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Iced Sugar Cookies

by Chef Megan Joy on April 7, 2013

When I was younger, I’d scrape the frosting off of sugar cookies and eat that part first. I’ve evolved a little bit since then, but I still do enjoy a good frosted cookie. It has to have the right balance though- the cookie either needs to be fluffy  (think Black and White Cookie), or crunchy, like these.

I made a half recipe of these cookies last week and they were gone in about two days, if that. They make a perfect snack with a big chilled glass of milk, or alongside that morning cup of coffee. From reading all of my posts, I realize it probably sounds like I eat dessert for breakfast. I’m not going to comment on that.

What I like about these cookies is that they get an extra dose of crunch from the sugar they are rolled in right before baking. They do sound very sweet, I know, but when rolled small (1″ balls), they are the perfect size. Kids will love them and you likely will too. The centers are still soft and tender, while the edges stay crisp.

The icing on top can be tinted any color you wish. Personally I think they look best in pastel hues, as sometimes too much food coloring can be unappetizing.

But the greatest thing about these cookies? They work at any altitude, and require no adjusting either way. Enjoy.





How to make this recipe:

Iced Sugar Cookies
Adapted from The Pastry Queen Parties by Rebecca Rather

Iced Sugar Cookies
Recipe type: High Altitude Baking
  • Cookie Dough:
  • 4 sticks (2 cups) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar, plus ½ cup for rolling
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Butter Icing:
  • ⅓ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 tablespoons (or more) whole milk, slightly warmed
  • 2 cups (or more) powdered sugar
  • 2-3 drops of food coloring (optional)
  1. To make the cookies: preheat your oven to 350 F.
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Beat the butter and 1 cup of sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
  4. Mix in the vanilla and salt.
  5. Add the flour and beat on low speed until combined.
  6. Roll the dough into 1" balls.
  7. Put the ½ cup sugar in a shallow bowl and toss each cookie to coat.
  8. Place the cookies ½" apart on the prepared baking sheet and flatten slightly by pressing down on the dough with the bottom of a juice glass. The cookies should be about ¼" thick.
  9. Bake until the bottoms begin to just turn golden brown, 8-12 minutes.
  10. Transfer to a cooling rack and frost while the cookies are slightly warm. Frosting them while cool is also completely fine.
  11. To make the icing: beat the ⅓ cup butter, vanilla, salt, and warm milk on low speed until combined.
  12. Add the powdered sugar and food coloring and beat on medium speed until smooth.
  13. if the icing seems too runny to spread, add a few tablespoons more of powdered sugar.
  14. If the icing seems to thick, add more milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until it reaches a spreadable consistency.
  15. Makes about 6 dozen cookies.



{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

kelley {mountain mama cooks} April 9, 2013 at 12:36 pm

No eggs? I’m intrigued. I’ve never seen a sugar cookie recipe without eggs. They look amazing though so I’ll take your word and give them a go!


Chef Megan Joy April 9, 2013 at 7:49 pm

No eggs is correct. They’re so simple but that’s what makes them delicious! I really like this recipe.


Ashley July 14, 2013 at 3:07 am

would these work at 9000+ feet and can I do them as cut out sugar cookies or will they lose their shape? thank you in advance


Chef Megan Joy July 14, 2013 at 7:57 pm

Hi Ashley- These should work at 9,000+ feet. I’m not sure how these would roll out and bake as cut-outs, but it’s work a shot. Maybe do a test on a small patch of dough first. Try freezing the cut-out cookies a few minutes before you pop them in the oven. this will help them keep their shape.


Ashley July 14, 2013 at 10:58 pm

Thank you so very much!


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