The Just-Right Recipe for Cookie Cutter Cookies

Nick M Cook BookI have tried a variety of cookie dough recipes, to make rolled cookies; some are not flavorful, some have to be refrigerated in between rolling and cutting, and there are those that lose their shape between cutting, when transferring the uncooked cookie to the cookie sheet.

I’m sharing this just-right, rolled cookie dough recipe, which I’ve adapted from Nick Malgieri. It’s called Accidental Cookie Dough. This recipe comes from Cookies Unlimited by Nick Malgieri. I’ve made the recipe twice and pretty happy with it, as it makes for an easy cookie cutter dough. I found that I didn’t even need to refrigerate the dough, as suggested, before rolling it between two pieces of lightly floured wax paper.

I adapted this recipe in a couple of ways.

  1. SUGAR: The first time I made the recipe, I found it to lack sweetness. I thought perhaps the amount of sugar was a typo, so I emailed Nick Malgieri. He was gracious in his response, informing me the recipe is accurate, and because of the ratios, he said adding a bit more sugar would work. I replaced 1/3 of a cup with 1/2 of a cup of sugar, per his suggestion.
  2. Shortening AND Butter: The recipe calls for 12 Tablespoons of butter. I replaced four of the tablespoons of butter with Crisco shortening. I like the result of the cookies, as they kept their shape remained tender and taste good. Even though I am butter-all-the-way, I am learning that science is big part of baking to get the best result.
  3. ADD MILKPicture2: After the last half-cup of flour was added to the dough, I found it to be a bit crumbly, so I added 2 tablespoons of milk, at a time, mixing in between to see the result. The cookie dough was then ready to chill or roll out.

TIP: I used an adjustable rolling pin (Thank you Chef Celeste) and rolled the dough to 1/6” (4 mm thick).

Rolling Pin


Accidental Cookie Dough: Nick Malgieri

Adapted by Debbie Brandt aka Deedee


  • 8 tablespoons (one stick) unsalted butter softened
  • 4 tablespoons of shortening
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I use vanilla bean paste and I added ¼ teaspoon almond extract)
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 1/2 cups of flour


Preheat oven to 325 Degrees F

  1. In a bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with a paddle, mix butter, shortening, sugar, salt and vanilla extract, on medium speed, until very soft and fluffy. About 4-5 minutes.
  2. Beat in one egg yolk at a time, beating after each addition.
  3. Lower the speed and add in the flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Continue beating until the flour is completely absorbed. If the dough seems crumbly, add 1 tablespoon of milk at a time, until the dough comes together.
  4. Remove the dough from the bowl and turn onto a wooden board. Knead into a mound. Then cut the dough into two pieces and wrap each in plastic, until ready to roll.

NOTE: The recipe suggests that the dough be refrigerated for an hour, but I found that be too long. When you’re ready to roll the dough, it may need to sit out about 10 minutes to be pliable and not crack

5. Roll gently, to about 1/6” thick; cut with desired cookie cutters.

6. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes at 325 Degrees F, until light golden brown.

TIP: I do all my baking on cookie sheets with silicon baking liners.

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