No-Chill Cutout Sugar Cookies

The Recipe: How is it special? Great sugar-cookie taste, golden color and texture! No need to chill the dough before rolling! Easy-to-handle dough! Rolled in powdered sugar, not flour, so no floury after-taste! Mix and bake an entire batch in just an hour, start to finish! Best of all? The big smiles that happen whenever sugar cookies appear!

The Conversation: Will you help me wish my dear father a happy 88th birthday?

No-Chill Cutout Sugar Cookies, here in Happy Birthday Cookies. Just mix and roll, no need to wait for the dough to chill. Easy to handle, great-tasting cookies.


COMPLIMENTS!
"At last! A no-chill roll-out cookie that is great!! ... worked perfectly!" ~ Carole


In my family, we sing for birthdays, loudly and some times out of tune, mind you, but always enthusiastically.

Today my father will collect happy-birthday singing telegrams from across the country, all of us wishing him well on this his 88th birthday.

I can’t bake you a cake, Dad. But I sure can bake you Happy Birthday cookies. So hey, watch the front door because guess what FedEx is delivering today!

Happy Birthday, Dad!

My new tradition is all of three months old, baking “happy birthday cookies” for anyone within baking range. So far that’s meant 9s and 0s for a ninety-year old, 1s and 2s for a twelve-year old, 5s for five-year old twins and today, 8s for my father. It’s fun and produces big smiles from all ages, especially once the numeric significance hits.

ALANNA’s TIPS The number of cookies will vary widely, depending on how thick the dough is rolled and the size of the cookie cutters. I roll the cookies “pretty thick” and still reliably end up with three to four dozen cookies. My standing mixer handles a double batch with ease but a double batch is too much for a hand mixer. I a-d-o-r-e the combination of mixed vanilla and almond extracts but the most important thing is to make the cookies taste like more than butter-sugar-flour. I have used all vanilla (excellent!) and all lemon (swoon!) and even unusual extracts such as anise (so edgy!). Experiment! Do be careful with mint extract; a whole tablespoon is too much, start with a teaspoon and then adjust to taste. Powdered sugar works so much better than flour for rolling cut-out cookies because it “melts” into the cookies. This technique works on all sugar cookies, try it on your own favorite recipe! I get better results (more even cooking) baking a single tray at a time rather than doubling up and swapping racks mid-way through.

BAKING FOR GOOD CAUSES If you love to bake, you just might want to gather friends for a "bake off" for a good cause. Check into Drop In & Decorate, founded by my friend and fellow food writer Lydia Walshin from http://www.theperfectpantry.com and Cookies for Kids' Cancer.

NO-CHILL
CUTOUT SUGAR COOKIES

Hands-on time: 45 minutes
Time to table: 60 minutes
Makes about 30 large cookies or 42 medium cookies
  • 1 cup (2 sticks/8 ounces/227g) salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring or 375g
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • Powdered sugar, for rolling

Heat oven to 350F. Cover heavy baking sheets with parchment.

With an electric mixer, cream the butter on medium speed. Add the sugar, vanilla and almond extract and combine well, scraping the sides a time or two. Add the egg and combine well, again scraping the sides.

Separately, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt, then add to the mixer.

Starting on low speed, mix until the dough begins to gather itself into a ball. Gather the dough into two compact discs. Set one aside.

Sprinkle a clean work surface and the dough disc with powdered sugar. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough evenly about ¼-inch thick. Press cookie cutter(s) into the dough, leaving the cookies in place unless they happen to lift out when removing the cookie cutter. With an offset spatula, pull away all the scrap pieces, pile together on the side, then lift cookies onto the baking sheet, leaving room between for spreading.

Roll out and cut the second disc, collecting the scraps on the side.

Bake the “dough rolled once” cookies for 10 – 14 minutes (12 minutes is perfect in my oven) until edges and bottoms are just golden. Let cool completely.

Collect the scraps and roll out until the dough is gone. The “dough rolled twice or more” cookies take less time to bake (in my oven, only 10 minutes).

Now get creative! Frosting recipe to come but get out the sprinkles!

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Plain Cookie, Assumes 42/36 Cookies: 94/110 Calories; 4/5g Tot Fat; 3g Sat Fat; 16/19mg Cholesterol; 83/97mg Sodium; 12/14g Carb; 0g Fiber; 5/6g Sugar; 1g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 2/2.5, WW PointsPlus 2/3

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite "happy birthday" recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

Tips & Tricks for Rolling Out Sugar Cookies

(hover for a description)
Powdered sugar for rolling ... and the dough disc ... and the cookie cutters.
Collect scraps on the side. Gently lift cookies. Roll scraps last.

Top Row
Left - Dust your work surface and rolling pin with powdered sugar instead of flour, it will "melt" into the cookies, disappearing completely. Do use pure cane sugar, it's slightly more expensive but just tastes better.
Center - Dust the dough disc top and bottom too.
Right - For nice crisp edges, dust the cookies cutters with powdered sugar too.
Bottom Row
Left - Pull away the extra dough, collecting the scraps on the side for rolling later.
Center - Gently lift the cookies onto the cookie sheet, a flat spatula works, an offset spatula does too.
Right - Save all the scraps and roll them together in the end. Cookies from dough "rolled twice or more" will have a different consistency and take less time to bake. I always put them on a separate cookie sheet so the cookies made from dough "rolled once" can bake perfectly.


Will The Dough Freeze Well?


Frozen cookie dough for No-chill Cutout Sugar Cookies.

I hope so! I have half a batch in the freezer now and will let you know. If so, I'll love this dough even more than I do already! UPDATE: The dough does indeed freeze well, for at least six months. Better news? The frosting freezes too! Just bake and decorate, no mixing required!


Perfect for Christmas Cookies


No-Chill Cutout Sugar Cookies, here in Christmas cookies. Just mix and roll, no need to wait for the dough to chill. Easy to handle, great-tasting cookies.

But Sugar Cookies Aren't Just for Christmas Anymore!
St Patrick's Day, Anyone?!


No-Chill Cutout Sugar Cookies, here for St. Patrick's Day. Just mix and roll, no need to wait for the dough to chill. Easy to handle, great-tasting cookies.

Or Valentine's Day?


No-Chill Cutout Sugar Cookies, here for Valentine's Day. Just mix and roll, no need to wait for the dough to chill. Easy to handle, great-tasting cookies.

Or Spring Flowers?


No-Chill Cutout Sugar Cookies, here in Spring Flowers. Just mix and roll, no need to wait for the dough to chill. Easy to handle, great-tasting cookies.

More Cutout Cookies for Festive Occasions

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Frosty Christmas Trees Colored Roll-Out Sugar Cookies Cut-Out Spice Cookies





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Mmmmmm sugar cookies. That dough looks really easy to handle too!
 
Thanks for the tip of using powered sugar as a rolling surface. I've never liked to make "roll-outs" because of the flour taste. Now I shall make a batch of roll out cookies with this new recipe. Shall let you know how they turn out, and if the Cookie Monster likes them. kk
 
Happy 88th birthday hug to your sweet dad, with his big heart, big intellect, and big life spirit!
 
Happy Birthday Alanna's Dad! AND --- Happy Birthday Carole's Mom, 95 today! We always conference call the person on his/her birthday (even though they're in town) and sing as loudly and as off key as possible! What great traditions.

Thanks for the lovely column and recipe, which I can't wait to try. I love your no fuss sugar cookies that are dropped -- use it all of the time.
 
Michelle ~ It is really easy to handle! And without chilling!

KK ~ Oh you’ll love the difference with powdered sugar. Tell that Cookie Monster hello!

Little Bo ~ Ahhhhh! He’ll love hearing from you!

Carole ~ Happy Birthday to your mother! What a coincidence!
 
At last --- a no-chill roll-out cookie that is great!! Thank you for this one! I've always shied away from cut-outs because of the time, the chilling (mine always get rock-hard), and the trouble. I rolled these on powdered sugar and under Saran -- worked perfectly!
 
Carole ~ Such good news, thanks for letting me know!
 
I wanted to comment that I found half of this dough in my refrigerator a year and a half later, rolled them out and they tasted perfect! Will be making a batch tomorrow for Christmas cookies
 
Sarah ~ I’m not sure if that’s good news or not but I do thank you for letting me know. Let’s hope nobody else repeats the experiment! Enjoy your cookies -- I’ll be making several batches on Wednesday for the family’s big kids’ cookie decorating party!
 

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna