How to Make Cookie-Cutter-Compatible Sugar Cookies
This page is a full tutorial on making cookie dough for use with cookie cutters, and then, how to use the cutters, as well.
Why not just buy the pre-made cookie dough off the shelf, or from the freezer aisle, at the grocery store?
Because it won't work, that's why!
Yes, there really is a big difference between making cookie dough, manually, using a recipe intended for use with cookie cutters, versus making cookies with the pre-made dough from the store. The dough from the store will turn into a giant sheet of cookie blobs. When it comes out of the oven, it won't look a single thing like the cookie-cut-shapes. You really do need to make your own dough, for this to work.
So lets get started!
2 Stick softened Butter
1 1/2 Cup Sugar
Put Butter and Sugar in large bowl and mix until well combined and 'light and fluffy'.
Add Egg, mix.
1 tsp Vanilla flavoring
Add Vanilla and blend until well incorporated.
1/2 Cup Greek Yogurt
Ideally, avoid the non-fat kind, but recipe still works with fat free greek yogurt. You can experiment with flavored Yogurts if interested - I've used Plain and Vanilla, both work well.
Add in Yogurt and mix until well combined.
1/2 tsp of Salt and 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
Add in salt and baking powder. Sprinkle ground cinnamon onto mixture, blend well.
Add 3 Cups of Flour
Mix until flour seems totally incorporated. Check consistency and scrap sides. If dough is still too sticky (it probably will be) add a quarter of a cup, mix and check again. Too much flour makes the cookies taste too 'floury'. Way too much flour and the dough will crack and crumble during baking. But too little flour and the dough will be too sticky and will be very difficult to work with.
If the dough is still very very sticky to the touch, add more flour. When the dough no longer sticks to the side of the bowl while mixing, it's probably at the right consistency.
Scoop into ball with spatula.
Cut dough in half. Lay out plastic wrap, place dough in middle and wrap up. Place dough in refrigerator. Repeat with other half.
You can actually work with this dough immediately after mixing, however, it's easier to work with if you let it cool in the fridge for an hour first.
Using the Cookie Cutters
Layout parchment paper
Sprinkle flour over parchment paper and roll the Rolling Pin in it, to get it, and the workspace coated.
With the wrap that the dough was stored in, make a pile of flour to use while working.
Flatten out the dough with the rolling pin. The cutters work the best with dough rolled around 1/4th of an inch thick.
Check out the thickness tips section for examples of the sorts of results you get with thicker or thinner dough.
A lot of people seem to have trouble with the cutters - believe me, they really do work! You just have to know the right tricks!
The most important thing to realize is that they need to be coated with flour between every stamping.
First place it down in the pile of flour and shuffle it around a bit. Then you need to actually pick up a pinch of flour with your fingers and manually coat the inner edges.
Go along the edges coating the insides. Also pay close attention to any parts of the cutter that look like they have a whole lot of inner plastic detail, really close together.
Nice and coated. Now you can stamp it into the dough!
Stamp - press done on inner details if you're using a thin dough, to make sure the impression is made.
Gently pull the cutter up - starting in an area with less close-quartered inner detail will help in getting it out.
Repeat. Cutters should be coated with flour between each stamping.
Begin to peal the excess dough away form the outside so that the cutters are exposed. Gently peal the cutters up and transfer them to a cookie sheet.
I like having a sheet of parchment paper on the cookie sheet. It makes it easier to pull the cookies off of the sheet and transfer it to the counter to cool, while I put another batch of cookies onto the cookie sheet. I can usually get 3-4 full cookie sheets worth of cookies out of one full batch of cookie dough.
Pre-heat the oven to 325F and bake cookies for 9-11 minutes! Let them cool, as they'll be very soft when they first come out and if you try to move them, they could break apart. After they've cooled, they're solid enough that you shouldn't have to worry.