Photo: Alan Richardson; Styling: Betty Alfenito
Prep Time
15 Mins
Chill Time
1 Hour
Bake Time
10 Mins
Makes about 28 cookies

How to Make It

Step 1

Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add egg yolk, and beat until smooth. Stir in extracts.

Step 2

Combine flour and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating just until blended. Shape dough into 2 balls; wrap in wax paper, and chill 1 hour or up to 1 week.

Step 3

Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness. (If dough is too firm to roll, let stand 5 to 10 minutes.) Cut into shapes using 4 1/2-inch cookie cutters. Place cookies on parchment paper-lined baking sheets; bake, in batches, at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Let cool on pans 1 minute. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Step 4

Dip tops of cookies in Decorating Icing, allowing excess to drip back into bowl.

Step 5

Lifesaver Cookies: Cut dough into circles using a 3-inch round cookie cutter. Cut out centers of circles using a 1-inch round cookie cutter. Bake as directed; let cool completely. Spread about 1 teaspoon raspberry preserves, strawberry jam, or buttercream frosting between 2 cookies. Dip in Decorating Icing, allowing excess to drip back into bowl. Add pieces of red licorice to resemble stripes on a life preserver ring. Makes 32 sandwich cookies.

Step 6

Coconut Snowballs: Substitute 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract for vanilla and almond extracts. Stir in 1/2 cup finely chopped toasted macadamia nuts and 1 tablespoon lemon zest. Chill dough 30 minutes. Shape into 1-inch balls. Place 1 inch apart on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and bake, in batches, at 350° for 15 minutes or until lightly browned on bottoms. Transfer to wire racks; let cool 2 minutes. Place 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar in a bowl, and toss cookies to coat. Let cookies cool completely on wire racks. Toss in powdered sugar again, coating well. Makes 4 dozen.

Chef's Notes

Note: Bake time is per batch.

Ratings & Reviews

dhcoward's Review

January 24, 2012
I have been using the cutout cookie recipe for a few years now and continually have people asking for my recipe. The trick is to not roll them too thin or cook them too long.

twilhelm's Review

November 14, 2011
This is our go-to recipe for cutout cookies. Easy to make, and taste absolutely delicious. I haven't made another cutout cookie recipe since finding this one.

Rhonda123's Review

December 09, 2010
I made the Coconut Snowball cookies. Scroll down for recipe. The recipe is almost the same. There is not enough coconut flavor in the cookies. 1/2 teaspoon is not enough flavoring. I also added 1/2 cup chopped coconut. The cookies have a good taste, but I was looking for that Wow factor. I will make again, but modify a little more than the original recipe. I like to have a different cookie for the Holidays.