Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Recipe | Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies with a Secret Ingredient

Just in case sugar cookies are on your to-do list over the next week, I wanted to share a new (to me) recipe for cut-out cookies that I think taste extra special.  I mentioned a few posts back that I had started using a new cookie recipe even though I had one I really liked and trusted.  The "if it ain't broke, why fix it" mentality clearly doesn't apply to my cooking + baking,  I'm a perpetual recipe tinkerer and tweaker, it's what keeps things interesting and helps me to feel creative in the kitchen.  The new recipe is from Williams-Sonoma, I came across it via pinterest back in the fall.  I was curious to see what the addition of cardamon did to the overall taste of a cut-out cookie.  I love how an unexpected ingredient can make a huge difference in a recipe, as it does in this case.  I've made them now about 5 times, you can't taste cardamon in the cookie, but you can taste that there is something special.  They even taste good un-iced.  So, are they better than my other recipe? Maybe.  If you are a sugar cookie lover, you'll have to try and compare for yourself.  I've got one child that still prefers the old recipe and another that votes this one as his favorite "of all time".

today's snow day was spent decorating cookies. again. see a snow day theme in our home?!

Recipe | Cardamon Cut-Out Sugar Cookies
(Source: Williams Sonoma)

For the cookies:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg

To make the cookies, in a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and cardamom; set aside. 

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter and granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and egg. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Mix until just combined. 

Form the dough into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or as long as overnight. 

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets parchment paper. 
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Using cookie cutters, cut out desired shapes. Transfer to the prepared baking sheets, spacing cookies about 2 inches apart, and bake until just golden around the edges, 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of the cookies. Transfer the pans to wire racks and let cool for 5 minutes, then remove the cookies from the pans and let cool completely. 

Makes 10 to 20 cookies, depending on cutter size.


  1. Thank you for the recipe. I love how you package your treats! Fun to get new ideas!

  2. I will have to try your recipe. I have one that I've been making for 40 years that I really like -- in fact, it was my mother's, but . . . perhaps my Valentine's cookies this year will be made with your recipe!

  3. Where do you purchase your packaging? The packaging is adorable! I made your old sugar cookie recipe and it was a hit with my family! Thanks for sharing a new recipe I will have to try it out.

    1. Thanks, Mary! The packaging is from all over the place. the red dot bag, kraft sticker banners, and heart stickers all from etsy. they links can be found in the favorite valentine's day products post, a few back. the dot ribbon in from the container store, the kraft box is from Everyday Occasions (online), and the labels are from Paper Source. The gingham food paper lining the box is from Sur la Table. Hope that helps!!

  4. Where do you purchase your packaging? It's adorable! I made your old sugar cookie recipe and it was a hit with my family! I will have to try out the new recipe. Thanks for sharing. :)

  5. Wow, Tessa beautiful! You made these gorgeous and the packaging is darling too! You are inspiring me to try this..Your family is so fortunate to have a mama who does this!

  6. Hi Tessa, these look so pretty, and I can't wait to try the recipe with cardamom, which I just picked up today. I'm wondering how you make your icing? I usually use a faintly lemon flavored icing, would that be okay with this recipe? Thanks!

    1. I bet lemony icing would be delish. I just used my standard royal icing. You can see the recipe on my original sugar cookie recipe link above! Happy heart day!! xo

  7. Hi Tessa, these look so pretty. I ran to the Fresh Market this morning to pick up some cardamom, so I'm ready to give this recipe a try. I'm wondering about the icing, tho. I usually use a slightly lemony icing for sugar cookies, do you think that would work with this recipe? Did you use a particular icing recipe? Thanks! Have a great weekend!

  8. Please teach me your ways. Seriously. I want to sign up for Tessa Conference 2014.

  9. These are seriously the best sugar cookies I have ever had, so light and fluffy! Check out our secret recipe on the blog

    Watch out they are extremely addictive!