Iced Sugar Cookies

For the Cookies

  • 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the icing

  • 2/3 of a pound of powdered sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • A few drops of lemon juice


Place the flour, 3/4 cup of the sugar, and the salt in the food processor and pulse quickly to blend. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture forms small clumps about the size of peas.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and vanilla. Add the egg mixture to the butter mixture and pulse until the dough comes together to form several large clumps. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead several times, just to bring it together. Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a disk about 1/2 inch thick. Wrap the disks in plastic and refrigerate for about 30 minutes, or until cold but still pliable.

Roll out on a well floured surface and cut out shapes. Transfer to the parchment-lined sheet, spacing the cookies about 1 1/2 inches apart. Chill the cut shapes while the oven preheats.

Preheat the oven to 375°F and position an oven rack in the center. Bake one pan at a time, rotating the sheet about halfway through, for 10 to 13 minutes, until light golden brown. Transfer to a rack to cool completely, moving the cookies before they have cooled completely.

Beat the egg whites, powdered sugar, and lemon juice until smooth and glossy. Divide into ramekins and stir in food coloring, then ice with pastry or paint brushes

Cookies from Serious Eats, Icing from the New York Times


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