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Decorated Sugar Cookies

Decorated Sugar Cookies

These cookies are great for any occasion. Use the same recipe and change up the shapes and colors to match whatver holiday you are celebrating! 

  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 large cookies


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 egg
  • 1 recipe Royal Icing


  • Place a fine mesh sieve or a sifter over a medium mixing bowl and add flour and salt. Sift into bowl and set aside.

  • In a mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar; using a handheld mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar together until mixture is light in color and has a fluffy texture. Scrape down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula, then add vanilla extract, lemon zest, and egg. Beat until blended, 1 or 2 minutes longer. On low speed, gradually add sifted flour and salt, mixing until just blended.

  • Remove the dough from bowl and divide into 2 balls. Place each portion of dough between 2 pieces of waxed or parchment paper and roll into 5-inch-diameter disks. Place dough on baking sheets and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.

  • When you are ready to roll and bake cookies, preheat oven to 350  degrees F. Line a baking sheet with silicone liners or parchment paper. Place 1 disk of cookie dough onto a work surface and remove top sheet of paper. Lightly dust surface of dough with flour. Starting from center, roll out dough to an even thickness of 1/8 inch. Using decorative cookie cutters, cut dough directly on parchment paper. Use a spatula to transfer dough to lined baking sheet. Place cookies at least 1/2 inch apart.

  • Gather dough scraps and reroll them to make additional cookies. Only reroll dough once.

  • Bake cookies 1 sheet at a time for 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies are golden around edges and firm to the touch. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. To frost cookies, prepare a recipe of Royal Icing and decorate as desired.

  • Cook's Note: The cookies can be stored in resealable plastic containers or cookie tins for up to 1 week.

Recipe Details