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Our Star Spangled Sugar Cookies are a festive addition to any July 4th party menu!
When it comes to summertime celebrations – July 4th is one of my favorite holidays. A lazy summer day spent relaxing with family and friends, eating great food, and finally – watching fireworks at night.
Our hometown of Plymouth, Massachusetts puts on a great fireworks show every year over the harbor, and it attracts a fun and very patriotic crowd! And although July 4th is still a few weeks away, I’m already getting in the celebratory mood with these sweet Star Spangled Sugar Cookies.
These Star Spangled Sugar Cookies are made with one of the most forgiving cookie doughs I’ve ever baked with. It mixes up easily, rolls out smoothly, and it doesn’t get tough when handled. We used a 2 ½-inch star-shaped cookie cutter for all of our cookies, but this recipe will work with any cookie cutter you choose.
These sweet sugar cookies bake up soft but firm, and we simply decorated the tops with a dip into a sweet and creamy white icing. Then we drizzled red and royal blue icing in a decorative pattern over the white-dipped cookies to complete the red, white and blue patriotic color scheme.
I kept the decoration on these Star Spangled Sugar Cookies very simple (cookie decorating is not at all one of my strong suits!) but feel free to get as elaborate as you want with the icing decoration.
One last note: The icing on these Star Spangled Sugar Cookies takes several hours to set up once decorated, so please plan your baking schedule accordingly. Baking and icing the cookies a day ahead of time is recommended.
2½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 whole eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
2½ cups confectioner’s sugar
¼ to ½ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Red food coloring
Royal Blue food coloring
In a medium to large bowl, sift the flour, salt and baking powder and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter with sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
Add the eggs and vanilla and mix to combine.
With the mixer running, slowly add the flour mixture until combined.
Place the dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for about an hour to firm it up so that it can be rolled. (If left refrigerated too long, it will become too hard to roll and will need to soften a bit at room temperature.)
While the dough is chilling, make the icing.
Place the butter in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and beat until light and fluffy.
Alternate adding confectioner’s sugar and milk until smooth and creamy. (You may not need all of the milk.)
With the mixer running, drizzle in the vanilla then beat to combine into a smooth liquidy icing.
Remove one cup of the icing and divide into two bowls (1/2 cup of icing each). Mix one with the red food coloring and the other with blue food color. Set aside. Set the remaining white icing aside as well.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Flour a piece of parchment and place half the dough in the center. Flour the top and flatten with your hands, dust with flour again then place a second piece of parchment over the top.
Using a rolling pin, roll to ¼ inch thick over the top of the parchment.
Remove top parchment and set aside to use on the second half.
Using a 2½-inch star cookie cutter, press into the dough and make as many as you can. Pull away the extra scraps and set aside then pick up each star and place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Place as many as you can on each sheet, as they do not spread.
Bake eight minutes and remove from oven.
Slip parchment onto cooling racks.
Repeat for second half of dough.
Roll up scraps and repeat with more stars. Keep reusing scraps until you have none left. The dough does not get tough if reused.
After all of the cookies are baked and cooled, set up a sheet tray with a rack and begin dipping each cookie face down into the icing only covering the top, then invert onto the rack. Repeat for all of the cookies.
Place the red and the blue icing into separate small pastry bags. Cut a small tip cut off the end of each bag and drizzle over the tops of each cookie.
Allow the cookies to sit uncovered until complexly set and no longer wet, about 3-4 hours. (Don’t cover pans with plastic until they are completely dry.) Once set, then you can stack them or cover them or store them without them sticking to each other. Store in the refrigerator in an air tight container.
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