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Cookie Cutter Cookies

Updated on March 22, 2011

Great way to spend time with children.

In years past, people would use a simple sugar cookie recipe to make cookie dough.  After chilling the dough, they would then place the ball of dough on a clean table or other flat surface and roll it flat with a rolling pin.

Using tin cookie cutters in the shape of Christmas trees, Santa Claus, wreaths, candy canes, etc., they would cut the flat dough into decorative shapes and then bake them to produce holiday themed cookies.

Once baked the cookies would be decorated with colored icing and topped off with decorative colored sugars or small, colorful candies.

While some people still make Christmas cookies this way today, most opt to make a variety of different, and very tasty, cookies using different ethnic and gourmet recipes

However, cookie cutters are making a comeback and not just for Christmas.

In addition to Christmas themed cookie cutters, vendors are now selling cookie cutters for Halloween (pumpkins, ghosts, witches, etc.), Easter (bunnies, eggs, etc.), St. Patrick's Day (shamrocks, leprechauns), Valentine's Day (hearts), etc.

A great way for parents of young, and not so young, children to celebrate holidays is to acquire a collection of holiday themed cookie cutters and let them join you in cutting out cookies and decorating them using the cookie and icing recipes below.

A Simple Cookie Dough Recipe

The spices in this recipe make for a very good tasting cookie as well as a fun recipe for children to use in making cookies.


3¼ cups of flour

½ teaspoon of baking soda

½ teaspoon of baking powder

¼ teaspoon of salt

½ teaspoon of ground cloves

1¾ teaspoons of cinnamon

½ teaspoon of nutmeg

½ cup of softened (but not melted) butter or margarine

1 cup of sugar

1 egg

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup sour cream

Mixing Directions:

Sift dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cloves) together. In a large mixing bowl cream butter/margarine and sugar by thoroughly mixing, by hand with a fork or spoon, the sugar with the soft butter. Add egg and vanilla extract to the mixture, then mix well. Add sour cream and mix until well blended. Add dry ingredients a little at a time until mixed. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour. You can also leave the dough overnight in refrigerator if desired as I always found that by the time I got home from work with my boys, made and ate dinner, made the recipe and chilled it, it was time to put them to bed. So I would make the dough one night and we would make the cookies the next night.

Preheat oven to 350º. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface to about 1/8 inch thick. Dip cookie cutters in flour and cut out cookies. Bake on un-greased cookie sheets for 8 to 10 minutes until edges are lightly browned. Remove cookies from cookie sheet and cool on wire rack. Frost cookies with icing (see recipe below) once cookies have cooled.

Quantity of cookies varies depending upon size of cookie cutters but will normally produce around 3 dozen cookies.

An Icing for the Cookies


2 cups confectioners' (powdered) sugar

2½ - 3 tablespoons of water

Slowly add water to sugar while mixing with a spoon. Continue slowly adding water until icing is moist enough to spread evenly on cookies. Add more water if icing begins to harden. Add more sugar and water if need additional icing to cookies.

Divide icing into smaller bowls and add food coloring, a drop at at time and mix. Add more coloring for deeper color. Use different color in each bowl. Spread icing on cooled cookies or make designs on with a pastry bag or other decorating instrument. Keep icing tightly covered and store in refrigerator when not being used as it will dry out. Icing will keep for a few days but may dry out some – in this case simply add a little water and stir.

Helpful Hint: If you end up with more cookies than icing, simply add more sugar and water (and color if necessary) and mix to increase amount available. On the other hand, if you end up with more icing than cookies, simply spread the excess on some graham crackers as this makes a nice sweet and healthy treat.


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