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Cardamom Sugar Cookies With Royal Icing

The best-ever holiday cookie
Cardamom Sugar Cookies
Courtesy of West of the Loop

Sometimes you just have to bake a batch of old-fashioned cut-out sugar cookies, don’t you? These are my favorite sugar cookies, scented with just a hint of cardamom.

Recipe courtesy of West of the Loop


For the Cookies:

  • 6 Ounces unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 Cups granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 Cups flour
  • 1/4 Teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 egg at room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

For the Icing:

  • 2 1/4 Cups powdered sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 Teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract


For the Cookies:

Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and cardamom in a small bowl and whisk together. Set aside.

Add the egg and vanilla extract to the butter-sugar mixture and mix until well-combined.

Gradually add the flour to the standing mixer, scraping down the sides as necessary.

Continue to mix until the dough begins to come together in a ball.

Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least three hours or overnight.

To bake, preheat the oven to 350 and line baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat baking mats.

Allow the dough to come to room temperature.

Flour a board or pastry mat and a rolling pin.

Roll the dough out to ¼-inch thickness, turning frequently and adding more flour as necessary to prevent sticking.

Cut out shapes using cookie cutters.

Transfer the shapes to cookie sheets.

Be sure to gather the scraps of dough and roll them out again. If the dough gets too soft, pop it back in the refrigerator for a half-hour or so.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown.

Cool cookies completely on wire racks prior to decorating.

For the Icing:

Combine the powdered sugar, egg whites, cream of tartar and vanilla in the bowl of a standing mixer and whip using the whisk attachment on high speed until glossy and the mixture holds stiff peaks.

Transfer the icing to a squeeze bottle or piping bag to decorate the cookies.

Allow icing to harden before putting cookies in tins or plastic containers.