Wanna know how I decided to start making sugar cookies?  I saw Martha Stewart do it and thought to myself, “That look easy enough for me to do!”

So I went out and bought a bunch of supplies and baked cookies and started to prepare all the frosting for the cookies and I realized…this is a lot of work!

And NOT easy.

And then to top it off, they were not very tasty and they looked like baby poo with barely legible words on it.

Fast forward 3 years and I am still in learning stages, but now, you can sometimes read what I am trying to write and occasionally, they even taste good.

Thought I’d share how I have been doing things thus far, and if you have any tips or recommendations that would make my life easier, please tell me immediately just leave a comment whenever you get a chance.

This is the recipe I use.  It’s the kind that yields a thicker, more chewy cookie.  I am not a huge fan of the paper thin ‘crispers’ some grandmas I know try to pass off as sugar cookies.   You know who you are Grandma.


  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Roll em out, pick your favorite cookie cutter, bake for 6 minutes and cool for however long you want.

Now, to the fun part.

I use a version of Royal Icing…

1cup powder sugar
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1 teaspoon milk
1 drop lemon juice

Except I usually make about 8 cups at a time.  Really thick, then I can just add milk if I need it to be thinner for ‘spilling’ and stuff.  Just grab a bowl, take about a cup of frosting out and then add the food coloring of your choice.

I always do the ‘line and spill’ method.
I make a thin outline of the cookie with a thick frosting (just use less milk).  Then I can go back and ‘spill’ in with a thinned out frosting.


I fill up some cheap pastry bags I get at Michaels and throw on the smallest tip I can find.

*When not using frosting thats in a bag, place bag in a drinking cup with a wet paper towel stuck in the bottom.  Your frosting and tip won’t get all hard and icky.

See that tiny little tip?  The harder your frosting the harder it is to use.  If you’re a beginner, use a really thin frosting.  You won’t have as much control over it, but you also won’t develop carpal tunnel.

Once you have filled in or ‘spilled’ your frosting, and let them sit for a few minutes, you can start decorating.

It was July 4th recently, so I had a pretty specific color pallet.


If you are a brave soul you can use fondant.  I adore this cookie…


…but I cannot stand how fondant tastes, so I don’t dare serve it to anyone.

I will have many more pictures in the next two weeks, as I have 2 very big projects coming up!  Wish me luck!





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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. Once again your talent amazes me!!! They look positively delicious!!! Will you teach me???? This Christmas I will trek up there and the kids can play and we can cook. 🙂
    Have a blessed week!

  2. They look amazing – not heard of sugar cookies – I wonder if we have them here in the disguise of a different name?

  3. YUM, they look delicious!! I love the thicker chewy sugar cookies too, so much better! Wanna make a few dozen next month for Braden’s 1st birthday? 🙂
    Have a wonderful week!

  4. Ooooh……sugar cookies!!!!! I loooooove sugar cookies. Would you think poorly of me if I wanted some for breakfast?
    I’m going to have to print out this post so I can keep it in my recipe box!

  5. If I hadn’t just finished a package of rolos for breakfast, I would be starving right now. Do you really have to keep posting pictures of cravable food?
    I so wish I had the talent in your pinky finger. You really don’t need that one for much do you? Seriously, where did you get the state cookie cutter. That would be so much fun when we’re studing American geography. The puzzle is getting a bit mundane. Have fun with all those cookies for the Mckpicnic. If things weren’t so crazy I would be really tempted to drive up there and meet you!

  6. I always love the pictures of your cookies. You are so creative and talented, look forward to the upcoming projects you’ll be sharing with us too.

  7. Your cookies are beautiful! Thanks for sharing this DIY process. I know I will be trying this soon.

  8. wow, you did an excellent job! Makes me think i can attempt something like that..ha ha yeah right! 😉

  9. I think that comment you left me has to be the best one ive gotten! It was so sweet, and it made me laugh! And i have actually heard that before, so that could be a possibilty! 😉 And thank you thank you thank you for that comment – it truely made my day! You are certainly someone special yourself!

  10. YAY! i love cookie recipes and this is a good one…with icing and all! i might just give em’ a try!!! thanks for sharing!

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