Go Sugar Cookie Crazy Article - Allrecipes.com
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Go Sugar Cookie Crazy!

Try these tips, and delight everyone with beautifully decorated sugar cookies.

Rolling and Cutting

Cookie dough is much easier to work with after it's been refrigerated for at least half an hour. The cut-outs will also hold their shape better if the dough is cold.

Keep cookie cutters from sticking to the dough by misting them very lightly with cooking spray.

If you're cutting out delicate or large shapes, roll out the dough on parchment paper, lifting off the scraps; slide the paper directly onto a baking sheet.

See our Sugar Cookies recipe collection.


One popular frosting for sugar cookies is a simple glaze  of confectioners' sugar and either milk or fruit juice. By adjusting the ratio of liquid to sugar, you can make this glaze as thick or as thin as you'd like.

Royal icing is another option: it dries to a hard, crunchy finish and also holds up well in the mail.

Buttercream frosting  is soft and thick; tasty, but not good if you plan to stack the cookies.

Instead of frosting, you can also dip half or all of a cookie in chocolate and then in chopped nuts or crushed candy canes.

For more tips, see our Decorating Cookies article.

Other Decorating Ideas

Sprinkle on coarse colored sugar, nuts, colored sprinkles, silver dragees or other small candies.

Or make colorful designs on the unbaked cookies by painting them with a mixture of egg yolks tinted with food coloring. The finished cookie will be bright and glossy.


When making cut-out cookies for mailing, choose fairly sturdy shapes without too many pointy edges.

  • Pack decorated, dry cookies in a flat, sturdy container with a tight-fitting lid. Line it with parchment or waxed paper.
  • Pack a selection of cookie shapes in a single layer, fitting them together as closely as possible. Now pile more cookies into the container, stacking same-shape cookies on top of each other.
  • When the container is full, put wadded-up pieces of wax paper or unbuttered air-popped popcorn into any empty spaces, then seal the lid. Wrap the container in bubble wrap, and pack it into a box. The cookies should arrive fresh, beautiful and full of home-baked love.

For more tips, see our Mailing Cookies article.

Jun. 27, 2009 4:37 am
i reallly like this one it look tastie and imgoing to try to cook these things
Aug. 1, 2009 4:35 am
easy to make and simply delicous
Sandy Lemke 
Oct. 28, 2009 11:59 am
I have for years made my cut out cookie frosting with powdered sugar, and milk, but then I divide the frosting into three bowls and add food coloring, and different flavorings, green one add a couple of drops of wintergreen extract, red, which most the time is kinda pink, food coloring and add a couple of drops of peppermint, white add almond, and orange which is red and yellow food coloring add oranger extract, then put on the sprinkles, or other decorations, the kids love them at our Christmas gathering, and the adults are there ready to grab their share too. The kids also love to frost and decorate them on the day we make cut outs.
Dec. 3, 2009 8:16 am
My family knows me as the queen of sugar cookies, and my secret is to roll the cookies until they're 1/4" thick, making for a nice, soft cookie. I also frost mine with a very simple buttercream frosting (milk, butter, 10x sugar and vanilla or almond extract). Everyone always asks me to make them!
Dec. 10, 2009 9:01 am
I liked the look of that cookie but i like my DUCK more.
Dec. 20, 2009 2:27 pm
I appreciate the tips! I learn something new "every day" Thanks!
Mar. 8, 2010 4:15 pm
I maded Sugar cookies this year But my colored sugar would not stay on the cookie after it was baked on. What did I do wrong I live in Colorado.
Mar. 25, 2010 2:44 pm
rusti, Did you put the colored sugar sprinkles on the cookie dough BEFORE you baked the cookies?
Apr. 16, 2010 1:41 pm
if your using colored sugar instead of frosting, We always used an egg wash and then sprinkled the cookies. This will help it stick
Jun. 27, 2010 6:03 pm
how does a egg wash work, and to make it.
Jun. 27, 2010 6:09 pm
I go big game hunting every year in Colo. I would lik to take a soft and chewy cookie(s) up hunting that will carry well in a backpack and with hot coffee. We walk alot in the mountains ( Black Mts).
Nov. 30, 2010 5:26 am
I have, even after 40 years of cooking, had problems with cutting-out cookies. Hopefully this article will help me overcome that!
Dec. 1, 2010 12:33 pm
I want to make sugar cookies with a a cookie on top with a cut out and then put jelly in the cut out hole. Do I put the jelly between the cookies before cooking or drizzle it into the hole after baking? Then how do I frost it without getting frosting in the cut-out hole?
Dec. 7, 2010 10:33 pm
@BarbaraSm: it sounds like you are talking about Linzer cookies - tasty little sandwich cookies with a cut out on the top one and jelly in the middle - for Linzer cookies you make the cut out cookies, bake them, then spread the jam on the bottom cookie and place the cut out top cookie on top creating a little 'sandwich'. So tasty! I love those cookies :-) you can also dust the finished cookies with powdered sugar - yum!
Dee Dee 
Dec. 15, 2010 12:49 pm
So many people make their sugar cookies "tender" or chewie. We like ours the old fashioned way.. crunchie. What's the secret?
Dec. 18, 2010 7:13 pm
How do I get my sugar cookie dough to not stick? I chilled the roller, no good, What do I do? Help please
Dec. 19, 2010 12:16 pm
I saw a tip on Food Channel that suggest you use powdered sugar when rolling out. Does this really work? boatingguy5 is sounds like your dough in not chilled enough or you have not added enough flour.
Feb. 17, 2011 12:52 pm
I made a buttercream frosting, and then rolled my cookies out so they were thinner and then made a sugar cookie sandwich, no mess and gone in a flash.
Mar. 7, 2011 12:14 pm
My nephew just entered the Air Force and I was happy to find this info for shipping cookies to him. Thanks!
Aug. 14, 2011 10:17 am
I switched from using margarine to using unsalted butter for fancy cut-out sugar cookies, chilling the dough after I mix it up. This makes for a more manageable dough and easier rolling.
Nov. 5, 2011 9:53 am
My family loves to paint our cutout sugar cookies for the Christmas holiday! Even the little kids can join in.. Each paint color consists of one egg yolk and food color to desired tint. Add a few drops of water, if needed, to thin a bit. Mix each "paint" in its own cup. Use inexpensive watercolor paintbrushes---1 brush per color; supervise little kids so they don't mix-up the colors accidently! Paint unbaked cookies as desired. May also sprinkle with sugar or add cinnamon (red hot-type) candies, or nonpareil candies (look like metallic BB's). This is one holiday tradition my teens still insist on making each year!
Dec. 5, 2011 4:52 pm
I'd be concerned that adding milk to powdered sugar to use as an icing. Since you're using regular milk doesn't that cause the cookie to spoil? Also, is it really safe to brush a cold cookie with an egg wash?
Dec. 15, 2011 11:35 am
Using powered sugar for rolling is the way to go...when you use flour to roll your cookies, they become tough. I use my parchment paper to roll out the cookies....(parchment, powdered sugar, sprinkled lightly with "flour" sifter)..then the dough, again lightly sprinkled with powered sugar, and top that again with a piece of parchment...then roll dough between the parchment. Never have a problem, and like some mentioned, you can cut the cookies on the parchment, remove the extra scraps and bake right on the parchment without having to remove the cookie before baking and chancing tearing the cookie. As far as the egg wash goes...you brush the cookie with the egg wash BEFORE baking and the color sugar goes on top of the egg wash also BEFORE baking.To ice my cookies I use the Wilton Royal icing recipe. Sometimes I glaze the cookie (thinned out Royal Icing) let it dry and then out line it with the same icing and your decorating tip.Have fun,...Merry Christmas Baking Day!
Dec. 15, 2011 11:38 am
Whoops....no the cookies nor the icing spoil when using the milk, it dries and is fine.
Dec. 22, 2011 7:59 am
I have made my cookies now I want to add ground nuts to the tops - is it saft to use an egg wash or is there another way?
Feb. 4, 2012 9:27 am
Thank you Maggie. Your comments have really helped!
Marie J. 
Apr. 15, 2012 3:45 pm
These are wonderful. I baked 150 of these cookies yesterday. I am taking them to cake club. we are going to decorate them with marshmallo fondant for a ICES meeting. I have made thousands of sugar cookies in my 72 years and these are the best and easiest.
Dec. 16, 2013 5:51 pm
goodness 150 cookies. call you super woman
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