Why I love these cut out sugar cookies
Perfectly decorated sugar cookies are just so much fun for the holidays, or really any occasion, but I think they can be a bit intimidating, which is why we don’t even bother with royal icing in our house.
While I really appreciate beautiful decorated cookies, I think decorating cookies with kids should be easy and fun, which is why I opted for a simple buttercream. This way, they can frost and sprinkle their cookies the way they want, and grownups can pipe frosting designs to their hearts content.
But the best part about this recipe is that the dough requires no chilling, because I’m just not that great of a planner. When we’re ready to make cookies, we are making cookies.
Here’s what you’ll need to make them
Ingredients note: To make this recipe dairy free, we used vegetable shortening in place of butter. You can also substitute vegan butter, or even dairy butter if you’re not dairy free.
How to make no chill sugar cookies
Whisk the dry ingredients. In a mixing bowl, whisk the flour, salt and baking powder together until evenly combined. Set aside.
Mix the wet ingredients. Add the shortening (or vegan butter) and sugar to a large mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer to beat them together until light and fluffy. Then add the milk, extracts, and eggs. Mixing to combine.
Combine everything. Add the flour mixture, a little at a time, into the wet ingredients. Beat each addition, until it’s combined, being careful not over mix. Keep adding until all the flour has been added and a dough forms.
Depending on the brand of shortening your using, you might that your dough is a bit wet. If this happens, simply add an additional 1/4 cup of flour at a time, as needed.
Roll the cookies. Portion the dough into two parts. Cover one with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel to keep it from drying out. Then lightly flour your surface and roll the other portion to about 1/4-inch thick. Use cookie cutters to make your shapes and transfer them to your baking sheets.
Bake the cookies. Pop them into the oven for 8-9 minutes. The tops should seem set and should not wobble when moved.
They it’s ok if they seem undercooked or not firm to the touch (don’t touch them though, they are going to be hot! this comment is just for reference). Repeat until all the cookies are baked.
Make the frosting. While the cookies bake and cool, make the frosting. You can also do this ahead of time. Simply beat the frosting ingredients together until you get to a smooth, but not firm spreadable consistency. Separate and color your frosting as desired (or skip it).
Decorate the cookies. Once your cookies have completely cooled, decorate them as desired.
FAQs and tips for making the best decorated sugar cookies
Usually, if you don’t chill your sugar cookie dough, the fats in the cookies will spread further, causing the cookies to lose their shapes. Thankfully, this recipe requires no chill time, so you don’t need to worry about that!
No. You don’t need to refrigerate sugar cookies. If you do want to refrigerate them, make sure they’re stored in an airtight container to prevent moisture from getting to them, or you’ll end up with soggy cookies.
You want to cut your cookies before baking them. This will give them nice clean edges and all the cookies to bake into their shapes. If you cut them after baking, you will end up with a crumby mess.
No it’s not necessary. I think vanilla extract paired with a little bit of almond extract makes a better tasting cookie, but it can be replaced with any extract you prefer. It can also be left out and won’t greatly impact the cookie texture or flavor.
More cookie recipes you’ll love:
- Fruitcake cookies
- Almond crescent cookies
- Pecan snowball cookies
- Cowboy cookies recipe
- Peanut butter chocolate chip cookies
More dairy free holiday recipes:
- Sausage rolls recipe
- Vegan mushroom gravy
- Christmas margaritas
- Homemade stuffing
- Microwave fudge
- Cranberry salsa
For the cookies:
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 cup vegan butter or vegetable shortening
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon dairy free milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 3 large eggs
For the frosting:
1 cup vegan butter or vegetable shortening
6 cups powdered sugar
2 – 4 tablespoons water
1 tablespoons meringue powder
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the cookies:
- Preheat oven to 350˚F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat vegan butter (or vegetable shortening) with sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Add almond milk, extract, followed by the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth.
Add the flour mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time, beating each additional until incorporated. The dough should easily pull away from the mixer bowl when the dough is ready. If dough is too wet, add an additional 1/4 cup of flour at a time, as needed.
Roll dough to 1/4” thickness and cut out cookies as desired.
Bake for 8 – 9 minutes, or until cookie tops have set.
Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool for about 5 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a cooling rack.
For the frosting:
In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the frosting ingredients until light and fluffy.
Frost cookies as desired.
- Category: Desserts
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: dairy free, sugar cookies, cookies, christmas, halloween, baking
Published: October 14, 2020. Updated: November 12, 2021.
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