Monday, April 2, 2012

Recipe | Easter Sugar Cookies

Happy Monday!
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay-cation spring break.
Now it's back to school for the boys and time for me to start thinking about summer plans.
This morning is Charlie's only day of nursery school for the week.
I sent him off with something sweet for his classmates and teachers
to wish them a Happy Easter.

Sugar Cookies!
I finally have a recipe that I love, thanks to another preschool mom who
made them for Charlie's class on Valentines Day.
{thank you, Kate!!}
I've made numerous sugar cookies since Andrew was born.
While I am more of a brownie or chocolate chip cookie lover, 
I can't deny that there is something about childhood and cut-out cookies, 
they just go together. So, since my very first Christmas as a mother, 
I began what turned out to be a nine year quest to find the ultimate sugar cookie. 
I was determined to find a recipe my boys would fondly remember when they are grown.  
And I do declare this to be it...

Sugar Cookies
1 c unsalted butter, softened
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 c sugar
1 egg
pinch of salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract {optional}
3 c flour

Cream butter + cream cheese until fluffy, add sugar and mix. Add egg, salt, vanilla + almond extract; mix well. Add flour. Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour. Let sit on counter for 5-10 min before rolling out.  Roll on a well floured surface, be liberal with the flour so the dough doesn't stick. Roll to 1/4 inch for a softer cookie, roll to 1/8 inch for a crispier cookie.  Cook at 375 degrees on parchment lined baking sheets for 10-13 minutes until edges are just golden.  I do not recommend using a convection oven setting for sugar cookies, it changes the texture.

Royal Icing

3 egg whites
4 c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
water or fresh lemon juice

Combine egg whites + powdered sugar + vanilla in mixer with the paddle attachment.  Whip until thick.
I use the thick consistency to outline the cookies.  Then I add a splash of water or lemon juice {and whip again} to thin the icing to flooding consistency for the inside of the cookie.

{If you are concerned about using raw egg whites you can add 5 TBS meringue powder to 1 pound of powdered sugar.}

This icing dries matte and hard, quickly.  I typically use disposable pastry bags with the tip cut off.  I'm not an expert decorator, at all.  Actually, looking at my pictures I'm noticing lots of room for improvement! :)  If you want to get better techniques and step by step instructions to working with royal icing, click this for an awesome tutorial.

I use the blunt edge of a small bamboo skewer or a toothpick to gently spread the flooded icing.
My friend said she gently shakes the cookie to spread the icing, so there are many ways to do it.


  1. Made the brownies last night you posted a while back - OMG! They are perfection. I did not just sneak into the kitchen for a tiny bite at 6am.

    These cookies are just adorable. I've always wanted to tackle icing cute sugar cookies so I really, really appreciate this post. Thanks to you, I made brownies from scratch for the first time so I'll try this as well. I linked back to you today. xo

  2. I just love the packaging! The little ones will be so excited to have a surprise this morning!

  3. Too cute! Every year I muster up the energy to make cookies at ends up being a disaster and I say, "never again!"....that is, of course, until the next year. I may have to tackle them again with your recipe.

  4. Those look great! !! Hope you have a great day

  5. Adorable! How exciting to receive such a sweet treat!

  6. So cute! Happy Easter!

    Take care,

  7. These are just precious! How cute is your son holding his basket?

  8. How the packaging!!

  9. Adorable and the sweetest gift!!! Your little man looks so proud holding that basket!

  10. So cute I can hardly stand it! Look at Charlie with that basket of bunnies!!! I've never thought of putting cream cheese in sugar curious now...will try for sure. Love the pink checks too! Have a happy & blessed Easter!

  11. This is the same recipe I have used for years! I thought it was a "secret" recipe! We always get asked for the recipe and it is great for kids to decorate - very durable. Love your blog!

  12. I found this on Pinterest and decided to give it a whirl. I am hardcore about following recipes to a T it infuriates me whenever I get on a site and people say oh this tasted AWFUL but oh I subbed this and that and did my own thing. Um, then you didn't do the recipe silly so quit blaming them. All that to say I had to add a whole full cup of flour after refrigerating it just to get it firm enough to be able to roll. I of course then added more sugar because NO one likes a flour tasting cookie. They tasted yummo and I cannot wait to ice them with my toddler. :)Just wondered if anyone else had this issue?

    1. hi jenny! i'm glad you were able to make them work. i haven't had this problem and i've made the recipe numerous times. i've been trying to think of a good reason why this might have happened. i'm pretty liberal with the flour when rolling out the dough to prevent sticking but nothing close to what you needed to add. if the dough wasn't firm enough, refrigerating it longer may help next time. good luck! hope they tasted fabulous!

  13. I just wanted to tell you how perfect my cookies turned out! It was a easy recipe to follow and you gave great instructions. I had ZERO issues and they rolled out beautifully, not sticking at all to my rolling pin. Now to tackle the Royal Icing and decorating tonight!! Thank you for sharing this with us!! I just read over the tutorial on the icing, I can't wait to try it!!

  14. When you flood the icing, I've found it's convenient and easy to use those plastic squeeze bottles (like the ones here: that you can buy anywhere. It eliminates having to use pastry bags, and you can squeeze and spread with the same tool! :)