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Family Favorite Cutout Cookies - Any Holiday, Any Reason

Updated on July 26, 2017
MyCrazyAdventures profile image

Melissa lives in Downtown Albuquerque. She loves sharing her local discoveries with fellow travelers and explorers.

Photo courtesy of mishie.
Photo courtesy of mishie.

Make'm Any Shape You Want

My family has made cookies from this recipe for over fifty years and counting--it's a kid and adult favorite! The recipe makes a mildly sweet dough that if not over-baked will turn out an easy to chew, lemon flavored cookie.

It is made with honey and lemon extract. However, you could change the lemon flavoring to vanilla, almond, peppermint, orange or any other flavor you can get in an extract.

The dough does not have to be used all at once. In fact, rolling out a dozen or so at a time is perfect and can create many kid friendly baking opportunities during the holidays. Just wrap the dough back up in plastic wrap and keep it cold in the refrigerator until later in the day or several days later--makes for easy portion control too.

Tools You Need

for this recipe

  • flour sifter
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • two mixing bowls
  • spatula for mixing or a mixer
  • rolling pin
  • rolling mat or wax paper and tape or a cool, flat surface for rolling
  • cookie sheet
  • cookie cutters
  • plastic wrap and a cold refrigerator

The Ingredients

MIX together:

  • 1/3 cup of softened shortening
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cups honey
  • 1 tsp. lemon extract

SIFT together:

  • 2 and 3/4 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

It's the holidays and this recipe is not something you will eat all the time. Live it up!

Find Extracts for Cookie Flavor

I know everyone is on an organic kick at the moment and will probably attempt to use organic extracts for this recipe.

A little advice. If you want real flavor in this particular recipe, DON'T use organic extracts. I have yet to find one that has a flavor strong enough to recognize once it is baked. They may be real, they just don't add flavor.

Besides, this recipe calls for a whopping single teaspoon of lemon extract.

Recipe Directions

You will get about four to five dozen cookies from this recipe depending upon the size and shape of your cookie cutters.

  1. Sift the flour, salt and baking soda together in a mixing bowl.
  2. Mix together the other ingredients in a second mixing bowl.
  3. Blend the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients about a half cup at a time. You can use a spatula or a mixer but you will want it all to be well mixed. Stand mixers work best for this recipe because the dough is thick.
  4. The dough will become compact and can be rolled together into a single ball, wrapped in plastic wrap and placed into the refrigerator for later use.
  5. Roll out the dough on a floured work surface. Roll until it is about 1/4 inch thick.
  6. Lightly flour the flattened dough and begin cutting cookies.
  7. Place on greased and floured baking sheet (spray with a non-stick product if you prefer) and bake at 375 degrees for about 8 to 10 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and away from heat and allow to cool a few minutes before removing from the baking sheet.
  9. Wait for the cookies to cool to room temperature before decorating.
  10. Gather up the scraps of dough left from the first round of cookies, roll them together in your hands. Flatten the dough with the rolling pin to about 1/4 inch thickness and cut your next batch of cookies OR wrap the dough in plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator for later. No waste in this recipe!


Flour keeps the dough from sticking to the work surface and cookie cutters.Greasing & flouring the baking sheet is just an old fashioned way to keep cookies from sticking.

Decorate the Cookies

The Best Part!

- Wait for the cookies to cool to room temperature before adding icing and decorations.

- Decorations like red hots and sparkles hold better if a layer of icing is used before placing them on the cookies.

- For decorating without icing, you may want to melt some butter and brush it over the top of the cookie to help hold the decorations in place.

Decorative Icing Recipe

So easy!


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla (or other flavoring)


  1. Mix ingredients together and use the icing.
  2. Separate the icing into batches (or make the recipe separately for each color) and add food coloring to each to make colored icing.
  3. Refrigerate unused icing to use with the next batch of cookies

Favorite Holiday Cookie Shape?

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    • Magda2012 profile image

      Magda2012 5 years ago

      I always like christmas / snowman shape, no matter what seasons. nice lens..