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Glazed Butter Cookies: the Perfect Cookie Cutter Recipe

You may call these sugar cookies or butter cookies. A cookie cutter favorite, this easy-rolling dough is the classic cookie that generations have loved to frost, glaze or cover in sprinkles.

Even though there may be several recipes out there for decorating, I’m a currator of recipes that I think are simply the best. This one I found in Taste of Home. Consider this a hand-me-down from your mother’s recipe box, if your own mother didn’t give you one. These are the cookies you remember cutting and decorating as a child. Unless you bought the pre-made dough at the store. Never do that again. These are much better.

classic recipe for holiday cutout cookies

Perfect for any occasion or holiday what makes these cookies amazingly tasty is that the recipe includes just a few simple ingredients. Nothing fancy that will cover the perfect blend of butter, sugar and vanilla. Those words just make our mouths water, don’t they?

As with any butter cookie dough that will be shaped, you will need to chill this a little while. The softened butter mixes well to form the dough, but then needs to firm up for about an hour in the refrigerator. This makes the cookies firm enough to roll and lift after you’ve cut them.

classic recipe for holiday cutout cookies

My recipe here finishes the cookies with glaze which is my preferred method. You could also just buy prepared frosting or use any other recipe. For the best color, especially if it’s something beyond primary colors, I use gel food coloring. I spooned the frosting into a Ziploc and snipped the corner to make a decorating bag. Usually I just spoon my frosting onto the cookie and smooth with the back of a table spoon. But this way I was able to pipe an edge on some and drip glaze over my white frosted hearts.

classic recipe for holiday cutout cookies

Glazed Butter Cookies

Yield: 3 dozen
Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

A reliable cookie cutter recipe for every occasion


Cookie Dough

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. milk
  • Liquid or gel food coloring


  1. With electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in egg. Gradually mix in dry ingredients.
  2. Remove dough from mixing bowl and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Chill for 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  4. Remove dough from the refrigerator and roll out to 1/8 inch thickness on lightly floured surface. Cut with 2 1/2 inch cookie cutters. Space about 1 inch apart on ungreased or lined baking sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool completely on wire racks before frosting.
  5. For frosting, combine powdered sugar and milk together. Blend until smooth. Add desired food coloring. Pipe or frost onto cooled cookies.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 36 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 75Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 46mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 0gSugar: 7gProtein: 1g
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