GO PENS! with All-Occasion Sugar Cookies

Pittsburgh Penguins Cookies

After coming painfully close to raising the Cup last year, the Pittsburgh Penguins have earned a rematch with the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup finals, set to begin tomorrow night. This isn’t a sports blog so I won’t bore all of you foodies with the nitty gritty details, except to say I have been a huge hockey fan since I was a kid, I adored Mario Lemiuex, I still have the ’91 and ’92 victory games on VHS tape, and I’m from Pittsburgh. The Steelers won the Super Bowl this year. The Pens winning the Stanley Cup in the same year would be insanely exciting.

Okay, now that I got that out, onto the cookies!

First of all, hardcore Pittsburgh fans will realize that my jerseys look more like Steelers jerseys than Pens jerseys, but I ran out of the lighter shade of yellow, oops. But Black & Gold is Black & Gold, right?

I had wanted to make Steelers decorated sugar cookies for the Super Bowl, but ran out of time, so I decided I definitely needed to make them for the Stanley Cup playoffs. I have a tried-and-true sugar cookie recipe that I always use, but I thought this would be a good time to give another one a try. Who else would I turn to than the dessert guru herself, Dorie Greenspan?


Now, I’ve been making my tried and true recipe for over two years and have always loved it, however I think Dorie’s recipe really takes the cake. Although the cookies spread just a tad more than my previous recipe (most likely due to using butter vs. margarine), the taste is far superior. I also think that the spreading could be minimized by putting the already-cut cookies back in the refrigerator before baking. I don’t think there are really any tricks to this recipe, although I do typically roll my dough a little thicker than the recommended ¼-inch because I like my sugar cookies to be nice and soft and chewy. And these are exactly that!

On a slight aside, why are there no hockey-related cookie cutters? I only found a hockey stick and hockey puck cutter. Boring. If anyone from baking supply companies or the NHL are reading this, team logo cookie cutters would be AWESOME. Pretty please? Football team logo cutters are easy to find.


This was the second time I worked with royal icing and flooding cookies (ironically, the first time I did it was for the Super Bowl). Although it takes some time, I absolutely  love decorating cookies in this way.

UPDATE: I have since posted a step-by-step tutorial on how to decorate sugar cookies with royal icing. CLICK HERE to view the tutorial.

And just for old time’s sake…pens1991
Let’s Go Pens! DO IT!

Edited to add: WE DID IT!!


My Favorite Cookies:
Cucidati (Italian Fig Cookies)
Triple Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Italian Walnut Pillow Cookies
Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Peanut Butter Blossoms

All-Occasion Sugar Cookies

Yield: About 50 2-inch cookies

Prep Time: 30 minutes (active) 2 hour (inactive)

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours


2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Sugar or cinnamon sugar, for dusting (optional)


Whisk the flour, salt and baking powder together.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter at medium speed for a minute or so, until smooth. Beat in the sugar and continue to beat for about 2 minutes, until the mixture is light and pale. Add the egg and yolk and beat for another minute or two; beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and steadily add the flour mixture, mixing only until it has been incorporated - because this dough is best when worked least, you might want to stop the mixer before all the flour is thoroughly blended into the dough and finisht eh job with a rubber spatula. When mixed, the dough will be soft, creamy and malleable.

Turn the dough out onto a counter and divide it in half. If you want to make roll-out cookies, shape each half into a disk and wrap in plastic. If you want to make slice-and-bake cookies, shape each half into a chubby sausage (the diameter is up to you - I usually like cookies that are about 2 inches in diameter) and wrap in plastic. Whether you're going to roll or slice the dough, it must be chilled for at least 2 hours. (Well wrapped, the dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.)

Getting Ready to Bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

If you are making roll-out cookies, working with one packet of dough at a time, roll out the dough between sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper to a thickness of ¼ inch, lifting the plastic or paper and turning the dough over often so that it rolls evenly. Lift off the top sheet of plastic or paper and cut out the cookies - I like a 2-inch round cookie cutter for these. Pull away the excess dough, saving the scraps for rerolling, and carefully lift the rounds onto the baking sheets with a spatula, leaving about 1½ inches between the cookies. (This is a soft dough and you might have trouble peeling away the excess or lifting the cutouts; if so, cover the dough, chill it for about 15 minutes and try again.) After you've rolled and cut the second packet of dough, you can form the scraps into a disk, then chill, roll, cut and bake.

If you are making slice-and-bake cookies, use a sharp thin knife to slice the dough into ¼-inch-thick rounds, and place the rounds on the baking sheets, leaving about 1½ inches between the cookies.

Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 9 to 11 minutes, rotating the sheet at the midpoint. The cookies should feel firm, but they should not color much, if at all. Remove the pan from the oven and dust the cookies with sugar or cinnamon sugar, if you'd like. Let them rest for 1 minute before carefully lifting them onto a rack to cool to room temperature.

Repeat with the remaining dough, cooling the baking sheets between batches.

Storing: The cookies will keep at room temperature in a tin for up to 1 week. Wrapped well, they can be frozen for up to 2 months.

(Source: Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, pages 146-147)


145 Responses to “GO PENS! with All-Occasion Sugar Cookies”

Comment Pages 1 2 3
  1. Heidi(hbkises) on May 29, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    I love them!!! I’ll definitely be doing something similar for my Pens Party tomorrow night..GO PENS!


  2. Michelle on May 29, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    Thanks Heidi! GO PENS!


  3. Andrea (Off Her Cork) on May 29, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    Oh my goodness those are fabbo! Love the pic at the end too. *sniffsniff* What great times!

    Let’s Go Pens!


  4. Michelle on May 29, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    Thanks Andrea! I love that picture at the end too, great times!


  5. Kerstin on May 29, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    They’re adorable – nice job!!


  6. elly on May 29, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    Well, I definitely DON’T like the Pens, but I DO love me some sugar cookies. :) These sound delicious and look really cute. What is a puck cookie cutter? Is that just a circle? Hah.


  7. Nikki on May 29, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    Oh, man. I showed my hubby, and he is insisting I make some Red Wings cookies tomorrow to retaliate. We are supposed to have people over to watch the game,so I just might. Its such a cute idea!


  8. Michelle on May 29, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    Elly, I was waiting to see if you were going to comment 😉 The puck cookie cutter – yeah, a small circle. So lame.


  9. Michelle on May 29, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Haha Nikki, bring on the retaliation! Let me know if you make them and post them, I’d love to see them!


  10. Jaclyn on May 29, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    These are so cute! I’m a huge hockey fan (MrsSRH from the Nest) and made something similar (little Buffalo Sabres jerseys) for my hubby’s surprise 30th birthday party. I’ll definitely be rooting for the Pens in the finals! I’m an Eastern conference girl.


  11. Steph on May 29, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    There aren’t too many hockey fans out there…everyone seems to be crazy about basketball. I was kind of sad when Washington (I love Ovechkin.. puck hog or not…haha) lost to Pittsburgh, but having a rematch of last years final is going to be exciting. It would be nice if Pittsburgh won.. Marian Hossa will be crying..haha


  12. Elyse on May 29, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    These sugar cookies are precious! Go Penguins. I’m sure they’ll do great with sugar cookies like these “sending” them positive vibes. Seriously, I’d love to munch on a few of these right now; they look so great.


  13. Kiara on May 30, 2009 at 1:43 am

    Great looking cookies, not so great choice of team 😛
    (Caps fan here, haha)
    Hopefully next year I can try a red white and blue version, hehe.


  14. Avanika(YumsiliciousBakes) on May 30, 2009 at 7:45 am

    These are soo cute. I haven’t used RI before, so I’m waiting for your next post. And are special hockey puck cutters available? Wouldn’t a circle cutter be the same? 😛


  15. Patty on May 30, 2009 at 9:35 am

    It’s too bad that Goligoski has been out! I always like watching players from my alma mater, the U of MN! They look fabulous!


  16. Cookin' Canuck on May 30, 2009 at 9:40 am

    Adorable cookies! Go Pens! I am a Vancouver Canucks fan, but am happy to cheer for the Pens in the finals.


  17. CookiePie on May 30, 2009 at 10:05 am

    Those are adorable!!!


  18. Carolyn Jung on May 30, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    Two words: Totally Adorable! 😉


  19. Andrea on May 30, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    I love these, well the jersey cookies that is! I’ve been doing Red Wings sugar cookies this weekend and was thinking about posting about them, too funny :) I can’t wait until 8:00 tonight!


  20. ThigpensRevenge on May 31, 2009 at 1:22 am

    These are just brilliant!


  21. Susan on May 31, 2009 at 10:44 am

    These are adorable! It’s great to see some Penguins fans!


  22. Tiffanyh on May 31, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    I was not in the GREATEST mood this morning after last night’s game, but this post lifted my spirits! I am going to make them for tonight’s game – hopefully with a better outcome!! GOOOO PENS!!!!


  23. Danielle on May 31, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    Crosby is misspelled, it’s CRIES-BY.


  24. Danielle on May 31, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    Very cute cookies though! I think I need to make some, but they’ll be Capitals ones :)


  25. Madeline on May 31, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    Okay, so I’m an Oilers fan but that didn’t do me any good this year now did it or last or, nevermind 😉 but these cookies are so great! Maybe I’ll be lucky enough to make them next year. Until then, Go Pens!


  26. Michelle on May 31, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    Thanks for all of the comments… even if not everyone likes the Pens :)


  27. Betsy on May 31, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    Found your blog from foodgawker – I’m a Pittsburgher and I love these!! :)


  28. Jane on June 2, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    I really enjoy your blog,(Go, Wings!) have been following and lurking for quite some time (Go, Wings!) and wanted you to know that I’ll be (Go, Wings!) trying your hockey jerseys (Red, of course) cookies very soon (as soon as the Detroit Redwings win the title back). Good thing I have plenty of red food coloring!
    Let the octopi fly and may the best team wing, er, I mean, win!



  29. Si on June 4, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    beautiful cookies! We are huge Utah Utes fans, I’m thinking my kids would love these at a tailgate party! love the instructional idea. great post!


  30. Stanly Cup = Detroit on June 8, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    These are really cute, but I think they’d be better in red and white, with some different names. Still, nice job!


  31. chenyin on June 26, 2009 at 5:46 am

    what u mean by 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter?


  32. Michelle on June 29, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    Chenyin – One stick of butter is equal to 8 tablespoons, so the total butter needed for the recipe is 10 tablespoons, or 1 whole stick and 1/4 of another stick.


  33. chenyin on July 3, 2009 at 5:52 am

    that means before i roll out the cookies i need to wrap in plastic and put into refrigeratior for 2hrs?


  34. Michelle on July 5, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    Chenyin – Yep, you are correct. Once the dough is made, you’ll want to form it into two disks, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before you roll it out.


  35. Jami on January 4, 2010 at 1:18 am

    These are so cute! I am still looking for a really good cut-out sugar cookie recipe. Would you say these hold their shape very well? Thanks!


  36. Michelle on January 4, 2010 at 10:02 am

    Hi Jami,

    I would say it depends. They do not hold a perfect shape and do spread slightly. However, I have found that the thinner you roll the dough before cutting, the better they hold their shape. The slight spreading never really bothers me since there is such detailed decorations on top and you can use outlining to set up the shape. Hope that makes sense and let me know if you have any other questions!


  37. Natalie on February 25, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    Hey, I was wondering- how much do you think a reasonable price for 30/40(or 1)of these or any general cookie could be? Thanks!


  38. happyland on February 26, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    i don’t want to buy parchment or silicone mats can i just apply butter on the tray?


  39. Mary on March 6, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Oh my goodness, these are the perfect sugar cookies! I have been searching for the right one, something soft and chewy but that holds its shape. THIS IS IT! I’m so excited; I was about to give up, after about 10 different recipes. It seemed like either they ended up too soft or too crunchy, but these are just right! I am wanting to get into cookie decorating as a hobby, and I have finally found my cookie base! THANK YOU!! Now on to trying the icing 😉


  40. Mary on March 6, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    Oh, and a tip for those who were asking; I found it much faster to go ahead and roll out the dough between wax paper or saran wrap before chilling, then chill in fridge as a rolled out layer (still between paper). I found that it gave me more time to get the cookies cut and keep them firm to put them on the cookie sheet. if needed, I stuck the cut cookies back in the fridge to firm them up a little before transferring. Was able to chill rolled out dough much faster than as a ball! Thanks again!


  41. Linda on April 11, 2010 at 7:36 am

    I made these and they were soooo amazing xD but the thing is my cookies (roll-out, particularly) always seem to turn out lumpy and not so much smooth. How do I prevent this? Should I add the baking powder in with the wet ingredients first to help distribute it better or…?


  42. Michelle on April 14, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Adorable cookies from a true Pittsburgh Penquin fan!


  43. maggy on April 15, 2010 at 8:03 am

    Ha! These are fantastic. You always make me jealous with your baking skillz.


  44. Gina Florez on April 22, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    LOVE the cookies!
    I will try this icing recipe.
    I’m from the Burgh too, LET’S GO PENS!


  45. ashley on July 11, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    okay these cookies taste amazing!! but they were really pokey!! i was having to roll it out then cut them out then chill it then peel away the extra and chilling that ,then repeating the cutting out and chilling etc etc
    plus i didnt get even close to 50 cookies but i think mine were bigger than 2 inch. this was my first attempt and since the flavor of this cookie is so great i will be trying to perfect the process!! also my first time using your step by step royal icing guide it went pretty well!! will need to practice that as well tho!! thanks for all the great posts! keep um coming!


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  47. Adelaide on July 27, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    I love your ideas and thanks for the wonderful cookie recipe. I have one tip that I didn’t see in your narrative. When I go to roll out the cookie dough, I do it on a large cutting board(one that will fit in the fridge). By the time I realize the dough is sticking, it’s too late and I have to scrape it off the counter. When I roll it out on the floured board and it gets to warm, I just throw the whole thing in the fridge and take a break.

    Thanks again!


  48. vonda on August 31, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Hi, I love your cookies. I used your tutorial on royal icing it helped so much. I made little V.W. bug tie dye cookies for my husbands work crew they loved them. But I used a store pack of cookie mix you just add a few things to. I was now ready to make my own dough from scratch. It was a flop, the cookies tasted like flour and were not sweet at all. I used the all occasion sugar cookie recipe. Is their a flour that is better for cookies? It is not just this recipe I have failed at, it is all cookie recipes. I would really like to get this right. Could you give me any clues where I went wrong? Thank you


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  50. mayya on December 20, 2010 at 12:56 pm


    Do you use icing sugar? Which type of sugar is used? thankyou!!!


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