Between rowing practice, running practice, school, and all my other activities, I was most well known for decorated sugar cookies. I enjoyed personalizing the different cookies to give to people and make them happy. I also decorated hundreds of cookies for bake sales to support things such as Homefront (a nonprofit organization that helps homeless people in Mercer County), the robotics team at my high school, the rowing banquet for my team, and to fund a STEM scholarship for a fellow senior in my school last year. I have baked thousands of sugar cookies throughout my high school career and hope to continue baking and decorating them because I love to see the joy in people when they receive a cookie made and decorated JUST for them.
All the cookies pictured above are a small sampling of what I have decorated over the years. The bake sales that I organized always had different cookie designs – ranging from spartan heads to ice cream cones to suns and much more.
My sugar cookie recipe is extremely simple. I like it that way because it makes it hard to mess up a batch when you are 500 cookies deep. It doesn’t need to be refrigerated, and works the best after sitting for 15-30 minutes after mixing in the flour. It is adapted from a cookie blog called The Adventures of Sweet Sugar Belle. She has great tutorials on cookie decorating, and was extremely helpful when I first started out.
I have learned an immense amount from other cookie blogs, articles, and A LOT of practice. I didn’t get discouraged if some cookie designs were ugly or just didn’t work. I took a deep breath and figured out a better way to decorate.
Overall, cookie decorating is extremely relaxing and fun to do with friends. It should not be rushed either! But, if you don’t have time/ don’t want to decorate the cookies — this recipe alone is a great sugar cookie recipe WITHOUT icing too.
I will eventually make a blog post about decorating sugar cookies….but for now lets just start with the cookie!
Sugar Cookie Cut Outs
*This recipe is adapted from The Adventure of Sweet Sugar Belle’s sugar cookie recipe
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 sticks butter (16 Tbs)
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl fitted with a paddle attachment. Cream until fluffy, about 3 minutes on medium high speed.
- With the mixer on medium, add the eggs, one at a time, scrapping the side of the bowl between each addition. Mix until the eggs are combined fully.
- Add the vanilla and mix for 15 more seconds.
- In two or three additions, add the flour, mixing until just incorporated.
- Flour a wooden board, and place half the dough on the board. Using as much flour as needed, roll out the dough to about a 1/4 inch thick.
- Cut the desired shapes of your cookies, and place on baking trays. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes (baking time with depend on the time and shape of the cookie)
- Take out of the oven, let cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire racks and let cool fully.