Williams-Sonoma Sugar Cookies

Williams Sonoma Sugar Cookie Customize CutterSigh — even a really cool message-stamping cookie kit can’t hide my icing skills. Thankfully, a sponsor at Camp Blogaway will be the Wilton cake decorating gurus because this shouldn’t happen. So, my Happy Birthday cookies for Larry started out lovely. But my little decorating kit box’s postage date of 1976 from college was a tip-off of my level of ability (yes, smarty pants, I’m older than dirt). I frost cookies like this…

Frosted-Sugar-CookiesThe icing was hardening quickly, and those candies wouldn’t STICK unless I rushed, faster, faster!!! In my defense, last week I was romanced into believing I could whip out artistic beauties having spent a morning decorating hundreds of cookies at charity Project Angel Food. We drizzled and sprinkled; they were professional looking. How could I screw up back at home? Apparently, easily.

Don’t get me wrong – the Sugar Cookie recipe (from the Williams-Sonoma Message-In-A-Cookie cutter kit) is tasty and works beautifully. YES YOU CAN ORDER THAT KIT: here’s the link. Yet, no icing recipe was provided and I won’t recommend what I ended up using. My suggestion is to bookmark my page here and hope a conscientious reader (you?) will comment with a link to the perfect piping icing for Larry’s Birthday Cookies next year. This batch, he ate several, as did I.

Williams-Sonoma Sugar Cookies

  • 2 1/2 cups (390g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 12 Tbsp. (1 1/2 sticks/185g) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup (250g) sugar
  • Food coloring gel (optional)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Over a small bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on high speed for 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium, slowly add the sugar and a few drops of food coloring gel and beat for 2 minutes, stopping the mixture occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and vanilla and beat for 1 minute, stopping the mixer once to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Stop the mixer and add half of the flour mixture. Beat on low speed until most of the flour has been absorbed. Add the remaining flour and continue beating until all of the flour has been absorbed and the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl, 2 to 3 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface and divide into 2 equal balls, Shape each into a disk and wrap separately in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, up to 2 days. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand for 5 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of 3/16 to 1/4 inch (4.5 to 6mm).

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.

Dip cookie cutters into flour just before using and cut out shapes. Place on the baking sheet. Gather up the scraps, reroll them and cut out additional cookies. Refrigerate the cookies until firm 20 to 30 minutes.

Bake the cookies until golden brown around the edges, 12 to 15 minutes (however, my cookies in the photo took 18 minutes). If baking more than one sheet at a time, switch the sheets between the racks and rotate them 180 degrees halfway through baking.

Transfer the parchment sheets with cookies onto wire racks and let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies directly onto the racks and let cool completely. Decorate better than Patti did. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Makes 12 to 15 cookies (Patti’s batch made 19 cookies).

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Karen October 27, 2015 at 2:03 pm

I too say that I am older than dirt. My smart alec son says ‘ No mom, you aren’t older than dirt…they had dirt in the 60’s!’ – – – – though you could use a smile 🙂

2 Nancy July 20, 2013 at 2:57 pm

Hi, I just saw this recipe and am so happy
to have found it!! I know I am a little late
(a couple of years) but here is a site I love
for icing..This link is I believe what you need.

Thanks soooo much for the recipe..

3 Worth The Whisk December 22, 2012 at 10:54 am

Sorry to hear that. Wish I could offer a solution besides, obviously, they need a coating of frosting.

4 I Bake Cookies December 21, 2012 at 7:21 pm

These cookies were terrible, they tasted like chalk and were horribly dry. I would not recommend these to anybody.

5 Quyen - Kitchen Runway January 27, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Patti – these cookies just make me smile! My best friend gave me this same Williams Sonoma cookie cutter set last year. I need to put it to use. I think they just look adorable!

6 Sarah January 24, 2011 at 9:15 pm

My boyfriend is mad for sugar cookies so I made these for our anniversary. I realised half way through that my giant bottle of vanilla had gone MIA so I subbed for the juice of a small lemon and its zest. Still so good! I’m going to make these over and over.

7 Worth The Whisk January 17, 2011 at 7:39 am

Teresa, that is probably the smartest suggestion for a decorator like me, thank you!

8 Teresa January 17, 2011 at 7:31 am

You might want to try a little squeeze bottle filled with Royal Icing to make your decorations on your Sugar Cookies.

9 Gade September 29, 2010 at 10:12 pm

Thanks for the delicious recipe…my husband love it so do I 🙂 I baked as a gift for our 4th wedding anniversary!

Thanks again.

I haven´t has a change to decorating the cookies with icing yet…I never did it before but maybe I will try to do it for this coming Xmas:)

10 Worth The Whisk September 14, 2010 at 9:03 pm

Carrie, that is strange to me, but let’s try to help. If the cookie itself baked with crisp edges, I think you didn’t press the message in deep enough. If the dough spread on the edges, then it was too warm when baked. It took me a while to press the messages in properly, I rerolled my mistakes. But the photos are accurate and not doctored up.

11 Carrie September 14, 2010 at 8:04 pm

Not sure if you’ll see my comment on this old of a post, but I wanted to ask how you got the messages to stay in the cookies? I tried this same recipe for sugar cookie dough, chilled it for an hour, baked it according to directions.. but the messages “baked out” of the cookie and weren’t visible anymore.

Was my dough rolled too thick? Would more chilling help? I”m really frustrated as I’d envisioned making lots of cool message cookies, and I ended up with delicious yet blank cookies. Sigh.

12 Worth The Whisk May 17, 2010 at 8:55 am

Cyndi – SO HELPFUL! Thanks for this contribution.

13 Cyndi May 14, 2010 at 8:24 am

Land O’Lakes has a very tasty powdered sugar icing that I love to use! Here is the link, enjoy:) http://www.landolakes.com/mealideas/ViewRecipe.cfm?RecipeID=10148

14 Megan February 21, 2010 at 7:39 pm

I love sugar cookies! It’s wonderful that something so simple to make can turn out so delicious 🙂 And of course the decorating options are endless…great post!

15 Melissa February 19, 2010 at 12:51 pm

I also found myself making cookies last weekend for gifts and I found a very simple icing receipe and it worked very well for me and it hardened up very pretty w/ a slight gloss. I did though dam the cookie , made a outline 1st and then iced it within and I used Wiltons little bottles they have a tub of them for not much $$ They are used I beleive for candy but I love them for icing:)
1c. confectioner sugar
2Tmilk and you can adjust to your needs but start w/ less than more!
I also added just a pinch of Vanilla extract because I love Vanilla but you could use none or your Very favorite flavor!

16 LaSpicyVita February 18, 2010 at 11:01 am

love it! it doesn’t hurt that larry is my little bro’s name 😉

17 Linda February 18, 2010 at 8:44 am

I have the cookie cutters and have made the recipe. I can say that they are good cookies! I didn’t frost mine because I was too much in a hurry to make them and eat them. Well worth the trouble of making because they are so cute and delicious!

18 Worth The Whisk February 18, 2010 at 8:27 am

Patti comments: OH NO! Wish I could predict if they will make more, I seriously doubt Worth The Whisk created a stampeed for those cutters. Just keep checking back, I won’t remove the link.

19 Silvius February 17, 2010 at 11:55 pm

Those look wonderful, I was wondering how people seemed to be personalizing biscuits and graham crackers lately.

The website says the cutters are no longer in stock, oh no! Do you think that will change or have I lost my chance customized biscuits?


20 Mona February 15, 2010 at 5:21 pm

Great find! Those cookie cutters are a must for the frosting impared. My frosting abilities never matured beyond 3rd grade.

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