My love for decorated cut-out cookies goes all the way back to childhood when my mom use to manage fancy hotels. Her guests loved her, and frequently her “regulars” would bring her gifts from their adventures around the world. Handmade, blow grass perfume bottles from Egypt, pashminas from Kashmir — she had it all. But there was one guest, who I had a soft spot for, an older woman. Every time she passed through on her way to somewhere dreamy, she’d order my mom a bouquet of cookies from Cookies By Design and say, “make sure your sweet girl gets one”. Food was all it took to win me over.
That’s when I first fell in love with decorated cut-out cookies. I was seven.
I spent the better part of the next 20 years experimenting, trying to get as close to their recipe as possible. Eventually, I did develop one that was pretty close, but it required constant trips to the fridge during the rolling out and cutting stages — and if you know me you know that I prefer to keep things as simple as possible. So, when I started getting requests to make these cookies in bulk, I went back to the drawing board and to create an easy, no-spread, no-chill cookie that was similar to Cookies By Design’s shortbread.
The recipe below is what I came up with.
These are buttery, have a perfect texture, and bake with clean edges — plus this recipe doubles well! I’m not a fan of traditional sugar cookies because they’re usually super sweet and taste like vanilla and as a general rule, I prefer to keep vanilla out of my baked goods.
If you’ve been looking for a killer cut-out cookie recipe, look no further. Pull out your favorite cookie cutters, and whip up a batch of royal icing, and get those creative juices flowing.