Spring Sugar Cookies

36 cookies
1 hr 30 min prep time
24 hrs total time

Take out those cookie cutters and make a batch (or two) of these buttery sugar cookies. Top them with your favorite frosting recipe or a layer of royal icing that, once dry, is painted with food coloring.  It's a fun activity for the whole family to help welcome spring!


Cookie Dough

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

1 cup Vermont Creamery Sea Salt Cultured Butter- 82% Butterfat cold, cut into chunks

1 large eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Royal Icing

4 cups powdered sugar

3 tablespoons meringue powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

5-6 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Painting Ingredients

assorted food coloring, we used all-natural vegetable food dyes which can be found in your local natural food store or coop

assorted paintbrushes

small plate & water glass


  • STEP 1

    Heat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

  • STEP 2

    Combine flour, baking powder and salt in small bowl; set aside.

  • STEP 3

    Place sugar and cold butter into bowl of heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Beat at medium speed until well combined. Add egg, vanilla and almond extract; beat until well mixed. Gradually add flour mixture, beating at low speed until just combined.

  • STEP 4

    While removing dough from bowl, knead to incorporate crumbs and form smooth dough. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness.

  • STEP 5

    Cut into shapes with 2 1/2-inch cookie cutter. Place onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes or until just begining to brown around the edges. Cool on cookie sheet 2 minutes; remove to cooling rack. Cool completely.

  • STEP 6

    To make your icing: In a medium bowl stir to combine the powdered sugar, meringue powder, and salt. To this add 5 tablespoons water and the vanilla extract, stirring well until combined and smooth.  If the icing is too stiff or not coming together, add the additional tablespoon of water and continue adding until you’ve reached the consistency you’re looking for.  For these cookies, the icing needs to be stiff enough to hold on a cookie, but thin enough that it creates a smooth and even layer of icing when you’re done spreading it.  The best way to determine this is to test it on a cookie.  If it feels too thin, add about ¼ cup of powdered sugar to the icing and then test again. You can also test the consistency of your icing by watching how it falls back into the bowl from a knife or spoon – once it falls in the bowl, does it clump up and not melt back into the rest of the icing?  Or does it combine in a really fast and super runny/watery way? You're looking for something that's in between these two textures.  

  • STEP 7

    To ice your cookies: Using a butter knife, gently spread icing onto the cookies in a smooth and thin layer.  Don’t worry too much about making the surface totally smooth, once you’ve covered the cookie, the icing should even out and absorb any swoops of icing left from your knife.  This can take anywhere from seconds to a minute depending on how thick or thin your icing is.  If you’re finding that they aren’t smoothing out after a few minutes, add another tablespoon of water to your icing and mix well.  Once you’ve iced all the cookies, let them set up before painting so the icing can firm up a bit.  Try to wait at least two hours or up to overnight to really set/firm up.   

  • STEP 8

    To paint your cookies:  When you’re ready to paint the cookies, get your palette ready by adding drops of food coloring onto a plate and filling up a glass of water to clean your paint brush.  It's nice to have a clean dish towel on hand to wipe your paint brushes on once it’s been cleaned.   Painting on these iced cookies is surprisingly similar to painting with watercolors.  You can play with mixing colors from your food coloring.  You can paint flowers and little ferns or keep things simple with broad stripes and polka dots. Use a delicate touch as you're applying to keep from denting the icing, unless you want to add in some texture.  You can paint stripes or dots or flowers and ferns. Have fun with applying your preferred print onto these cookies and if you make a mistake – just eat your cookie!   

Vermont Creamery

Vermont Creamery_Image

Vermont Creamery