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No Chill Cookie Cutter Sugar Cookies

These sugar cookies are soft, hold their shape, are made in one bowl, and will be ready in 30 minutes – no chilling required! Try my chocolate sugar cookie cutouts next.

A plate of decorated snowflake sugar cookies

I love sugar cookies. And I love the flavor of royal icing (well – I love the flavor of my royal icing, which is why I’m sharing it with you). And I love piling sprinkles on my cookies and sharing them with others.

But I do not love having to chill my sugar cookie dough and wait, especially during the frantic holiday season. I need my cookies now, man! 

That’s why I’m sharing my favorite, tried and true sugar cookie recipe that requires zero chilling. This recipe has no chill.

… except for the fact that it’s completely chill, because it’s low maintenance and isn’t asking the world of you. It’s that friend you know isn’t going to cause a lot of drama, and don’t we all want more of those friends in our lives?

Of course we do.

A plate of decorated snowflake sugar cookies on a table of baking supplies

Why these are the best sugar cookie cutouts

  • No chilling! Do I even need to expand on that? That means no extra steps and no waiting, so you can whip these up in less than 30 minutes.
  • They hold their shape during baking, so whatever you wanted them to look like when you cut them out of the dough is how they’re going to look when they’re done baking. 
  • They’re study. They hold up well to being frosted and decorated with royal icing, making them the perfect Christmas cookie recipe.
  • But they’re still soft! They’re sturdy, but they’re not stiff. You still get a soft sugar cookies, not something that’s going to crunch when you bite into it.
A plate of decorated snowflake sugar cookies

Making cookie cutter sugar cookies

  • In a large bowl of a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, beat butter and sugar until well combined and smooth (about 2-3 minutes).
  • Add egg, almond extract and vanilla extract and beat again to combine. You’ll notice the color go from a pale yellow to a more yolky-color.
  • Don’t leave out or substitute the almond extract! That’s what’s giving these cookies their classic sugar cookie flavor.
Side by side photos of butter being creamed and beaten with egg
  • Add flour and baking powder (and a pinch of salt, if desired), and beat on low speed to start.
  • As the dry ingredients incorporate, slowly increase the speed and beat until dough is combined and sticks together when pressed.
Four photo collage showing the process of making sugar cookie dough
  • On a floured surface (I like to lay down a large silicon baking mat), roll out dough with a rolling pin about 1/4″ thick.
  • I like to use rolling pin rings (aff link) for this, because it ensures your dough will be flat and even – which means more consistent baking results!
Four photo collage showing the process of rolling out dough
  • Use your favorite cookie cutters to cut out shapes and place them on your prepared baking sheets.
  • Have a fairly detailed shape that could easily tear? My favorite method to ensure the dough comes out in tact is to wiggle the cookie cutter in place a little, and then tear the dough around it away.
  • Keep in mind the cookies will not spread, so you can place them closer together than you would with other cookies.
  • Re-roll the remaining dough (adding flour to your surface as needed) and continue cutting until you’ve used it all.
Four photo collage showing the process of cutting out cookies with cookie cutters
  • Bake for 7-8 minutes – I find 8 minutes to usually be perfect. You want to pull them out of the oven when they’re not longer glossy, and before they start to brown.
  • Let cool on baking sheet for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to wire racks (aff link) to cool completely.

Making the royal icing

I know a lot of people don’t like the flavor of royal icing, but maybe it’s just because you haven’t tried mine!

Almond extract makes all the difference in flavor, as far as I’m concerned.

You’ll start by combining all the ingredients in a large bowl – but make sure you’re using sifted powdered sugar.

The worst thing is having clumps of powdered sugar in your icing, leaving it clumpy, unattractive, and hard to work with.

Four photo collage showing the process of making royal icing

Beat the icing on low speed to gradually combine everything, then increase to high speed to get it to the desired consistency. Then you can start portioning out the icing to smaller bowls to add food coloring gels.

But first, let’s talk about the different royal icing consistencies real quick.

Side by side photos of royal icing being colored

Different royal icing consistencies

Stiff: The icing has been beaten to stiff peaks and completely holds it’s shape. Good for shapes like flowers and ruffles that you want to ensure don’t budge from where you’ve piped them.

Piping: If you lift the whisk from the bowl, the icing that drips back into the bowl will meld back in with the rest after 25-30 seconds. Best for piping letters, numbers and thin lines.

Medium: If you lift the whisk from the bowl, the icing that drips back into the bowl will meld back in with the rest after about 15 seconds. Best for piping outlines and borders, and can also be used for thick flooding.

Flood: If you lift the whisk from the bowl, the icing that drips back into the bowl will meld back in with the rest after about 5-10 seconds. Best for flooding, or for “wet on wet” decorating, like dragging a toothpick between two colors for a swirly tie die effect.

Four photo collage showing the process of decorating Baby Yoda cookies

Icing too thick? Add a little water and beat it again. Icing too thin? Add a little powdered sugar and beat it again.

For the Baby Yoda cookies you see here, I decided to use a Medium consistency for his green skin and his clothing. He’s kinda wrinkly, and so are his clothes – so I went with the imperfect aesthetic. 

Side note: Have you seen this viral hack about how to make Baby Yoda Cookies? I didn’t have an angel cookie cutter, but I do have a mouse cookie cutter and it did the job!

A plate of Baby Yoda sugar cookies

I used a Piping consistency for his little eyes, though I probably could have gotten away with Medium for that as well. I didn’t get super detailed for the Baby Yoda cookies, so I didn’t feel the need to create different piping bags with different levels of consistency. 

For the snowflake cookies, I went with a Stiff consistency because I just wanted to spread it on with an icing spatula and be done with it (time crunch, blah blah blah). But also, I knew I was going to be topping them with some cute sprinkles, so what was underneath mattered a little less to me.

A plate of decorated snowflake sugar cookies on a table of baking supplies

After you’ve made this recipe, please leave a comment below with a rating – and if you came from Pinterest, add a photo to the Pin of what you make to the pin to share your experience!

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A plate of decorated snowflake sugar cookies

No Chill Cookie Cutter Sugar Cookies


  • Author: Leslie Kiszka
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes (each batch)
  • Total Time: 18 minutes
  • Yield: 3250 (depending on size) 1x

Description

These sugar cookies are soft, hold their shape, are made in one bowl, and will be ready in 30 minutes – no chilling required!


Ingredients

Scale

Sugar Cookies

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure almond extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of salt, to taste

Royal Icing

  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 68 tablespoons water, room temperature (depending on the consistency you want – see tips in post)
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • Gel food coloring (aff link)
  • Sprinkles

Instructions

Sugar Cookies

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with nonstick silicon mats (aff link). Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl of a stand mixer or using a hand mixer (aff link), beat butter and sugar until well combined and smooth (about 2-3 minutes).
  3. Add egg, almond extract and vanilla extract and beat again to combine.
  4. Add flour and baking powder (and a pinch of salt, if desired), and beat on low speed to start. As the dry ingredients incorporate, slowly increase the speed and beat until dough is combined and sticks together when pressed.
  5. On a floured surface, roll out dough with a rolling pin about 1/4″ thick. Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes and place them on your prepared baking sheets. Keep in mind the cookies will not spread, so you can place them closer together than you would with other cookies. Re-roll the remaining dough (adding flour to your surface as needed) and continue cutting until you’ve used it all.
  6. Bake for 7-8 minutes – I find 8 minutes to usually be perfect. You want to pull them out of the oven when they’re not longer glossy, and before they start to brown.
  7. Let cool on baking sheet for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to wire racks (aff link) to cool completely.

Royal Icing

  1. In a large bowl using a stand mixer or hand mixer (aff link), combine powdered sugar, meringue powder, water, and almond extract. Beat on low speed, slowly increasing to high speed as the ingredients incorporate – about 4-5 minutes.
  2. Lift the whisk from the bowl and take note of how long it takes for the icing that drops back in to meld back in to the rest – this will determine the consistency you’ll be working with, and you can add water if it’s too thick, or powdered sugar if it’s too thin. See the tips in this post about the different icing consistencies.
  3. If using gel food coloring (aff link): Transfer portions of your icing to small bowls and use a whisk to combine the color with the icing.
  4. Transfer icing to piping bags fitted with piping tips (aff link), and start decorating!
  5. Let decorated cookies set for at least 2 hours to let the icing completely dry, or move them to the fridge to speed up the process.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

Cookie Storage: Store non-decorated or decorated cookies in an airtight container for 5 days at room temperature, or 2 weeks in the fridge.

Freezing cookies: Store non-decorated or decorated cookies between layers of parchment paper in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Freezing dough: Prepare the dough through step 4, then flatted into a disc (or divide it in half and make it two discs), wrap in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to make cookies, thaw at room temperature (about 1 hour) and roll out the dough.

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: cookie cutter sugar cookies, no chill sugar cookies

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