Perfect Cut-Out Cookies

Ok, I know that cut-out cookies are traditionally a Christmas thing and February is… well, not Christmas. But I kept seeing a tutorial by SweetAmbs going around Facebook on cute and easy royal icing for Valentine’s Day cookies. I couldn’t help myself. I have a lot of free time right now (see: this blog) so I figured maybe I could learn a new skill. I called up a friend in town who is awesome at decorating cakes (you can check out her fab work over at and asked if she knew how to do royal icing and of course she did and said come on over! She’d make the icing if I bring the cookies. Fair deal!

Except, I hate making cut-out cookies. Every year, I make so many different kinds of Christmas cookies, and every year, I avoid cut-out cookies. I hate the rolling, the refrigerating, the re-rolling, and then most of all, I hate spreading thick messy frosting all over those cookies. Honestly, I don’t even think they taste all that great.

Too bad, so sad, get over it, Emily. If I wanted to learn to decorate with royal icing (a much prettier option than smearing regular frosting on top, in my opinion) I was going to have to suck it up and deal.

I searched Pinterest for a cut-out cookie recipe (of course) and very quickly I realized another reason I hate making cut-out cookies. They look so cute as dough, with their pretty, crisp edges, and then they morph into bloated images of their former selves as they bake. It’s always so disappointing.

I found a recipe for No Fail Cut-Out Cookies by Home Stories A to Z that promised perfect, non-exploding cookies that also taste great.

This photo belongs to

Skeptical, I tried it.

Triumph! Success! As promised, perfect cut-out cookies that kept their shape beautifully AND tasted good. As far as I’m concerned, I’ll never use another cut-out cookie recipe again.

A word to the wise, though: This recipe makes A LOT of cookies. You can halve the recipe easily for a more manageable amount. Seriously though. It didn’t all fit in my Kitchenaid mixer.


Flavor: Five Stars – Perfectly tender and not too sweet. Hubby says they’re like the Lofthouse cookies you can buy in the store! But without all the sugary frosting on top.

Skill Level: Low/Moderate – If you’ve baked cookies from scratch before, these are on par with anything else, though cut-out cookies are inherently more work because of the, you know, cut-outs.

Overall: Five Stars. Fifty stars. Great cookies. Get rid of your Nonna’s recipe and make these this year. (I’m kidding. …Or am I?)

cookies 2
Look how perfectly non-bloaty they are!! Gorgeous.

And just because I know some of you will be curious as to how the icing turned out:

cookies 3
They’re pretty dang cute. The best ones, though, were all my accomplished friend.

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