No-Spread Brown Sugar Cookies

Finally! A cutout cookie that will hold its shape and tastes good, too! Easy and versatile, the possibilities are endless. Recipe from The Cake Contessa.

“The problem most people have with making iced cutout cookies isn’t sticky icing, it’s the cookie itself.,” says Lanette of The Cake Contessa. “If you’re making cutout cookies, it’s important to use a recipe where the dough won’t spread, or your pretty cutouts won’t look anything like you intended."

This no-spread recipe is sure to tickle the palettes of everyone at your table. Add food coloring to your favorite icing recipe and decorate away.

1 cup light brown sugar
½ cup cornstarch
3 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into ¼-inch pieces
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract


1. Combine brown sugar, cornstarch, flour and salt in a mixer bowl; stir well. Drop in butter and mix on low speed until the mixture is coarse and crumbly. Stop mixing as soon as the dough starts to come together. Add vanilla and mix until combined, 20 to 30 seconds.
2. Scrape half of dough from bowl onto a sheet of parchment paper and roll the dough out ¼ inch thick. Lift parchment paper onto a rimmed baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Repeat with remaining piece of dough. Chill both baking sheets in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove baking sheets from the refrigerator. Using a sharp knife or cookie cutter, cut the dough into desired shapes. Place cookies on baking sheet. Each sheet of cookie dough should yield about 16 cookies. Place one sheet of cookies in the refrigerator while baking the other.
4. Bake cookies, one sheet at a time, on center rack of oven for 20 to 25 minutes each. Cool on the baking sheet for at least 20 minutes, then dust with confectioners’ sugar, or decorate with icing.