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Baking Cut-Out Cookies!

Updated on August 17, 2014

Do you like to bake cookies that are made using cookie cutters?

Here are recipes that work best for making cut-out cookies, along with great decorating tips and tricks. You will even find variations for special dietary needs like diabetic, vegan and gluten-free cookies. What makes cut-out cookies so great is that you can use the same cookie dough recipe and then just by changing the shape, makes cookies to suit any occasion! And by changing how you frost and decorate the cookies, you can come up with even more fun variations.

There are also links to many wonderful and whimsical cookie cutters, plus lots of pictures to give you inspiration for really cute cookies no matter what the holiday or time of year!

What's Cookie-ing? - cookie cutters - To Suit Your Moods or your Baking Needs

Featured here are some great cookie cutters, in designs and themes to match the season!

Cookie Recipes - the basics plus some variations on a theme

You'll notice that most recipes for cutout cookies have a lot of similarities. I've tried to find recipes here at have distinct differences as well as some sugar cookie classics.

One thing to remember about nearly all cut-out cookies recipes is that the dough tends to be higher in butter content and you'll want to chill the dough in between when you mix it up and rolling it out for cutting. Otherwise it's too soft and tends to stick to everything. Depending on the recipe, this might range from an hour or so to overnight.

pssst.... there's a "no chill" recipe listed here for those of us who don't remember to plan ahead.

Gluten-Free Cookie Mixes

For those of you who follow a gluten-free diet, here are some specialty cookie mixes that should be adaptable to making cut-out cookies while still being free of wheat.

One thing to note: if you are sensitive to potato starches (as I am) you may have trouble even with gluten-free flours as many of them contain potato, so be sure to read the exact ingredients to check for any more sensitivities.

Gingerbread Cut-Out Cookies - a special holiday favorite!

Gingerbread people cookies have been used as traditional holiday decorations since Victorian times, and the recipes below include tips on creating them for treats, gifts, tree ornaments or even package tags!

More Cookie Cutters

Kick-start your cookie cutter collection! Many times, simple and general shapes can be adapted over and over for different occasions.

Recipes for Food Allergies and Special Diets - gluten-sensitivity, vegan/vegetarian, diabetic, diary-free and low-cal

Here are a variety of recipes for people with specific dietary needs or restrictions. To decorate cookies without using frosting (which can really add on calories or be too much sugar), consider using nuts, fruit, and seeds for accents or try painting your cookies with natural food coloring.

Create Your Signature Cookie! - the add-ons, flourishes and sweet embellishments

  • Coloring - cookie dough can be colored when it is made. Certain ingredients impart color but there's also food coloring for almost any color of the rainbow.
  • Dusting - sprinkle the cookie with powdered sugar, cocoa or fancy sugars when they are still freshly warm. Let the cookies cool a bit before dusting or the sugars will melt. Using a tiny strainer (put the topping in and stir or tap with a spoon) can make for a very fine and uniform dust.
  • Sprinkles - also known as nonpareils, jimmies, or hundreds and thousands. These are tiny shaped decorations of colored sugar. They can be chocolate, rainbow, or single colors. Traditionally, nonpareils are opaque white.
  • Frosting - with this type of slim cookie, more often this really refers to a sugar glaze spread on the cookie. It can be left white (for "snow") or colored with food colors.
  • Fancy combo cookies - any of the decorating methods above can also be mixed. Reindeer cookies can be made in chocolate and then have red frosting noses added and white snow drizzled on the antlers. Sprinkles added make great face details or other edible accents.
  • Plain - of course, you can also leave cut-out cookies plain. Quite often, the fancy and specific shape makes them perfect just the way they are!

Decorating Cookies

These pages and recipes especially include information and instructions for how to decorate your cutout cookies.

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