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Sweet Dani B’s Sugar Cookie Cutout Recipe

For years I have been keeping my sugar cookie cutout recipe under wraps in the hope of publishing a book of my cookie creations. While one day I still hope that may happen, I have decided to share my recipe here on my blog as a Holiday Season thank you to all who have joined me in the cookie fun…

This recipe has been developed from one of the original sugar cookie recipes printed in one of Martha By Mail’s first cookie cutter sets. The cookie is firm or a bit crisp on the outside and soft in the middle. I bake them until the edges are just golden. For flavoring I use lemon, lemon extract, or vanilla extract. Experiment with all 3 and see what you prefer. When it comes to flavor, I personally always like having options.

Martha once said in one of our segments on the Martha Stewart Show, “With Dani’s tips and tricks anyone who wants to can create beautiful cookies like these”. After years of baking and giving workshops and private lessons, I know that to be true. While I truly admire some of the more detailed, over the top cookies I have been seeing out there, I like to keep our decorating simple enough to be followed in steps… so you can decorate with your kids, your family, your friends and have a good time doing it. Once those cookies dry (or maybe before) you will definitely want to eat them- and that part is especially important to me. That is what cooking and baking for my friends, family and clients is all about… spreading the love.

Try this recipe as your cookie base and you will be spreading the love in no time! Happy baking and icing…


4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice OR 1 tsp lemon extract OR 1 tsp vanilla extract OR 1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Cream butter, salt and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment- be sure to scrape down sides. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add eggs and lemon juice (or lemon extract or vanilla). Reduce speed to low. Gradually mix in flour mixture. Dough should begin accumulating on paddle and coming away from the sides of the bowl. If too sticky, add up to 1/4 C extra flour.

2. Divide dough in half; flatten each half into a disk. Wrap each in plastic and roll to remove any air bubbles. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1.5 hour or overnight.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (convection preferred) with racks in upper and lower thirds. Let disks of dough stand at room temperature just until soft enough to roll, (about 1 hour).

4. Roll out dough between a silpat and a long piece of plastic wrap to ¼ inch thick. Remove top layer of plastic wrap. Cut out cookies with a cookie cutter. Transfer cookie dough on silpat to a baking sheet. Transfer baking sheet to freezer, freeze until very firm, about 10- 15 minutes. Remove baking sheet from freezer, space out cookies and place directly in oven. Roll out scraps, and repeat. Repeat with remaining disk of dough.

5. Bake, switching positions of sheets and rotating halfway through, until edges turn just golden, 10 to 14 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.

For icing inspiration, ideas and tips search here on our blog or check out our how-to-ice videos on YouTubr at SweetDaniB TV.

Xo Dani

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