Secret Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies. Soft and Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies. Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars. Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookies. Basically, if it contains the word “cookie,” I’ve baked it and eaten it over the past 10 days as part of my 25 Days of Holiday Cookies campaign.
Every year, I share my favorite cookie recipes throughout the winter holiday season. But this year I decided to make my annual “let’s see how much butter Kelly can eat in one month” project an organized effort. So every day from December 1 through December 25, I’m sharing a special cookie recipe on the Just a Taste Facebook page and Instagram feed.
Have no fear if you’re just finding out about the fun! Much like my holiday weight gain, the past 10 recipes aren’t going anywhere. Check out Facebook and Instagram to get caught up on the cookie craze. But before you do, check out my Best Cutout Sugar Cookies recipe, plus enter a seriously sweet giveaway featuring a set of 101 cookie cutters, courtesy of the fabulous folks over at Park and Main.
So what’s included among those 101 brightly-colored beauties above? Cookie cutters for every single holiday imaginable, plus the full alphabet, numbers 1 to 8, shapes of all sizes, and pretty much any other sports-themed, animal-inspired, inanimate-esque object you can think of.
Hosting a cowboy birthday party? There’s a cowboy hat cookie cutter for that. Headed to the Super Bowl? There’s a football cookie cutter for that. Rather eat your flowers than smell them? There’s a tulip cookie cutter for that. Literally every holiday and special occasion is covered … even National Dinosaur Day. (There’s a stegosaurus cookie cutter for that.)
Read on for my Best Cutout Sugar Cookies recipe and to enter for your chance to win this tub of 101 ways of calorific fun.
UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to the winner, Tracy (comment #168)!
To enter for your chance to win the 101 Cookie Cutter Set from Park and Main, leave a comment on this post that answers the following question:
What is your all-time favorite type of cookie?
You can earn up to five bonus entries by leaving a separate comment (with the same email address) for each of the below actions:
- Bonus Entry 1: Like Just a Taste and Park and Main on Facebook. (Leave a separate comment if you have done this.)
- Bonus Entry 2: Follow Just a Taste and Park and Main on Twitter. (Leave a separate comment if you have done this.)
- Bonus Entry 3: Follow Just a Taste on Instagram. (Leave a separate comment if you have done this.)
- Bonus Entry 4: Follow Just a Taste and Park and Main on Pinterest. (Leave a separate comment if you have done this.)
- Bonus Entry 5: Sign up for the weekly Just a Taste newsletter. (Leave a separate comment if you have done this.)
One winner will be selected via Random.org and announced on Wednesday, December 18, 2013. This giveaway closes on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 12 p.m. EST and is open to U.S. participants only. The winner will be contacted via email, so please include a valid email address in the email address entry box.
Disclosure: All opinions expressed are my own and I was not compensated monetarily for this post. I received a complimentary 101 Cookie Cutter Set from Park and Main in conjunction with this giveaway.
The Best Cutout Sugar Cookies
Prep Time: 90 min (includes refrigeration)
Cook Time: 11 min
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Store-bought or homemade frosting
Equipment: Assorted cookie cutters
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each addition, then add the vanilla.
Turn the mixer off. Add the flour and then beat just until combined.
Remove the dough, shape it into a disk about 6 inches wide and wrap it securely in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for a minimum of 1 hour. (See Kelly's Notes.)
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350ºF and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Remove the dough from the fridge and cut it in half. Roll half the dough between two pieces of wax paper until it's about 1/4-inch-thick. Using cookie cutters, cut out your desired shapes and place them roughly 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets. Repeat the rolling and cutting process with the remaining dough. (Leftover scraps can be re-rolled.)
Refrigerate the cut-out cookies for 15 minutes. (This helps them keep their shape when baking.)
Bake the cookies for 9 to 11 minutes until pale golden, and then transfer them to a rack to cool completely. Frost and decorate as desired.
The dough can be refrigerated overnight, however when you remove it from the fridge, you will likely need to let it rest at room temperature for some time before it's soft enough to roll.
When in doubt, remove the cookies from the oven just prior to them turning pale golden. The cookies will crisp slightly as they cool, so removing them while slightly underbaked guarantees your cookies will remain soft. For crispier sugar cookies, bake them the full time.
Recipe adapted from Gale Gand.