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20 minute dinner recipes

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Iced Sugar Cut-Out Cookies


From EatingWell:  November/December 2013

This healthier sugar cut-out cookie recipe uses white whole-wheat flour, honey and lemon zest to make a delicious cookie perfect for decorating. Pull out all your cookie cutters and decorate these adorable cookies with natural decorating sugar and icing.

3 dozen 2 1/2- to 3-inch cookies | Active Time: 2 1/4 hours | Total Time: 2 3/4 hours


Cookie Dough

Cookie Icing


  1. To prepare cookie dough: Whisk all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl. Beat oil, butter, granulated sugar, egg and lemon zest in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until well blended. Beat in honey, vanilla and almond (or lemon) extract until evenly incorporated.
  2. With the mixer on low speed, then medium speed, beat about half the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until incorporated. Beat in the remaining flour mixture until just incorporated.
  3. Divide the dough into thirds. Place one third on a 12-inch-long sheet of parchment paper and shape into a disk. Top with a second sheet of parchment. Roll the dough out between the parchment into an 8-inch circle about 1/4 inch thick. Place the dough in the paper on a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough. Freeze on the baking sheet until cold and firm, at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day. Place another baking sheet in the freezer to chill too (it will be used under the dough as the cookies are cut out).
  4. To shape & bake cookies: Position a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet(s) with parchment paper.
  5. Working with one portion of dough at a time, remove from the freezer and place on the chilled baking sheet. Remove the top sheet of parchment and cut out cookies with 2 1/2- to 3-inch cookie cutters. Transfer to a prepared baking sheet with a wide, thin spatula, spacing about 1 1/2 inches apart. Repeat with the remaining dough. (If the dough gets too soft, freeze until firm again. As you cut out cookies, set aside the scraps. Shape all the scraps back into a disk and reroll between parchment. Freeze for at least 30 minutes before cutting out.)
  6. Bake the cookies on the center rack, one pan at a time, until browned on the bottom, 6 to 12 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool.
  7. To prepare icing & decorate cookies: Stir together confectioners’ sugar and dried egg whites in a small bowl. Stir in water, corn syrup and vanilla (or almond) extract until smooth. Divide the icing among 3 small bowls. Add a few drops of red dye to one and green dye to another so that you have white, red and green icing.
  8. To pipe icing (see the candy cane cookie): Add a little more confectioners’ sugar as needed to stiffen the icing for piping. Spoon each icing into a pastry bag with a writing tip or into a small plastic bag with a tiny tip of one corner snipped off. Pipe colorful designs onto the cooled cookies.
  9. To do “wet on wet” icing (see the Christmas tree cookie): Thin the green icing for spreading if necessary by adding a little more water. Using a small paintbrush or butter knife, paint cooled cookies with green icing. While the icing is still wet, pipe a white or red design over the green icing. Drag a toothpick through the icing to blend the colors.


Per cookie : 115 Calories; 4 g Fat; 1 g Sat; 2 g Mono; 9 mg Cholesterol; 19 g Carbohydrates; 2 g Protein; 0 g Fiber; 44 mg Sodium; 20 mg Potassium

Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 1 other carbohydrate, 1/2 fat

Tips & Notes