Frosted Cutout Sugar Cookies


For the cookies:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • Flour for dusting

For the frosting:

  • 2 Tablespoons margarine
  • 2 Tablespoons skim milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Approximately 3/4 cup powdered sugar


For the cookies:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F).
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, the set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix the flour, cream of tartar, and shortening together until it forms a doughy ball.  Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, beat the eggs until just blended (about 30 seconds).  Then add the sugar and vanilla, and beat for an additional 30-60 seconds (or until all of the ingredients are integrated).
  • In a very small bowl combine the baking soda and water, and whisk together with a fork until the soda is dissolved (30-60 seconds).  Then add the soda/water combo to the egg/sugar bowl, and beat until evenly combined (15-30 seconds).
  • At this point, add the sugar mixture to the dough bowl, and beat/mix until all of the ingredients are evenly integrated (1-2 minutes).
  • Dust a large, even work surface (kitchen counter top or table top works well) and a rolling pin.  Roll the dough out to your desired cookie thickness.  (We like cookies that are around 1/4″ thick.)  Then use cookie cutters to create whatever cookie shapes you like.
  • Put the cut cookies onto the parchment-lined baking sheet.  The cookies will not spread out during baking, so you can put the cookies very close together on the sheet (just not actually touching).
  • Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, or until the bottoms are just barely browned.
  • Remove the cookies from the baking sheet and move them to a cooling rack until completely cool.
  • At this point, you can choose to frost the cookies, or leave them plain.  (Frosting instructions are below.)  If you want to freeze some of the cookies, leave those plain (and frost them when you are ready to eat them).  Frosted cookies can be stored in a plastic air-tight container for a week, or a metal tin for 2-3 weeks.  Unfrosted cookies can stored in a ziplock bag in the freezer for 6 months.

For the frosting:

  • In a medium-size microwave-safe bowl, heat the margarine until it is just melted.  (It usually takes me two or three 30-second rotations.)
  • Once the margarine is melted, add the milk and vanilla, and whisk with a fork until evenly combined (about 30 seconds).
  • At this point, add 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, and whisk with a fork until the ingredients are thoroughly integrated.  Then assess your frosting.  If it is a thickness you like, you’re done.  If you want the frosting thicker, add 1-2 more tablespoons of sugar, whisk, and re-assess.  Keep adding sugar until you attain the frosting you like.

Makes 6 dozen average-size cookies. (Of course, if you use a very large [or very small] cookie cutter, you will have fewer [or more] cookies.)

Nutritional information per cookie, unfrosted (approximates): 56 calories, 3 g fat, 6.5 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 0.5 g protein.

Nutritional information per cookie, frosted [using the full 3/4 cup of powdered sugar] (approximates): 65 calories, 3.5 g fat, 8 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 0.5 g protein.

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The ratings:
Mental Cost (ingredient availability): Low
Financial Cost (ingredient cost): Very low
Emotional Cost (cooking skill level): Mostly low
Time Cost (recipe preparation): A solid medium
Life Cost (clean up time/effort): Pretty low
Worth It? (rate from 1-5): 4.94

Miscellaneous suggestions, insights, and/or thoughts:

  • This recipe was made at the same time as the spritz, and was created for the same reasons. (I.e., my sweetie wanted to bake some traditional Christmas cookies.)
  • This recipe also uses large amounts of refined flours and sugars – but a single batch also makes many cookies, so the nutritional composition of each individual cookie is actually not too bad.
  • These cookies are a fun once-a-year treat.  But I think that’s as often as I ‘need’ to make them.  :)


About Stef

A "serious" gal who is trying to remember to lighten up and smile.
This entry was posted in cookie, dessert, picture step-by-step, postaweek, vegetarian and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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