Holiday Pie Sugar Cookies may be my most favorite autumn treat ever! I love watching people try to decide if these are small pies - only to be surprised when they discover they are actually tender Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies! Rich in vanilla flavor and incredibly soft, paired with colorful fruit and pastry Royal Icing, these are so much fun to make and a delight to serve!
Almost too pretty to eat, these are perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any special celebration.
HOW TO MAKE PERFECT SUGAR COOKIES?
To ensure the wonderfully soft sugar cookies of your dreams, you want to roll the dough about ¼-inch thick. This may seem too thick when you are rolling and cutting, but it’s absolutely key if you want perfect sugar cookies for munching and decorating!
If you’ve found your cut-out sugar cookies lose their shape in the past, it could have been due to a few factors (too much butter in the recipe, dough too warm, dough not rolled thick enough, etc.), but I can tell you that this recipe yields absolutely beautiful edges that do not spread if you take care to roll to the appropriate thickness (if rolled too thin then they can spread) and chill the cut-out dough before baking.
EASY SUGAR COOKIE TIPS & TRICKS...
TIPS & TRICKS FOR DECORATING WITH ROYAL ICING...
CREAM CHEESE SUGAR COOKIES:
3 cups + 2 Tablespoons (390g) all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter (softened to room temperature)
4 ounces block cream cheese (softened to room temperature)
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
1 large egg (room temperature)
2 Tablespoons pure vanilla bean paste or extract
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
FROSTING: (for Bakery Frosting see SnowflakesandCoffeecakes.com)
EASY ROYAL ICING:
4 cups powdered sugar
3 Tablespoons Meringue Powder
1 Tablespoon corn syrup (Karo)
2 Tablespoons flavoring (I use clear vanilla)
8-10+ Tablespoons water (room temperature)
AmeriColor Soft Gel Food Coloring (strongly recommended!)
FOR DECORATING: Royal Icing
HOW I MAKE THESE:
YIELD: Makes about 36 (three-inch) cookies
RECIPE NOTES: These cookies will stay fresh in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
MAKE AHEAD TIP: Plain baked cookies freeze well up to 1 month. Thaw overnight UNOPENED on your kitchen countertop before decorating.
FOR PARTIES: I package cookies individually in self-sealing clear cellophane cello bags (Pack It Chic are my favorite brand). Make sure cookies are completely dry after decorating before packaging. To make ahead, place individually wrapped and sealed cookies in a larger airtight container and freeze. Thaw on your countertop before serving - do not thaw in refrigerator (you are trying to minimize moisture during defrosting, which can cause your frosting designs to run or bleed).
TO KEEP THESE COOKIES SOFT: These cookies will stay soft and fresh in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to one week.
Original recipe & photos published December 2021.
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