You were recently given an assortment of cookie cutters, and you’re quite eager to try them out. This article will tell you which cookie doughs play nicest with cookie cutters so you can have appealingly-shaped cookies every time!
What are the best cookies for cookie cutters? The best cookies for cookie cutters are:
If this is your first time using cookie cutters, these doughs will make the process so easy. Ahead, I’ll talk further about why that is. I’ll also share recipes for each cookie dough so you can whip up your own today!
6 Cookies for Cookie Cutters + Recipes
Of course, I have to start with sugar cookies. This is the penultimate cookie, and it’s one you always see cut into unique shapes.
Although it’s called a sugar cookie, you want a cookie with a bit of a buttery taste. After all, many people who bake sugar cookies love to decorate their blank canvas with a coating (or several) of royal icing.
Sugar cookies are a wonderful treat anytime. They’re easy to prepare, and sugar cookie dough rolls out effortlessly so you can feel like a baking superstar even if you’re a beginner.
Here’s a recipe for sumptuous sugar cookies courtesy of Food Network’s Alton Brown.
- Powdered sugar
- Milk (1 tablespoon)
- Egg (1, beaten)
- Sugar (1 cup)
- Unsalted butter (1 cup, softened)
- Salt (1/4 teaspoon)
- Baking powder (3/4 teaspoon)
- All-purpose flour (3 cups)
In a medium-sized bowl, mix your dry ingredients, including salt, baking powder, and flour.
Next, grab a large bowl, ideally one that’s compatible with an electric stand mixer. Add the sugar and butter and turn on the mixer to medium. Beat the ingredients until the color lightens. Then incorporate the milk and egg.
Turn down the mixer speed to low. Begin adding 3 cups of all-purpose flour, but incrementally. Continue running the mixer until all the flour is incorporated. By that point, the cookie dough should not be sticking to the sides of the mixing bowl.
Split the dough into two and cover both pieces of dough in wax paper. Put the dough in the fridge and allow it to chill for two hours.
When your cookie dough is about done being refrigerated, preheat your oven. The sugar cookies will bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Take fingerfuls of powdered sugar and sprinkle it on a flat, clean surface. Then take one pack of cookie dough and coat it in powdered sugar. With a rolling pin, flatten the dough until it’s ¼ inches thick.
Using your cookie cutters, cut out shapes for the cookies. Place each cookie an inch from one another on a baking sheet. You should spray the baking sheet with cooking spray or use a sheet of parchment paper.
Allow the cookies about nine minutes to bake. The edges should be golden brown.
Wait at least 10 minutes for the cookies to cool. Then decorate as desired.
No holiday baking list is complete without gingerbread cookies, right? And no gingerbread cookie is complete without being shaped into a gingerbread man (or woman or child).
If you recently received cutters shaped like little people, then you’ll naturally get the itch to bake some gingerbread cookies. They make a great gift around the holidays, but don’t feel like you’re only limited to baking gingerbread cookies then.
These spicy cookies with a toothsome bite (thanks to the molasses) are suitable for baking other times of the year as well. Plus, you can use some other cutters for your gingerbread cookies besides the gingerbread people!
Here’s a great gingerbread cookie recipe from Delish. Grab these ingredients to start:
- Black pepper (1/2 teaspoon, finely ground) [optional]
- Orange zest (1 orange) [optional]
- Fresh ginger (2 inches, grated) [optional]
- Kosher salt (1/2 teaspoon)
- Nutmeg (1/4 teaspoon, ground)
- Cloves (1/2 teaspoon, ground)
- Cinnamon (1 teaspoon, ground)
- Baking soda (1 teaspoon)
- Ground ginger (1 tablespoon)
- All-purpose flour (3 ¼ cups)
- Pure vanilla extract (1 teaspoon)
- Egg (1)
- Molasses (2/3 cup)
- Packed brown sugar (3/4 cup)
- Butter (3/4 cup, softened)
In a large bowl, add molasses, brown sugar, and butter. Beat the ingredients for two minutes or so until they become fluffy using a hand mixer or a stand mixer. Then incorporate the vanilla and egg.
In a separate, smaller bowl, add your dry ingredients, including salt, baking soda, spices, and flour. Whisk them.
Turn your mixer to low and pour in the dry ingredients. If you want to use black pepper, orange zest, and fresh ginger, you should add them now.
Once the ingredients become dough-like, turn off the mixer. Overmixing is a great way to make your gingerbread cookies too tough.
Take the dough and split it in two, covering both with plastic wrap and refrigerating for two or three hours.
As you take the dough out, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Put down a piece of parchment paper, one for each dough disc. Coat in all-purpose flour.
Lay the cookie dough flat and cut out as many cookies as you can get from the dough.
Bake gingerbread cookies for about 10 minutes. The cookies should be fluffy when they’re done.
When the cookies have had about 10 minutes to cool, it’s time to grab your decorating tools and have at it.
Although butter cookies and sugar cookies look alike at first glance, there are distinct differences between them.
They’re less likely to crumble and break compared to sugar cookies. They have a more distinct butter flavor than sugar cookies, although butter cookies are not savory.
Butter cookies are also an excellent cookie choice for using cookie cutters, even though most bakers don’t do so as often compared to sugar cookies.
Here’s how to make butter cookies courtesy of Land O’ Lakes. High-quality butter is the key here, so get these ingredients ready:
- Baking powder (1/2 teaspoon)
- All-purpose flour (3 cups)
- Vanilla extract (1 teaspoon)
- Milk (1/4 cup)
- Sugar (1 cup)
- Butter (1 cup, softened)
In a bowl, add the sugar and butter, then beat with a hand mixer on medium. Continue to scrape the bowl until the ingredients take on a creamy consistency.
Incorporate the vanilla, egg, and milk, beating the ingredients again with your hand mixer. Then do the same with the baking powder and the flour but use a lower speed for beating.
Once the ingredients are dough-like, turn off the mixer. Take a sheet of plastic wrap and put it over the dough in the bowl, then transfer the bowl to the fridge for an hour.
Preheat your oven to 375. When the dough is ready, coat a clean surface with flour. Cover the dough and use a rolling pin to flatten the dough to 1/8 inches thick.
Use the cookie cutters of your choice on the dough. Land O’ Lakes recommends 2-inch cutters.
On an ungreased baking tray, add your cut cookies and put them in the oven for seven minutes.
When the cookies have had adequate time to cool, you can frost them as you wish or enjoy them plain!
Like butter cookies, shortbread might not seem like the most obvious cookie dough for cutouts, but I’m confident you’ll love the results.
Shortbread, also known as shorties, is a type of biscuit-like cookie from Scotland that skips the leavening agents such as baking soda or baking powder.
The cookies bake up hard and crunchy with a mild flavor and a tasty bite. If my description has you drooling a little, this recipe from John Kanell’s Preppy Kitchen will satisfy your cravings.
The recipe requires these ingredients:
- Kosher salt (1/2 teaspoon) [optional]
- All-purpose flour (1 ½ cups)
- Pure vanilla extract (1/2 teaspoon)
- Confectioners’ sugar (1/2 cup)
- Unsalted butter (10 tablespoons)
Plug in a stand mixer and fit on your paddle attachment. In the mixing bowl, cream vanilla extract and butter.
Pour in salt and confectioners’ sugar and mix until the ingredients are well incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Turn the mixer to low and add the flour in a bit at a time. Then scrape the bowl again when you’re finished.
Make a large block of cookie dough and then cover it in plastic wrap. Let the dough firm up in the fridge for an hour.
Let your oven preheat at 350 degrees. Split the dough into two blocks using a knife.
Flatten the cookie dough to about 1/4 inches thick and make shapes with your cookie cutters.
Bake the cookies for roughly 10 minutes.
When the cookies come out of the oven, put them on a wire sheet until they’re cool. Then you may decorate.
When it comes to chocolate-flavored cookies, chocolate chip gets all the glory. I think it’s time to give the chocolate cookie its share of the spotlight.
Yes, you could adorn these cookies with chocolate chips or chunks, especially if you’re a chocolate lover. Even without the chips though, they’re delectable and fudgy with a hint of buttery goodness.
Oh, and chocolate cookies are awesome for shaping with cookie cutters too! These cookies will turn heads whether at a party or your child’s next bake sale. Here’s how to make them with a recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction.
You’ll need these ingredients:
- Pure vanilla extract (1 teaspoon)
- Egg (1, large, room temperature)
- Granulated sugar (1 cup)
- Unsalted butter (3/4 cups, softened)
- Salt (1/8 teaspoon)
- Baking powder (1 teaspoon)
- Unsweetened natural cocoa powder or Dutch-process cocoa powder (3/4 cup)
- All-purpose flour (1 ½ cups)
In a medium-sized bowl, combine salt, baking powder, cocoa powder, and flour, stirring with a whisk.
In your stand mixer bowl, add the sugar and butter, beating with a paddle attachment. The mixer should be on high speed. The ingredients should turn creamy and smooth after a minute or two.
With the mixer still on, incorporate the vanilla and egg, continuing to run the mixer on high speeds for up to a minute. Then scrape down the bowl and beat again as needed.
Pour in the stirred dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients and mix again, this time on low. The dough should feel soft.
Split the dough into two and lay out some parchment paper. Coat the parchment paper in all-purpose flour or–better yet–cocoa powder for a true chocolatey flavor.
Using a rolling pin, flatten each dough log until it’s ¼ inches thick. Then cover the top of the dough with another piece of parchment paper and refrigerate it for two hours.
When the dough is ready, use your favorite cookie cutters. If the dough is sticky, cocoa powder will help.
Put each cut cookie 3 inches from one another on your baking tray. Bake the cookies at 350 degrees for no more than 12 minutes.
After adequate time to cool, chocolate cookies look especially magnificent with a coating of homemade royal icing!
The last cookie I’d recommend for cookie cutters is the simple but effective vanilla cookie.
Nope, this isn’t a sugar cookie, and it’s not a butter cookie either. It’s also certainly not shortbread.
Instead, the vanilla cookie is its own distinct cookie that’s jazzed up with high-quality vanilla extract and sea salt. Here’s a recipe courtesy of the Washington Post for ultra-pliable vanilla cookie dough.
Gather these ingredients first:
- Flour (4 cups)
- Vanilla extract (1 tablespoon)
- Egg whites (2, large, room temperature)
- Sea salt (1 teaspoon, fine)
- Sugar (1 1/3 cups)
- Unsalted butter (1 pound, room temperature)
In a stand mixer bowl, add the salt, sugar, and butter. The butter should be in chunks, not a whole pound at once! Beat the ingredients until they turn creamy, running your mixer on medium. Scrape down the bowl while mixing as needed so the ingredients fully incorporate.
Pour in vanilla extract and egg whites, then turn down your mixer to low speed. The dough might not look so great at this point and could even curdle, but don’t panic. This is supposed to happen.
About four times over, add the flour incrementally, continuing to run the mixer on low speed. Let each portion of flour incorporate before you add more.
When your dough is ready to go, turn off the mixer, take the dough out of the bowl, and split the dough into two discs.
Sandwich the cookie dough disc between two pieces of parchment paper and then use a rolling pin to squash the dough to a ¼-inch thickness. Do the same with the other dough disc, then refrigerate both for 3 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Then remove the parchment paper from the dough discs, flour each one, and use your cookie cutters to create shapes. A dusting of sanding sugar is a fine choice for vanilla cookies!
Bake the cookies on both oven racks for upwards of 21 minutes.