I love baking sugar cookies. I make them for almost every holiday and birthday and I have had lots of people ask me how I make them. I’m not going to lie, they are very time consuming and the ultimate labor of love. But for those of you who are interested, here is my process, step by step.

My philosophy is that successful sugar cookies are a result of the process and not the recipe, but in case you are wondering, I use Martha Stewart’s Sugar Cookie Cutout recipe from her Cookies book. (If you like to bake cookies, then I highly recommend it! It is a fabulous book with dozens of amazing recipes  Every single thing I have baked from that book has been divine.)

Depending on how much baking you do, you may or may not have most of the tools I use. I couldn’t live without my KitchenAid. It is an investment, but so worth it if you like to bake! I also recommend a sifter that doesn’t hurt your hand and a heavy duty rolling pin (mine is an antique inherited from my husband’s grandmother.)  I use a variety of different baking sheets and haven’t found one to be better than another, but parchment paper is key!

Happy baking!

Best Sugar Cookies | Easy Sugar Cookies | DIY Best Sugar Cookies | Sugar Cookies Recipe | Party Food
Step 1:  Gather ingredients
Sifting the dry ingredients for the best ever sugar cookies!
Step 2: Sift dry ingredients
Beating the butter until it gets fluffy using a Kitchen Aid mixer.
Step 3:  Using paddle attachment, beat butter & sugar until fluffy; add eggs & vanilla

Slowly add the dry ingredients to your sugar cookie mix.

Step 4:  Add dry ingredients

All the ingredients come together for the best sugar cookies ever!

Step 5:  Mix until well blended

Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate the cookies overnight so they're easier to cut.

Step 6:  Divide dough into 3 sections (I think 3 are easier to work with);  wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

Assemble the tools to roll out the dough nice and flat.

Step 7:  Remove dough from fridge and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Gather supplies for rolling out dough. I roll my dough out on top of parchment paper and use the silicone mat to keep the parchment from slipping on the counter. The foil-wrapped sheets of cardboard were custom made for me by my husband to fit in our freezer. More on that in the next steps!

Use flour to keep the rolling pin from sticking to the cookie dough when you roll out your sugar cookies.

Step 8:  Lay parchment paper over silicone mat; sprinkle parchment, rolling pin, and dough with flour.

Parchment helps keep the cookie dough from sticking when your roll it out.

Step 9:  Roll out dough to 1/4″ thickness. Using parchment to lift, transfer to cardboard tray.

Chill the rolled out dough to help it hold shape.

Step 10:  Place rolled-out dough in freezer for 10 minutes; repeat steps 8-10 with remaining discs of dough.

Use a cutter to create uniform cookies.

Step 11:  Remove dough from freezer. Cut out to desired shape with cookie cutter (or, in this case, the top of a cocktail shaker for a circle shape!)

Once the cookies are cut they'll be ready to bake.

Step 12:  Place cutout shapes on parchment-covered cardboard tray.

Chill the cookies in the freezer.

Step 13:  Put trays of cutout cookies back in the freezer, again for 10 minutes. (Yes, again! They will still be cold but don’t skip this step! The additional freezing helps the cookies maintain their shape while baking. Not so important for circles, but very important for more intricate shapes.)

After the cookies have chilled, they're ready to go in the oven.

Step 14:  Remove cookies from freezer; transfer to parchment-lined cookie sheets, place in pre-heated oven and bake according to the recipe’s instruction.

Freshly baked sugar cookies are the best!

Step 15:  Remove cookies from oven and cool completely.

Use meringue powder to get icing that's easy to work with.

Step 16:  Gather icing ingredients.

Add icing ingredients to the mixer for your sugar cookies.

Step 17:  Using paddle attachment, blend powdered sugar and meringue powder on low speed. Slowly add water until icing is to desired consistency. (Not too runny but not too stiff.)  Mix for 7-9 minutes until very smooth.

Assemble the bags and food coloring over cups to hold them open.

Step 18:  While icing is mixing, prepare icing bags with tips and couplings. I find it helpful to fold the tops of the bags over a glass to make them easier to fill. Use gel food coloring!

Gel food coloring gives you vibrant colors that really pop.

Step 19:  When icing is done mixing, quickly divide into bowls and add food coloring. The icing will begin to harden when exposed to air, so speed is key! I usually try to stick to 3-4 colors (not 6 like shown here!). Fill icing bags and use rubber bands to close ends.

Fill in the sugar cookies using the icing bags.

Step 20:  Ice cookies. This step is a lot of trial and error, but to make a nice smooth icing, first pipe a circle around the edge. Wait a few minutes (not too long or you’ll see a line, but not too short or it will be too runny–hence the trial and error!), then zig zag more icing inside the circle and use the tip to gently spread it out until it is all smooth. You can then either add a design with other colors while wet (will make for a smooth finish), or wait for it to dry and then pipe a design on top with a contrasting color.
Here is the finished result:

Best ever polka dot and striped sugar cookies.

Step 21: Save a few cookies for the kids to decorate…

Kids love helping to decorate sugar cookies.

The more decorations the more delicious the sugar cookie, right?

and eat!

Even plain sugar cookies are delicious.


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