There’s something so delightful about cut out cookies. The mere act of using a cookie cutter gives cookies a little something extra–a dash of personality, if you will. I always want to buy cookie cutters, but tell myself it’s a bad idea since my kitchen is already crammed to the brim. For now, I own exactly two cutters: a heart and a bow, both pilfered from my mom. Since Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, it seemed like the perfect time to take out my cutters and whip up some cut out cookies.
I’ve tried several cut out recipes over the years, including one that I tracked down from my 5th grade teacher. The recipe I’m sharing today is pretty standard. They’re basically sugar cookies, but sour cream adds moisture and makes the cookies especially soft and chewy. This frosting is pretty sweet, so I used a thin layer rather than slathering it on thick. You could swap in a different frosting, of course…. I won’t tattle.
Make sure to allow at least six hours for your dough to chill before you bake. The recipe says you can freeze unfrosted cookies, but I preferred these fresh out of the oven. It seemed like something changed texturally when I froze extra cookies.
You can obviously use any cutter you’d like, for any occasion. I especially loved my heart cookies (the bows were a little puffier than I expected). They’re perfect for school parties, your Valentine… or a little self-love for yourself.
Sour Cream Cut Out Cookies
Original recipe: Chocolate with Grace. I’ve rewritten things a bit and added commentary.
Yield: About 50 cookies (original recipe says 60 but it obviously depends on your cookie cutter)
Suggested equipment: Mixer
Total Time: 2 hours to make the cookies, at least 6 hours to chill the dough
Cook Time: ~12 minutes
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 5 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 2-4 tsp milk or heavy cream, at room temperature
Make your dough
- Cream the butter and sugar together until it’s light and fluffy
- Beat in the eggs and vanilla
- In a separate bowl, whisk your flour, salt and baking soda
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet, alternating each dry addition with some of your sour cream. This is when things got messy, so I recommend using a mixer guard if you have one
- Stir the ingredients until they’re fully combined
- Chill your dough at least 6 hours–overnight is better if you can!
Bake your cookies
- Preheat your oven to 325F
- On a well-floured surface, roll out your dough to about 1/3 inch thick. Make sure to keep things floured up, since this is a pretty sticky dough. Keep extra dough in the fridge until you’re ready for it
- Cut out your cookies, and place them on a lined cookie sheet
- Bake your cookies 9-14 minutes. Bake time will depend on your cutters: my hearts baked quicker than my bows. The cookies will still be a little pale when they’re done, so be careful not to overbake
- Let the cookies cool for a minute on the sheet, then remove them to a rack so they cool all the way
Frost your cookies
- Beat your butter 2-3 minutes, until it’s fluffy
- Beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla, plus enough milk or cream to achieve your desired consistency. I used two teaspoons of milk
- You can tint your frosting if you’d like, but I chose not to
- Frost your cookies and decorate as you’d like!