These no-chill cut-out sourdough sugar cookies blend the tangy notes of sourdough discard with the sweet flavor of traditional sugar cookies. They bake perfectly with crisp, clean edges, yet have a soft tender bite.
Why I Love This Recipe
I have a special fondness for these sugar cookies, inspired by the delightful roll-out cookie recipe from my sweet friend Sara at Sara’s Cookie Corner. They have a buttery tender bite, a slight tang, and just the perfect level of sweetness. They won’t fluff up or spread in the oven, and they will come out with clean sharp edges every time. What’s more, they’re incredibly easy, requiring no chilling time. This recipe is a fantastic way to put your extra sourdough discard to good use during the holiday season.
This cut-out sourdough sugar cookie recipe is perfect for the holidays because it makes a-lot of cookies! Pair them with other sourdough discard cookies like sourdough chocolate chip cookies, sourdough snickerdoodles, sourdough oatmeal cookies and soft sourdough gingerbread cookies to make the perfect holiday cookie lineup.
These cookies are made with sourdough discard. If you’re not sure what sourdough discard is, go take a look my How to Make a Sourdough Starter post to learn how to make your own sourdough starter. Sourdough discard helps to make these cookies oh so chewy, and adds a slight tang that makes them irresistible.
Sourdough Cookie Ingredients
Making sourdough sugar cookies is incredibly simple, and requires only a few simple ingredients. In fact, you may have everything you need on hand!
- Butter – You have the flexibility to use either salted or unsalted butter for this recipe. Whichever option you prefer, it’s important to ensure that your butter is at room temperature.
- Sugar – You can’t have sugar cookies without the sugar! Sugar makes your cookies sweet, but also plays a crucial role in achieving their soft and chewy texture.
- Egg – Egg act as a binding agent, helping to hold the ingredients together and providing structure to the cookie dough. Use room a temperature egg for best results.
- Sourdough Discard – Sourdough discard is added to this recipe to add a distinct and tangy sourdough taste. This recipe calls for 100% hydration sourdough discard, but will also work with active sourdough starter.
- Vanilla – Vanilla extract enhances the flavor of the cookies. Choose real vanilla over imitation to ensure the best flavor and cleanest ingredients.
- Salt – Salt helps to enhance the flavors in the cookies. If you’re using salted butter, you can skip adding additional salt.
- Flour – I highly recommend using unbleached all-purpose flour for this recipe. Unbleached flour is a great choice as it retains more natural nutrients and has a slightly higher protein content compared to bleached flour. This can result in better texture and structure for your cookies.
- Cornstarch – Cornstarch prevents these cookies from spreading and ensures they come out with clean edges. Cornstarch also helps prevent over-browning of the cookies.
How to Get The Perfect Cookies
Use Room Temperature Butter – Using cold butter will yield dense cookies that don’t expand properly, while melted butter will cause your cookies to spread and lose their shape. So, achieving the perfect texture and thickness relies on having your butter at the right temperature. To test if the butter is ready, simply press your finger into it. If it easily goes through without resistance, it’s good to go.
Measure the Flour – To avoid hard crumbly cookies, make sure your flour is measured out correctly. To do this, spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level it off, ensuring it doesn’t become packed, or weigh the flour for exact measurements.
Don’t Over Roll – Rolling the cookie dough out too many times will lead to excessive gluten development, resulting in tough shrivled looking cookies. Try to cut as many cookies out as the space allows to avoid having to re-roll the scraps too many times.
Don’t Over Cook – When you take the cookies out of the oven, they may appear pale and undercooked. It’s important to resist the temptation to cook them longer. The cookies will continue to cook for a few minutes after being removed from the oven. Allow them to cool for 10-15 minutes, before transferring them to a cooling rack to set up and finish cooling.
How to Make Cut-Out Sourdough Sugar Cookies
Step 1: Mix the Dough
Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F (180°C).
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the sugar and softened butter until it is light and fluffy.
Add the sourdough discard, egg, vanilla extract, and salt. Stir until fully combined.
Sift in the flour and cornstarch, mixing until just combined. Then, gently knead the dough until it takes on a smooth play-doh like consistency.
Step 2: Roll and Cut the Cookies
Turn the cookie dough onto a well floured work surface and roll it to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Then, use your preferred cookie cutters to cut out as many cookies as the space allows.
Once you’ve cut out the cookies, it’s possible to collect the leftover dough scraps and roll them out again. But, it’s best to limit re-rolling as much as possible. Each time you roll out the dough, it encourages gluten development, which may result in cookies that are tough and shrink slightly during baking.
Step 3: Bake
Arrange the cut cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake on the middle rack of a 350°F (180°C) preheated oven for 9-11 minutes.
Once done, transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and let them cool for 15 minutes.
Step 4: Frost
To make the frosting combine the water, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar in a medium sized mixing bowl. Stir until the mixture is smooth without any lumps, and incorporate your preferred food colorings if desired.
Allow the frosting to set up at room temperature for 20 minutes, or 10 minutes in the fridge to speed things up.
Storing Cut Out Sourdough Sugar Cookies
How do I store sugar cookie dough? After mixing, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours, or in the freezer for up to two weeks. Once you are ready to use it simply bring your dough to room temperature and roll it out.
How do I store frosted sugar cookies? Store frosted cookies in an air tight container at room temperature for up to 5 days, or in the fridge for up to two weeks.