Decorative Sugar Cookies – Jaladay Style

Happy Jaladays! As gifts this year, I decided to make jalapeño-shaped cookies for my clients. As fate would have it the stars aligned, and Etsy delivered, so I was able to get an adorable custom cookie cutter in the shape of my logo from The Fussy Pup, as well as custom cookie tins from the wonderfully patient Mad for Monograms shop.

And though I’ve made decorative sugar cookies before, I decided to try out a new recipe for the hell of it. The plus side was this was pretty much calculated to be 1.5 times the other recipe I had, so it yielded more cookies for the batch! I found this courtesy of a Buzzfeed List on Twitter. The link for #4 went to Half Baked Harvest’s Vanilla Bean Christmas Sugar Cookies, and minus the vanilla bean (which I didn’t have on hand) I followed the recipe exactly. Minus my hatred of, and impatience for, rolling out cookie dough, they were super easy to make and turned out incredible.

COOKIE CUTTER SUGAR COOKIES – made 40 narrow 4+” jalapeño cookies (Should make about 4 dozen 3″ cookies from a cutter, or 5 dozen slice and bake cookies)

  • 1.5 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 1.25 cups granulated sugar
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 4.5 cups AP flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

No need to preheat the oven just yet, because the dough will need to chill in the fridge for at least an hour before baking. I prepped this before work the other morning so it’d be ready when I got home.

In a medium bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients – flour, baking soda and salt. Cream together your butter and sugar in your mixer until they become light and fluffy. Then add in your eggs and vanilla, and mix until incorporated.

I find it easier to add the dry ingredients in 2 batches so that the powder doesn’t fly everywhere. After the first batch, just mix enough so that there’s not so much loose flour everywhere. Don’t incorporate completely until you’ve added the second batch, so as not to over-mix the dough.


When that’s set, separate your dough into 2 batches and flatten into round discs on plastic wrap for the chilling. If you’re using this to slice and bake, roll the dough into two 10″ logs, and wrap each in aluminum foil. Half Baked Harvest recommends wrapping it in a few layers of foil so that the dough doesn’t flatten on the bottom after sitting in the fridge.


When your dough is ready to roll out, remove it from the fridge and preheat your oven to 350ºF. I wish I had better directions for you on rolling out dough, but make sure to flour the surface and the rolling pin and otherwise say a prayer and prepare to swear a lot, if you’re me. Ultimately, you’ll want it to be at 1/4″ thickness and still in one piece.

These cookies won’t spread a lot, so you can bake them about an inch apart on a cookie sheet. For soft cookies she recommended baking for 8 minutes, but I kept them in for 10 so they would hold the frosting in the end.

Let them cool completely before attempting to ice. I used royal icing, which basically was powdered sugar, food coloring, a tablespoon of lime juice (didn’t have lemons) and some extra water for consistency. For tips on using royal icing, you’ll want two batches of the icing. One thicker, one more watery. Pipe the thicker icing around the edges of your cookie, then let it dry for about half an hour, and finally flood the cookie with your more watered-down frosting to fill in the gaps.


The results in my case were adorable jalapeño cookies that tasted like pure happiness. I would definitely recommend this recipe to anyone looking for a simple but tasty shortbread sugar cookie base.

What shapes are you making this jaladay season?





  1. Jessie-these look amazing! Yours came out so cute. If I hadn’t already made sugar cookies yesterday, I’d be making a batch right now! I really enjoyed reading your post and looking at the pictures. Xo, Em

  2. Wow! You’re so talented – they look great! I’ll have to try that sugar cookie recipe. 🙂

  3. Wow! So cute!!

    Aki (Your Home for Homemade Japanese Food)

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