My Favorite Thick, Soft Cut Out Cookies

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I’m the kind of person who likes to learn to run before she learns to walk. I like trying the complicated way before trying the simpler way. I like doing more rather than doing less.

It’s a character flaw. But it’s just the way I am.

I remember before cooking became my sport, when just the effort of scrambling eggs and browning breakfast sausage in a skillet was a HUGE accomplishment for me, and I made the decision to begin to try to improve my cooking skills. There were a number of reasons why I wanted to give it a go and get better at the whole thing.

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One of the main ones was that I actually wanted to be able to bake my own desserts. I was under the HUGELY incorrect assumption that cooking was akin to baking. Cnce I figured out one, I would of course have the other one on lock as well. Tomato-Tomahto, right?


Oh Jess. Sweet, simple, untried Jess. I had SO much to learn about the world and its ways. But honestly, that really was it. My mom had a pretty lit cookbook collection and I would peruse through them bookmarking a whole bunch of different dessert recipes that I would fantasize about being able to bake for and all by myself.

This was before I figured out that baking is a science and beginners in the kitchen should prooooobably try to become decent cooks before they dip heir toes in the baking pool. I actually know several outstanding cooks who are pretty “challenged” as bakers.

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But anyways, I started practicing my baking around the same time as I started cooking. It was a difficult learning curve with a LOT of trial and error but through it all I knew right from the beginning that if it was the last thing I did, there was if nothing else, one thing I was absolutely going to force myself to learn how to knock out of the park:

A bakery-style cut out cookie.

The cut out cookie is right at the top of my Favorite Foods of All Time. I mean, it’s even right up there with pizza, ice cream and pancakes (which are pretty much my Holy Trinity). Now when I say a cut out cookie, I’m NOT talking about something akin to the ones in clear plastic containers you can buy at Walmart with the pink frosting that tastes like sugary wax. Those are blegh and you deserve better things in your life. I’m talking about a real cut out cookie with a soft and tender crumb, a faint flavor of vanilla/almond and a smooth glossy icing on top that rounds out the mild sweetness of the cookie dough.

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Cookie baking is a learning process in and of itself that I’m totally willing to admit I’m still getting the hang of. You gotta practice. You gotta let your dough chill in the fridge. You MUST test-bake one cookie before the entire batch. And then, you can’t be afraid of sometimes just screwing up.  Because sooner or later you just will.

There is one recipe that I’ve become pretty awesome at though, and it’s this one.  I make absolutely DELICIOUS cut out cookies. These are probably some of the best cookies I’ve ever made/had, in general.

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These are a necessity for me and familiy now every year at Christmas but recently I also went ahead and made a huge batch to take to a baby shower, which is why they’re pretty in pink. The cookie itself is thick, soft and with a tender crumb on the inside. It’s versatile enough to where if you wanted these to have a different flavor than standard vanilla, you could easily swap in lemon, orange, lime or even cherry extract instead with wonderful results. I will strongly advise that you don’t swap out or exclude the almond extract; it’s the almond that gives the cookies that trademark “bakery-style” flavor in cut outs that you love but can’t ever quite pinpoint where it comes from.

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These would be just FANTASTIC for a kid’s birthday party where you have the cookies pre-baked and allow the kids to decorate them however they want. They’re also pretty thick and sturdy so they’ll travel VERY well. This recipe does bake a pretty huge batch, so if you’re wanting a smaller one you can feel free to cut it in half. But, I never do. Somehow, for some reason…the ones I make always end up being put to “good use”.

I’ll be taking my cookies to Fiesta Friday #125, co-hosted this week by Quinn @ dadwhats4dinner and Elaine @ Foodbod.

My Favorite Thick, Soft Cut Out Cookies

Recipe Adapted from



For Cookies

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/8 cups white sugar
  • 7 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking power
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract

For Icing

  • 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • About 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon hot water, or more as needed
  • Food coloring, optional
  • Sprinkles, optional


For Cookies:

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs yolks, then the whole eggs, one at a time and mixing well after each. Add the extracts, mixing just until combined.

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium sized bowl; stir into the butter-sugar mixture in about 1 cup increments. Cover dough and chill for at least one hour. I usually let this dough sit overnight for best results.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets. On a floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/2 inch thick and cut into desired shapes using cookie cutters. Place 2 inches apart on to the prepared baking sheets. Refrigerate the cut out cookies on the baking sheets for about 10 minutes.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. (My ‘magic’ number is 8 minutes, 35 seconds.) Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

For Icing

Mix together the confectioners’ sugar, oil, vanilla and corn syrup until smooth. Add a few drops of food coloring to your desired hue. Gradually add enough hot water to achieve a spreadable consistency, but keep it thick enough so that it sticks on the spoon. Spread icing over tops of cookies, then decorate with sprinkles.

Allow cookies to remain uncovered on wire racks until icing it completely set and dried.

40 thoughts on “My Favorite Thick, Soft Cut Out Cookies

  1. I’m going to try to make these. They look great! I’ve been a pretty competent cook since my early teens and receive lots of compliments on my cooking. Clearly that’s where I concentrated my culinary skills as I’m pretty much a total beginner at baking. With mixed results. Very. I’ve been baking more consistently since January and that’s boosting my success rate and my confidence.

    1. That’s awesome Laura! Please do try this recipe out; it’s actually one of the easier cookie recipes I’ve made and I think the results will more than speak for themselves 🙂

      1. I made this particular batch with a three year old with great results, so I think that you and your kids would have a great time baking these together 🙂

  2. Wow those are some beautiful thick and luscious cookies Jess. I want one or a dozen, you gave me an idea, I have been wanting to make black and white and have not found the right recipe for the cookie, I think this would be it. It looks cakey and soft exactly what a black and white should be. Thanks for this recipe.

    1. Thanks Suzanne; although I DO think these would work fine for Black and White cookies, I have made a recipe that IS for actual B & W cookies that is just amazing. (The pictures aren’t as ‘advanced’ as the ones I take now as this was a while back, but the recipe certainly speaks for itself lol) Try whichever one you like and let me know how it turns out! Thanks

    1. I really did enjoy those cookies from Halloween too…but I think these are even better if I’m being honest. They’re just SO good. Thank you ma’am!

  3. I love your pictures! I haven’t seen a cut out cookie recipe with so many eggs. I will have to try this! Thick and soft cookies are my favorite!

    1. Thank you so much Kendra; the eggs were really a surprise to me too, but it all absolutely DOES work together marvelously 🙂

  4. I just love a good sugar cookie, and these cookies are so pretty. They look tender and moist. I grew up baking and was always a recipe follower so didn’t know that baking was a science. I sure do now though! And…say yes to sprinkles!

  5. These look so good and I bet taste so much better than the Lofthouse cookies. My kids would love them. Your right about the difference between cooking and baking. It is something I am trying to teach my kids as I work with them in the kitchen. Thanks for sharing with us at Fiesta Friday. Happy FF!

  6. Jess, I made my first cookies when I was seven years old. My Mom took out the ingredients and left me to it! I shudder a bit when I think of that now, lol! But nearly 50 years later I still have not found what I think is the “perfect” cut out sugar cookie – so I’m pinning this, because this looks like it to me!!!


  7. Wow, Jess… these look exactly like the ones found in stores…very impressive! If they taste half as good as they look, you are a cookie master chef. 🙂 Great photos too.

  8. Ok, I’m just going to ask….do these taste at all like Lofthouse cookies? Just trying to get an idea of the taste/texture before I make them!

    1. Hi Donna! The icing isn’t exactly like the Lofthouse style icing, as I don’t like the taste of the store brand. The icing here is stiffer in texture, like royal icing. The cookie taste itself is very close to the Lofthouse cookie; they’re very soft so long as they’re rolled thick enough & not overbaked 🙂

  9. Just mixed up a batch of these for tomorrow. I couldn’t see any directions for adding the extracts.
    so I just added them to the butter mixture. I can hardly wait to bake these up and frost them. Yummy!

    1. Right you are. You added them in the correct step and I’ve now edited the recipe to reflect that. Sorry about that and thank you for bringing that to my attention. I hope you enjoy the cookies 🙂

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