Sugar cookies make great gifts for any occasion!!

Click here to see, "How to Make Personalized Cookies Without the Cookie Cutters!"

No matter if it's Christmas, a birthday, or you just want to say, "I miss you", Sugar Cookies are the perfect gift. If your boyfriend, girlfriend, grandpa or aunt aren't big fans of chocolate then this is a great alternative. And if you want to wish your best friend, "Congratulations" for her new born, graduation, or for getting a new job, these cookies can be shaped and decorated for any theme or situation.

Sugar Cookies for Christmas

Sugar Cookies

  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup butter shortening
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • Frostings and candies for decorating if desired

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat butter and shortening on high speed for 45 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping the bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and vanilla. Beat in flour. If you can't get all of the flour mixed in with the mixer, then stir in the remaining flour by hand.

Divide dough in half. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours. On a lightly floured surface roll half of the dough out to a thickness of 1/8 inch. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters and place onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes until edges are firm and bottoms are lightly browned. Cool cookies on a wire rack then decorate as desired.

Basketball Cookies

Cut Out Sugar Cookies

Try this recipe that asks for confectioners' sugar instead. The cookies will come out a little bit softer, but still firm enough for cutting into different shapes and for decorating. This recipe yields a dozen.

  • ¾ cup butter flavored shortening
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbl milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt

  1. In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the milk and vanilla extract. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture. Cover dough, and chill for at least one hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease cookie sheets, or line with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch in thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place cookies 1 1/2 inches apart onto cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes in the preheated oven. Yields a dozen. Let cookies set in order to cool. Cool completely before frosting.
  4. Add desired icing or frosting and decorate to your preferences. Place in decorative cookie tin and cover cookies in wax paper. If sending cookies cushion cookies at bottom and top of tin with packing bubbles or extra crumbled wax paper.

Sugar Cookie Icing

Would you like the icing to be flat and stick to the cookies better? Then try this recipe out!

  • 1 cup Confectioners' Sugar
  • 2 tsp milk
  • 2 tsp corn syrup
  • ¼1/4 tsp almond extract
  • Packet of Food Coloring

  1. In a small bowl, stir together confectioners' sugar and milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup a little at a time until you achieve the consistency you'd like.
  2. Divide into separate bowls, and add food colorings to each to desired intensity. Dip or paint cookies. For a dozen of cookies.

How to Make Personalized Sugar Cookies Without the Cookie Cutters- Pictorial Recipe

Bake sugar cookies into practically any shape you'd like by creating your own unique cookie cutters. Design dolphin cookie cutters, football helmet cookie cutters, pirate cookie cutters, princess cookie cutters-let your imagination run wild!

What is your girlfriend passionate about? Does she play an instrument, sports, does she collect purses or shoes, what's her favorite car? Whoever you wish to deluxe sweets gifts for you can make your own designs and then once you fall in love with a certain shape you can find a set of plastic cookie cutters online and have them shipped to your door. For now follow the instructions below...

Palm Tree Outline

1. Start with a simple drawing of the desired object. If you're not the best of artists you can create an outline using dots and then connect them at the end. The best way to find models to use for the drawings is to search for cookie cutter images, not the object itself. In this example I could do a search for "palm tree cookie cutter". It's easier than using a picture of an actual palm tree.

Palm Tree Cookie Cut Out

Variety of Personalized Cookie Cutters

2. Next cut out the shapes from a sturdy piece of an index card.

Special Note:

I recommend laminating your cut-outs to protect them from soaking in the oil from the butter. Then you will be able to reuse them.

Cookie Cutters on Dough

Cut Out Shapes of Cookie Dough

3. Then place the shapes on top of the cookie dough you made from the cut-out sugar cookies recipe above and cut out several shapes of dough. Follow the instructions and you're almost to the final step of creating some great homemade gifts for those special people in your life.

Close Up of Florida Sugar Cookies

Close up of Palm Tree Cookie

Space Shuttle Sugar Cookie

4. Now's the fun part. Decorate the cookies with icing or frosting! What's the difference? Icing dries on smooth and flat, frosting leaves the lines from the knife or spatula you use to decorate the cookies, but it is easier to use than icing. It just depends which look you prefer.

Some basic decorating techniques bring life to your cookies. All you need is food coloring, colored sugar or sprinkles (optional), the icing recipe above, small paint brushes(don't use ones you've used for actual painting), toothpicks for detailing and several bowls for each color. You can learn other more advanced techniques for future batches of cookie gifts.

Pack Cookies in Box

Extra Wax Paper for Cookies

Decorative Tin Box for Sugar Cookies

5. Now it's time to pack your cookie gifts. Choose a decorative tin from a craft and hobby store or from an online store and cushion the bottom with wax paper. Then place the cookies inside and cushion the top with wax paper. And now you have a cookie gift ready to go!

Special Note for Delivery of Cookie Gifts:

I have successfully sent cookies out-of-state using the first class service with the USPS (United States Postal Service). It only takes 2-3 business days and is not that expensive.

More Notes

**Confectioners' frosting is sold in stores as well as baking candy decorations. To change the color of frosting just add artificial food coloring. Separate the different colors into different bowls. Spread frosting with butter knife onto already finished cookies after they've cooled and hardend a bit.

**Cookie cutters are easier to use to cut out the dough than having to use a knife to cut each one for the idea above. Cookie cutters for all kinds of themes and occasions can be found online, let your imagination fly and I'm sure there's a set of cutters for it.

Sugar Cookies to Deluxe Sweets and Candy Gifts Home