While drop cookies are an easy make-and-bake, cutout cookies made into hearts, shapes or anmials are extra special. They don't require as much effort as you think, plus you can let your creativity loose when it comes to decorating!
Need cutout cookie guidance? Canadian Living's Special Publications Food Editor Alison Kent shares her best strategies for baking a batch of stand out, cutout cookies.
What type of cookie recipe is ideal for cutouts?
"Something that's not too 'short' (i.e. buttery and crumbly) and without any add-ins, such as dried fruit, nuts or chocolate," Kent says. Classic cookie recipes, such as sugar cookies or gingerbread cookies, work best, she says. These recipes keep the edges of your cutouts clean.
How do I keep my dough from crumbling at the sides of my cutout?
Kent advises to avoid overworking the dough once flour has been added. "Place rolled out dough on a waxed paper or parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to firm up before cutting," she says.
How do I prevent my dough from sticking to the insides of my cutout?
"Dip your cutter into flour and tap off any excess before (pressing) each cut out," Kent says. "Don't roll the dough too thin, and chill it before cutting. Avoid cutters with intricate shapes and tricky corners," she advises. "Keep it simple."
Would you recommend one cutout kind over another (metal vs. plastic)?
"I prefer metal because the edge tends to stay a bit sharper," she says. Although the quality of plastic cutters has greatly improved, Kent says, metal cookie cutters produce cleaner edges.
What is the best way to pack cutouts for delivery?
Snugly pack cutout cookies in between layers of waxed paper in an airtight container. "If (you're) icing them, make sure the icing is completely dry before packing," Kent says. "And if there's more than one variety, pack them separately so the flavours don't intermingle."
Cutout cookie and icing recipes to try:
With this easy dough, it takes no time to cut the cookies into fun shapes and decorate as desired.
Cinnamon and molasses give these gingerbread cookies their distinct flavour.
Sparkling Eggnog Sugar Cookies
Sparkling sugar granules heighten the appeal of a cookie that you can cut into any shape you like.
More cutout cookie and icing recipes:
Vanilla Sugar Mitten Cookies
Mittens or festive cookie cutters give these vanilla-flavoured cookies a touch of whimsy.
Cinnamon Star Cookies
These crisp star-shaped cookies, or zimtsterne, are a tradition during the German festive season.
These invitingly spicy glazed German cookies, which can be baked ahead, are what many holiday cooks like best.
These fun-to-make treats are perfect for any occasion!
Ginger Spice Cutouts
Aspic cutters, used to make tiny cutouts in the tops of these cookies, can usually be found where cookie cutters are sold.
Coffee lovers, here's your cookie! Roll and cut the dough into festive shapes, or form into logs to slice when it's time to bake a fresh batch.
Lemon Poppy Seed Teardrops
Just a hint of icing peeks through the tiny window on these yummy, thin cookies.
Sugar-free hard candies are available in a variety of flavours and colours; use an assortment to make these classic holiday cookies.
This type of icing is thin enough to smoothly cover complete surfaces like paint. After decorating the gingerbread, it takes about 4 hours to dry completely.
Discover more ways to say "I love you" with these Tested Till Perfect cookie recipes:
Big Cookie Greetings
There's nothing better than a chocolate chip cookie — unless it's a very large one! It's quick to make, uses only one bowl and will keep youngsters busy.
Chocolate Overload Cookies
Devour these rich chocolate cookies with a cold glass of milk.
Mini Panettone Cookies
These cookies have all the flavour of the classic Italian festive bread.
Sugar-Free Cranberry Pistachio Icebox Cookies
Dried cranberries preclude the need for sugar in these tender, biscuitlike cookies.
Gluten-Free White Chocolate Pistachio Cookies
Letting this batter stand allows the pretty green tint of the pistachios to develop.
Dairy-Free Cranberry Almond Lemon Cornmeal Cookies
A lemony glaze adds glisten to golden cookies, which have a surprisingly pleasing crunch of cornmeal.
Cinnamon Sandwich Cookies
Perfect with a cup of tea, these thin, crisp cookies pack a hit of cinnamon.
Sable pastry is a sweet French pastry favoured for its delicate texture. For a pretty presentation, use different coloured raspberries, such as golden and black.
Chocolate Mint Wraparounds
Reminiscent of chocolate mint ice cream, this cookie wraps one dough around another for a two-tone look.
Peppermint Patty Sandwich Cookies
The combination of peppermint and chocolate is a holiday winner.
These cookie-monster dreams invite all-day nibbling as picnickers break off chunks. You can halve the recipe if you wish.
Chocolate Caramel Cookies
The fudgy exterior of this cookie hides a decadent surprise — ooey-gooey melted caramel. Serve with slices of watermelon.