rotating halfway through, until edges turn golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.

Reviews (32)

634 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 123
  • 4 star values: 175
  • 3 star values: 199
  • 2 star values: 106
  • 1 star values: 31
Rating: 5 stars
05/04/2017
This is my go to recipe for it's simplicity and has been for almost 10 years. However, I use 2 cups of butter, not one. If you look at a lot of other sugar cookie recipes the butter to sugar ratio is almost always 1:1. As soon as I changed that, this became my fail proof recipe. I use it for bake sales, the farmer's market, and church events and always get asked for my recipe.
Rating: Unrated
04/16/2017
I figured out what the others may have done wrong. When a recipe asks for sifted flour, you sift the flour first and THEN measure it. If you measure the flour first, you will end up with way too much flour & crumbs for a dough. So SIFT FIRST, then Measure!
Rating: Unrated
04/16/2017
I'm really picky about sugar cookies. This dough didn't taste as well as my usual one I make, but the cookies (once baked) were Perfect! I actually baked them at 340 degree s for 6 minutes, having not read the instructions first. They held their shape, but my mom had accidentally frozen the dough first.
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Rating: 5 stars
09/18/2016
Just made 100 of these for a fund raiser. This is a really great recipe. Have no idea what threw previous reviewers off of it. The cookies hold their shape while baking even without freezing. Had my teenage daughter try one and got 2 big thumbs up and I would agree. Will file this away and pull out at Christmas time. Only suggestion is watch the baking times. I found 11 minutes worked well with my Wolfe oven. Now onto the Royal Frosting recipe!
Rating: 5 stars
11/02/2015
This is by far the BEST sugar cookie recipe I've ever tried! This is now my go to recipe! Soft in the middle yet crispy around the edges and they keep their shape when baking so they are just lovely and perfect for cutouts! If you have tried this and it didn't come out the way it is supposed to, try spooning the flour into the measuring cup and leveling it off with a knife! Oh and for added flavor try adding a tsp of almond extract and use powdered sugar instead of flour to roll the dough! : )
Rating: 1 stars
05/10/2015
This is by far the worst recipe I've ever found on the internet, period. It produces a large amount of kinetic sand, and nothing that even remotely resembles cookie dough. Thanks for making me waste the time and the groceries to throw this entire thing away.
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Rating: Unrated
12/17/2014
This was one of the worst recipes that I've ever made. Not only is it too fiddly for me (all the freezing, chilling etc) but the cookies are completely unusable. I've been through the recipe a dozen times to see what I might have done wrong, but I think I did it to the letter. In my experience, there are many easier recipes to use to make shaped cookies, that don't rely on so much faffing about - and give you a nicely shaped cookie at the end. Sad face.
Rating: Unrated
12/20/2012
I have made these several times ans they are always delicious. Every time I take them to work I get several compliments on them. I make them a little thicker so they are softer in the middle. They are very good; I, myself, am not a sweet eater but I can't ever resist these cookies!!!
Rating: Unrated
12/19/2012
You can absolutely freeze these. I also make them a week ahead of time and put in an airtight container.
Rating: 4 stars
12/08/2012
I have used this recipe for several years now for any holidaycutout cookies. Average taste but makes great cut outs. The dough is great to work with. Putting the cutouts in the freezer prevents the cookie from spreading and losing shape in the oven, so is a good step. Cookies taste better over time as they soften under the frosting. Hang great on the tree too.
Rating: Unrated
11/28/2012
Does anyone know if I can freeze these cookies after baking so that I can make them ahead of time before Christmas and not have to do everything last minute in a frenzy to prepare?!
Rating: Unrated
03/19/2012
nanaclaire, the purpose of freezing is only to prevent cookies from losing their perfect shapes while baking
Rating: Unrated
12/23/2011
I didn't freeze them before baking them and they taste fine. What is the purpose of that I wonder??
Rating: Unrated
12/16/2011
This is my GO TO recipe for Christmas cookies for neighbors and friends! They are SO delicious and offer unlimited decorating possibilities! I even get my children involved!
Rating: Unrated
11/25/2011
I tried this sugar cookie recipe.I comes ouut dee-licious. I really think chilling a day can improve them.That was my experience.My husband likes to eat them off the cookie sheet.I have to make some when he isn't around.Those get frosted. Kathee
Rating: Unrated
01/03/2011
How much sugar goes into the Simply Sugar Cookies? I did not see sugar in the list of ingredients. Linda Cabler
Rating: Unrated
10/01/2010
This is a wonderful cookie recipe for cutouts. I don't chill them and the cookies still hold their shape. I doubled the vanilla...but I love the flavor so much I usually double the vanilla in all recipes!
Rating: Unrated
03/05/2010
I used the plastic wrap and it saved my cookies! It is worth the work and is not very time consuming once you come up with your own routine. 4 cups of flour was way too much for me so I used 3 and they taste great. I also added 1/2 tbs of lemon zest and a splash of cinnamon for flavor.
Rating: Unrated
02/12/2010
My cookies turned out sooo hard. Followed everything exactly and didn't over bake. I agree they could use a little more flavor.
Rating: Unrated
12/30/2009
This batter created a great-tasting sugar cookie that retained its shape well... it was a little annoying to have to cut out on plastic wrap, transfer to freezer, and transfer to cookie sheet before baking, but it made for nice-looking (and yummy) final products.
Rating: Unrated
12/24/2009
These cookies held their shape. The process of rolling out the dough between plastic worked well. I placed the cutout cookies on parchment to make the process of moving them from the cookie sheet that was in the freezer to the sheet I baked them in easier. Cookies could use a bit more vanilla in my opinion, but overall, very good.
Rating: Unrated
12/07/2009
I just got a set of Christmas cookies cutters at IKEA, there is a santa similar to the one in the picture, the set is called Kramsno.
Rating: Unrated
12/06/2009
Does anyone know if this holds it's shape after baking?
Rating: Unrated
12/04/2009
I found some cookie cutters like that at Michael's last year.
Rating: Unrated
10/30/2009
Any idea how long the dough may be kept frozen?
Rating: Unrated
09/01/2009
How long do they last if wrapped in a cello bag? Is it best to leave them out on the counter overnight before icing? Is it best to levae on the counter to dry overnight once iced before wrapping? Thanks
Rating: Unrated
08/29/2009
can these cookies be stored at room temperature for 4 weeks?
Rating: Unrated
08/12/2009
Does anyone know where I can get the cookie cutter? I have been looking since the show was on tv and I can't find them anywhere.
Rating: Unrated
02/03/2009
If you are looking for the cookie cutter set they are on ebay. They sold out at the store but i saw some on ebay.
Rating: Unrated
12/29/2008
These are the BEST sugar cookies I've ever made. I think the extra work pays off and Martha's Royal Icing is excellent too. I've received more compliments on these cookies then any others.
Rating: Unrated
12/24/2008
Thank you for your comments! Can you direct us to the alternate recipe you used? Thanks!
Rating: Unrated
12/21/2008
WAY, WAY too much work (the freezing is just too much), even for one of Martha's delicious cookies. She has a much simpler recipe on the web site, which I made tonight. I FORGOT the salt, *and* I doubled the recipe, and they were GREAT. Low sodium dieters take note :)))) They taste like spritz, but make a great rolled and cut cookie. I used the Wilton blue silicone mats on my regular dark cookie sheets, and it being new, it smelled a bit when cooking :(