The Best Sugar Cookies

Sugar cookies are so underrated. Everyone can say they love chocolate but I’ve never met a single normal human who didn’t love a classic sugar + icing. Since we are still very in the spirit of fall around our house, we felt it was only right to pay homage to the end of peak foliage season with some peak foliage cookies. Surprisingly, all the sparkles and glitter in the world can’t make these cookies as beautiful as the colors in New England this autumn, but I’m guessing they taste better.

This is a big batch recipe. My maple cookie cutter is pretty big, and I got over 4 dozen. Cut it in half, if you’d like, or make everyone in your life really happy when you bring them tons of delicious treats. Enjoy!



  • 2 c flour (and extra for rolling)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1 c granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbs cream
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract

Royal Icing:

  • 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 5 tbs Meringue Powder
  • Water
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. In medium bowl, combine dry ingredients.
  3.  In mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, cream, and extract, and mix until well blended. Slowly add in flour mixture.

  4. Remove dough from mixer and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate dough for at least an hour.

  5. On a floured work surface, roll out dough to even thickness. Use cookie cutters (sprayed with PAM) of your choice. Place cookies on sheet, they should not spread much so leave about 1/2 inch between each.

  6. Bake 10-12 minutes or until cookies are golden, but do not allow to brown.

  7. Cookies will need to cool completely before icing.

Royal Icing

In your electric mixer on low speed, combine sugar and meringue powder. Add 1/2 c water and extract. See the consistency notes below, you will need to adjust for what your purpose is.

  • A thicker consistency is generally used for outlining and details. Mix until icing is thick but loosens after a moment.
  • For a thinner consistency, usually used for flooding, add more water.
  • Separate the plain white base into several small bowls for coloring, and garnish with any sprinkles, dusts, and colors you’d like!

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