Who needs diamonds for Valentine’s Day? Give me cookies any day. Specifically, I’ll take these delicious, Ombre, cut out sugar cookies. My kids will probably prefer them over anything else too.
If you follow me on Instagram at either @rachelquenzer or @sugarmaplefarmhouse then you may know that I was sick over the Christmas season with pneumonia. I was so sick I just put everything else on the back burner – décor, shopping, recipe creation, etc. But that meant I wasn’t about to share this cutout sugar cookie recipe with you.
So instead of cutout sugar cookies of snowflakes, stockings and reindeer, I’m giving you hearts. <3
That said, these cut out cookies are really perfect for any time of the year. Anytime you want to make a bit of a splash with something a little cuter than a standard chocolate chip cookie, these are the way to go.
The perfect cut out sugar cookies
I’ve actually been refining this recipe for a while now and testing different combinations of ingredients to create a cookie that:
- Tastes good
- Doesn’t take forever to make
- Doesn’t require refrigeration (This mama doesn’t have time for that.)
- Would be thick enough that it could be eaten all on its own without any sort of frosting. My son isn’t a big lover of frosting and sprinkles so this specifically was important to me for his sake.
Getting it right
A few days before Christmas, I finally nailed it! I took a batch of the cut out sugar cookies to my family’s just to be sure I had a consensus. These cookies, even the ones my kids had decorated with a barrage of sprinkles and eyes, were ALL eaten before my other holiday cookies.
Honestly, when I make them now it’s just hard to keep them around. My kids want to eat them straight out of the oven.
The flavor of these cut out sugar cookies will taste like a mix of a shortbread cookie and a sugar cookie. I didn’t go too far in one direction but wanted a nice combination of both.
Who likes icing?
When I made these Ombre Heart Valentine’s Day cut out sugar cookies my daughter begged me to put the frosting on and take the photos so she could eat them. I was going to wait until the following day, because it had started to get dark and I don’t photograph in the dark, but she was a little desperate for a sugar pick-me-up at 4 p.m. Reminds me of me with my 4 p.m. coffee.
Instead of using royal icing, I created a simple sugar icing. I’m not generally a huge fan of royal icing. Even though we have chickens and fresh eggs here on the farm, I still don’t like using raw eggs in things – especially when it comes to the kids. (The farm community might expel me for saying that.)
You can also make royal icing with Meringue powder, but I feel like it’s a bit tasteless. However, if it’s your thing, I found some here on Amazon. It’s hard to find in regular grocery stores outside of holiday season.
My icing of choice
My icing for these cut out sugar cookies have just a few ingredients:
- Powdered sugar
- Food coloring – If you want you can leave it white. OR, I found this natural food coloring too. However, the natural colors were a bit off. The red was actually more purple. I ended up using regular food coloring.
I love the flavor profile of this combination and prefer it over royal icing made with eggs or meringue powder. My kids love it too.
To make the icing Ombre, you simply add more or less food coloring as you go. I added 4 drops of red to the light heart, 8 to the dark pink and 10-12 to the dark red.
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For this recipe I used a cookie cutter from William Sonoma. However, it doesn’t appear that they have it anymore.
- BUT, they do have this biscuit cutting set that is the exact same shape, provides more cut out sizes and is ON SALE!
- They also have this heart cookie cutter set, which looks really similar too.
- This is the Meringue Powder if you want to go in that direction.
- Here are the hand/dish towels that were under the hearts. I love this light design from the Hearth and Hand Collection at Target.
- Lastly, I always love these cookie sheets that come with cooling racks.
The full, printable recipe is below for the cut out sugar cookies and the icing. I hope that you enjoy them and please let me know if you make them! For more sweet recipes, click here.
Thank you so much for visiting today. I hope you will com back again.
Ombre Cut Out Sugar Cookies
Cut Out Sugar Cookies Ingredients
- 3 cups of flour
- 2 sticks of butter at room temperature This is very important to have them at room temperature.
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 2 cups confectioners sugar or powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp. melted butter
- 3 Tbsp. of milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Optional: Food Coloring
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar for about 5 minutes. You might need to scrape the bowl a few times to get the butter off the sides.
- Separately, mix or sift your other dry ingredients together.
- Then, mix together the egg and vanilla in another bowl.
- Once the butter and sugar are well combined, begin gradually adding the in the egg and vanilla mixture. Continue to mix for about 2 minutes.
- Once that’s combined, turn your mixer on low and gradually add your flour in. I add in about half a cup to ¾ a cup at a time. You might need to scrape the sides a time or two.
- Roll your dough out onto parchment paper and work it into two sections. Set one aside so you can work on smaller batches. This is helpful for smaller kitchens.
- Begin rolling out your dough. I like to roll mine to about ¼ inch. If your dough feels sticky, you can roll it between two pieces of parchment paper. But, this dough shouldn’t be sticky.
- Cut out sugar cookie shapes and add them to a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Give them enough space to cook, but they won’t spread much on you. NOTE: If you don’t use parchment paper the bottoms of your cookies will brown too fast.
- Bake for 9/10 minutes. Keep an eye on them, a minute can be the difference between a cookie that’s the right color and one that is a little too brown on the edges.
- Remove them from the oven when they’re done and let them cool for about 5 minutes on the cookie sheet. Then remove them to complete cooling on a cooling rack. Let cool completely before icing.
- While the cookies are cooling, mix your icing ingredients together and then let sit for about 5-10 minutes until the mixture starts to stiffen.
- Add icing to the cookie with a knife, by drizzling it on or by using a piping bag. Let harden before serving.