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A Lazy Mom’s Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

by on February 8, 2008 · 26 comments

Update: This is an old recipe which I’d completely forgotten about until I updated my index. I put an “A” in front of the title so it would show up near the top of the list and your wouldn’t miss it. Let me know what you think.

Valentine's Cookie

If you haven’t noticed by now, I never stick with one cut-out sugar cookie recipe. There’s always a new and better (or sometimes worse) recipe around the corner. Luckily, this falls into the “better” category. Aside from how good the cookies taste, it’s convenient because you melt the butter in one bowl and just stir in all the other ingredients. Hence, the name…which I think sounds kind of early seventies. I should probably change it to “Efficient Mom’s Cut-Out Sugar Cookies”.

Lazy Mom's Cut-Out Sugar Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Lazy Mom’s Cut-Out Cookie Dough
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar (sift sugar, then measure about 1 ½ cups)
  • 1/2 scant teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract (optional)
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar
Easy Frosting
  • 2 tablespoons butter melted
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp. milk
  • 3/4 teaspoons vanilla
Instructions
  1. In a microwave-safe mixing bowl, melt the butter on high power. Let it sit for 5 minutes to cool, then add powdered sugar and stir until smooth. Stir in salt, egg and extracts. Next, add baking soda and cream of tartar. Stir well with a mixing spoon making sure there are no clumps of baking soda or cream of tartar. Scrape sides of bowl and stir a little more. Add the flour and stir until blended. Do not beat it. Dough will be more like batter, so don’t even think about rolling it. Can’t happen.
  2. Lay a large sheet of waxed paper over a cookie sheet and dump the dough onto it. Divide dough into 4 parts and set each part on a separate sheet of waxed paper. Press each section of dough down into a 1/3 inch thick mass and press a sheet of waxed paper on top of each. Put all 4 sections in refrigerator to chill for an hour. It will magically firm up!
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Remove one section of the dough from refrigerator. No need to roll, because you’ve already pressed it. Now cut out some shapes, and hurry. The dough gets soft as it sits. Lift the shapes from the dough and place on a non-stick cookie sheet. Lift up scraps, press and cut. Repeat with another section of dough.
  5. Bake the cut-outs for 10-15 minutes (varies with size of cutters) or until they appear nicely set and the edges are brown. Let cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a rack to finish cooling.
  6. When the kids get home from school, give them the blank cookies, your choice of frosting and sprinkles to decorate.
  7. If you’re not feeling quite so lazy, make the frosting. This recipe is great for kids.
  8. Mix the melted butter and sugar into an ugly paste. Add milk one tablespoon at a time and stir until smooth. When it’s the consistency you want, stir in vanilla. Spoon it into some zipper bags and chill until the kids get home. When they get home, snip off the bottom corner of the bag and let them squeeze out the icing.
  9. (Or just forget the bag and spread it on with a plastic knife)
Notes
The serving size is an estimate and really depends on the shape of your cookies.

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Published on February 8, 2008

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen February 8, 2008 at 2:45 pm

I love recipes that require no mixer. Now, if I would only just go ahead and buy a rolling pin I’d be set.

Anna February 8, 2008 at 3:03 pm

Jen, no rolling pin is required!

These turned out really good. One bowl and one spoon — that’s all you need.

Jen February 8, 2008 at 3:25 pm

I’m a dork. . .I missed that part. Excellent! Maybe I’ll make some sugar cookies for Valentine’s Day now.

Cass Ward February 8, 2008 at 3:38 pm

I just wondered is powdered sugar the same as icing sugar or caster sugar?

Anna February 8, 2008 at 4:52 pm

Jen, you’re not a dork.

Cass, powdered sugar is the same thing as icing sugar or confectioner’s sugar.

Anonymous February 8, 2008 at 7:49 pm

Thanks for posting — perfect timing. I need an activity to do with a 4 year old. Is there a prob if a let the frosting stay in the bag, in the frig, overnight. Will it be too hard too spread before decorating the cookie.

Anna February 8, 2008 at 8:32 pm

Well, funny you should ask. Caroline and I encountered a problem in that the icing, once chilled, was WAY too hard to squeeze from the bag. I microwaved it a bit and that softened it, but Caroline said she wanted to spread it with a knife and we ended up doing that.

So with younger children, you are probably better off putting it in a bowl. Older children like squeezing from the bag, but you’ll need to allow time for the icing to soften.

Valerie February 9, 2008 at 5:34 am

this looks like such a great recipe. I love the “lazy” appeal: melted butter and no pin needed. I guess this recipe was written for me, lazy mom in-chief.

if I weren’t doing a bday party today I’d make them. maybe tomorrow!

Valerie February 9, 2008 at 5:44 am

but I have to add: what is a sifter doing in a lazy mom recipe? lazy mom in-chief does not approve of that.

Anna February 9, 2008 at 8:20 am

Val, the sifter is certainly out of place, but the original recipe called for sifted powdered sugar and that was one thing I didn’t want to change. I think the cookies would be fine with unsifted powdered sugar, though.

One thing I didn’t mention above was I used a bit of lemon extract in place of the almond extract……a tiny drop — about 1/8 teaspoon. It added some interesting undertones but did not make the cookies taste lemony. If you have lemon extract or lemon oil on hand, you might want to try it.

Lynne Laino February 9, 2008 at 9:19 am

What a NOVEL idea for making sugar cookies!!! Thanks Anna – where do you ever get the time to find all these recipes? We sure appreciate it! My mom was not a rolled cookied person but I remember her making hearts with pink icing on a few Valentine’s Days.
BTW – big congrats on the Jeopardy question!

Anna February 9, 2008 at 9:20 am

Hi Lynne,

What’s great about these recipes is they really don’t take much time at all. This recipe is especially great because you just dump the batter out, pat it down and chill it — no creaming, no rolling.

Tara February 9, 2008 at 12:21 pm

Wow! These seem too good to be true! I hate rolling things out, but my little girl loves cookie cutters! Can you tell me what the texture is like? Do they tend to be more crunchy or chewy?

Anna February 9, 2008 at 12:34 pm

Well, for the first batch, I took the cookies out before the edges had browned and the cookies were tender. The second batch I cooked until the edges were very brown and the cookies had some crunch. I actually prefer crunchy cookies, so I liked them that way.

But overall, I’d say these have kind of a not-too-crumbly shortbread texture.

You can adjust the flavorings however you want, of course.

Tanya February 9, 2008 at 1:51 pm

I just wanted to comment that I love reading your blog and your recipes are wonderful! I especially love that you update it so often and give reviews of your recipes. Thanks!

tori February 9, 2008 at 3:39 pm

Thanks for the help yesterday! Your ideas were awesome. I had a recipe in mind for the cookies, but this may have made some changes to my plans…this looks so easy! Were they delicious? Did they taste like they were easy cookies? I’m just trying to decide if I want to take the easy way out since it is for a bunch of 4th graders and 2nd graders…will they really know the difference if I slack a little and use this recipe vs. a more difficult/time consuming one. Probably not.

Anna February 9, 2008 at 3:49 pm

Well, mine were delicious. I don’t think they were the best sugar cookies EVER, but they were very good. Caroline commented on how good they were so she approved.

Why don’t you make a test batch? You can do it by using 1 1/2 tablespoons lightly beaten egg (equals half an egg).

Also, I did a test with some leftover dough and the cookies are sturdy enough to put on sticks and sort of wave around.

Amy D. February 9, 2008 at 5:51 pm

Anna,
My kids and I just got done making and decorating these! Thank you–this is a great recipe and easy for kids. Love it! Thanks!!!

Amy D. February 9, 2008 at 7:49 pm

I just made these this afternoon (as I wrote above) but thought I would let everyone know how they taste. They are really good! My husband is picky about sugar cookies and he likes these a lot. I baked some at 8 minutes and let them sit on the cookie sheet a few minutes and then I baked some at 11 minutes and let them sit. So I have some chewy ones and then some crunchier ones. I am definitely keeping this recipe–you can’t beat something that’s both easy and GOOD.
Thanks, Anna!

tori February 9, 2008 at 8:15 pm

I just made them and added a bit of cinnamon and they were perfect. I’ll be using this recipe with the cinnamon for the parties. Thanks!

Anna February 9, 2008 at 8:20 pm

Phew. Thanks for validating the cookies, Tori and Amy. I get worried that something will work really well for me, but won’t work out for others. So hooray! Good call on the cinnamon, T. I didn’t think to add that (especially since I had the lemon extract on hand) but it’s nice to know you can really play with the flavors.

These would probably be great with some vanilla bean paste or something really flavorful like that.

Valerie February 10, 2008 at 6:19 pm

the cookies are really good! I baked them til just barely brown on the edge. not a crunchy or crisp cookie overall, but definitely not soft or chewy. kind of the light dissolving melt in mouth texture (ie tender) with a bit of crispness at the edge. great taste. I accidentally didn’t follow the instructions: I mixed all the dry ingredients instead of adding them separately to the butter/sugar mixture. I did a half batch and used a scat 2tbsp measure fore the egg.

thanks for the recipe.

btw, as I was making, I was wondering: since it is an old recipe, maybe they did the dip and sweep measure for the flour. so I considered doing that. but ended up sticking with the spoon and level method.

Anna February 10, 2008 at 10:56 pm

Thanks for the review, Val!

I’m not sure exactly how old the recipe is or where it came from. A lady named Renee posted it on a travel board which I found using Google. I’m not even sure what I was looking for, but I liked that the recipe used melted butter. I used the spoon and level method as well.

What’s interesting is how the recipe goes from batter to stiff dough in exactly an hour. I guess it’s the high butter content.

Cass Ward February 13, 2008 at 8:28 pm

I made these last night for my daughter to take to school today for her class. Luckily I kept a couple for myself they are great. Loved the frosting recipe too as I can never seem to find one that goes hard. As it is quite hot here each time I cut the cookies out and then reflattened the dough I popped it back in the fridge to firm up again and it worked a treat. Thanks

Benet April 29, 2008 at 8:18 pm

I made these and used about a 2 inch round cookie cutter, then made a buttercream frosting and sandwiched 2 cookies together. It worked out well and totally reminds me or a “blonde” Oreo. I also had some leftover chocolate buttercream frosting and that’s equally delicious!

Maminisya May 3, 2008 at 12:23 am

Elo, anna.. Thanks 4 the recipe.. I would like 2 ask the ingredient in frosting cream, is it powdered milk or liquid milk? Thanks again

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