Best Vanilla-Almond Cutout Cookies

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I love decorating cookies, even though I’m totally terrible at it (that’s why no photos of the decorated cookies I did made it to this post, haha). Decorating cookies is the ultimate arts & crafts type activity that you get to EAT afterwards. I mean, that’s awesome.

My friend Bridget at Bake at 350 is the queen of cookie decorating. Seriously, just take one look at any of her designs and I’m pretty sure you’ll be wowed. Every time she comes out with a new design it just delights the little girl inside. I remember nagging my mom when I was little to buy me colorfully decorated cookies, but now I just make my own.

Bridget just came out with her second cookbook, and it’s called Decorating Cookies Party. If you’re a fan of cookie decorating and want more in-depth tutorials on how to decorate and plan cookie decorating parties, it’s a super fun book. Today I’ll be sharing Bridget’s tried and true Vanilla Cutout Cookie recipe with you, just in time for the holidays!

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To get the cookies started, cream together butter and sugar:

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Next, add in an egg, vanilla extract and almond extract:

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Add in flour and baking powder to turn it into a dough:

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Roll the dough out onto a flat surface, then cut your shapes out:

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Set the cookies out on a mat or parchment paper:

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Then bake and enjoy!

Hope you have fun decorating cookies this holiday season, and if you make any you’re particularly proud of, I’d love to see them! I LOVE when you guys post your photos on Instagram of the dishes you make from here! Tag me at @fifteenspatulas so I can see.

You can see more of Bridget’s cookie designs on her blog, or in her first or second book. Happy holidays!

Bridget's Vanilla Cutout Cookies Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, cold and cut into chunks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp pure almond extract

Directions:

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line three cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. Set this mixture aside.
  4. In the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until combined and fluffy. Beat in the egg and extracts, mixing until combined.
  5. Add the flour mixture in three parts, mixing on low speed. Scrape down the sides and bottoms of the bowl as needed. After the last addition, the dough will look very thick and crumbly.
  6. Prepare a rolling surface and roll out a portion of the dough. Cut as many shapes from the dough as possible and place them on a prepared cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart.
  7. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes. Freezing the cookies will help keep them from spreading. Meanwhile, knead the scraps and remaining dough together and continue the rolling, cutting, and freezing process on a second cookie sheet.
  8. After freezing, immediately bake the cookies on the center rack of your oven for 9 to 12 minutes (for 3.5 to 4-inch cookies), or until they appear done in the center. The baked cookies won’t change much in color.
  9. Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool on the cookie sheets for 2 minutes. With a thin cookie spatula, transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
All images and text ©.

Disclosure: Bridget is one of my good friends and sent me a copy of her book. I wanted to share this recipe with you of my own accord!