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Desserts | January 27, 2024

Cutler’s Famous Glazed Sugar Cookies

This recipe originally posted February 2014, updated with new content and photos January 2024

Cutler's Famous Glazed Sugar Cookies
Cutler’s Glazed Sugar Cookie Recipe made at home!

Cutler’s Famous Glazed Sugar Cookies have become a sentimental favorite for Bountiful residents over the years! If you are from Davis County, Utah, you’ve probably eaten at one of the Cutler’s locations. They specialize in cookies, and this is one of their original crowd pleasers! This is the original recipe from my friends Curt and Nancy Cutler, handed down from Curt’s mother, Sandra who founded Cutler’s in 1980.

Valentines decorations

History of Cutler’s Cookies in Bountiful, Utah

I love to hear the history behind a restaurant, especially one that has been around for years! Cutler’s opened in 1980 and was supposed to be a temporary place for Sandra Cutler to sell cookies during the Christmas season. Cutler’s Cookies has blossomed into an Utah icon over the years. Sandra’s first location was only open until the spring of 1981, when the family moved away for another work opportunity. They returned in 1984; it was then that Sandra found a building on Main Street in Bountiful, which was remodeled (by her sons who were in the construction business) into the first permanent Cutler’s location. Sandra loved to bake and all of her recipes are all self developed.

I asked Curt (who took over his mom’s shop years later) where she got the inspiration to sell cookies back in 1980? I mean, now it seems there is a cookie shop (or 2 or 3) in every town, but it was not common back in the 80’s! He said she read an article in a magazine that gave her the idea and she decided to go with her inspiration. Her family supported her idea and over 40 years later, they are one of THE OG cookie bakers in Utah.

How to glaze sugar cookies
Curt explaining how to properly dip the glazed Cutler’s cookies

What makes the best sugar cookie? That’s a highly personal question! Sugar cookies are a matter of preference. Some like sugar cookies that are crisp without any frosting or glaze. Some love them smothered with a thick layer of buttercream. I’m a buttercream fan myself, but this particular recipe with a light glaze and just a hint of almond is out of this world amazing! If you love soft, buttery sugar cookies that are not too sweet, this is your cookie.

How to cut out sugar cookies
cutting out sugar cookies

Use Cake Flour for the Softest Sugar Cookies

Cutler’s uses cake flour in their cookies, which is a game changer, especially in sugar cookies! If you’ve made sugar cookies, you know one of the big problems when cutting the dough are the scraps of dough that toughen each time they are rolled and cut! The cake flour takes care of this issue, so no worries about cardboard-like treats as you cut out the last few cookies! When I asked Curt about the inspiration for cake flour in cookies he said it was discovered when they were experimenting with different flours back in the 5-Points Mall days!

Plate of Valentine's Sugar Cookies
Cutler’s Sugar Cookie recipe

Cake flour is a great option for sugar cookies because cake flour produces a more tender, cake-like cookie than all purpose flour. The original recipe I received from Curt called for 5 cups of cake flour. After experimenting with this recipe over the years, I adjusted the cake flour to 3 cups and used 2 cups of all-purpose flour, to equal 5 cups of flour, total.

I found that combining the cake and all purpose flour results in a dough that is not too soft and takes care of any issues with the cookie dough spreading too much while baking, but still produces a soft, and not too cake-like cookie!

Decorating cookies for Valentines Day

I first posted Curt’s sugar cookie recipe with buttercream frosting in February of 2012, but after many requests for the glazed version, I asked Curt if he could come over and show me exactly how the glazed cookies are made at Cutler’s bakery. He agreed and we had an afternoon of shaping dough, baking and decorating. My daughter Corrine, granddaughter Ani, friend Mel and Cathy from the bakery came to join in the fun!

Easy Dip and Drip Method for Glazing Sugar Cookies

Below I show the method I personally use most often, which is simply separate the glaze into two pie plates or shallow bowls, color one of the glazes pale pink, leave the other white. Dip, and let excess drip back into pan. If the glaze gets too thick, thin a bit by whisking in a bit of milk or water.

How do you apply glaze to sugar cookies?

Since there were so many requests about the glaze, how to make it, how it is applied, etc., I thought you might like to see the method Cutler’s uses to glaze cookies a whole pan at a time. Their secret is a stainless steel pan you’ll find in the hardware store. It looks like this (below) and costs just a few dollars- some call it a trowel pan or a spackle pan, I think it looks like a mini-trough! Over the years readers have told me they use other long baking pans, a loaf pan or even a 9×13 pan (this is my favorite) to pour the glaze over the cookies.

Cutler's Famous Glazed Sugar Cookies (step by step)
Cookies on cooling rack, ready for glaze…
Cutler's Famous Glazed Sugar Cookies (step by step)
This is where the magic happens!
Cutler's Famous Glazed Sugar Cookies (step by step)
Cooling rack set inside of baking pan to catch extra glaze

Step-by-Step How to Glaze Sugar Cookies

  • Step one. Gather all of the ingredients together for the cookie dough, glaze and decorating. Gather all baking tools as well (spatula for scraping glaze, pan for pouring glaze, cookie sheets, parchment paper, sprinkles).
  • Line baking pans with parchment paper.
  • Roll the dough to about 1/4 inch thick, make sure there is plenty of flour on the surface, or the dough will stick.
  • Cut out shapes with cookie cutter. Remember that part about generously flouring surface? If you don’t flour the surface enough, you may need to use a spatula or bench scraper to get the cookies into the baking pan!
  • After baking, remove from oven and let cool completely.
  • Make the glaze in a large bowl according to recipe and fill the mini-trough or 9×13 with glaze. Double the glaze recipe if you are pouring the glaze. If you are not using the trough/pouring method, and simply dip the cookies into glaze, a single recipe will be just the right amount.
  • Before glazing the cooled cookies, line a baking pan with a clean sheet of parchment paper to catch the excess glaze. The excess glaze can easily be scraped back into the pan and poured again. Set a cooling rack inside of the baking pan (see photo).
  • Place the cookies on top of the cooling rack, inside of a lined baking pan. This is the method Curt uses to cover all of the cookies at one time.
  • If you don’t want to purchase a spackle pan (mini-trough), simply mix the glaze in a bowl or even a pie plate, dip the cookie into the glaze and gently scrape any excess icing off or let it drip off, and allow to set up. Don’t forget to hurry and throw on some sprinkles before the glaze dries!
Sugar Cookies from Cutler's

Of course, the easiest way to enjoy a Cutler’s Cookie is to hop in the car and drive over to Cutler’s and get your cookie fresh from their bakery! The Cutler’s crew sell about 500 dozen (6,000) heart shaped cookies the week of Valentine’s, not counting the pink frosted or other cookies sold as well.

Valentine cookie sprinkles

Hope your Valentine’s Day is filled with all things sweet, my friends!

Cutler's Famous Glazed Sugar Cookies (step by step)




5 from 3 votes
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Cutler’s Famous Glazed Sugar Cookies

Cutler’s Cookies, Bountiful Utah
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cookies, Cutler’s Cookies, glaze, sugar cookies, Valentine’s Day
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 42 minutes
Servings 36 -48 (3 inch) cookies

Ingredients

cookies:

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • sprinkles for topping cookies
  • parchment paper optional

glaze:

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond emulsion or almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon meringue powder
  • milk or water to thin Curt prefers milk (about 1/2 cup)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees or 325 convection and set rack in center of oven. Line baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.

cookies:

  1. Mix butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or large bowl until smooth.

  2. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until blended well.

  3. Add dry ingredients to the bowl and mix on low, pulsing the mixture a few times, and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure the ingredients are mixed well.

  4. Generously flour a clean surface and rolling pin. Divide dough in half. Roll 1/2 of the dough to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut cookies into desired shapes.

  5. Place the cookies onto baking sheet and bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.

  6. Cookies are done when top is set and no longer looks wet. Edges may be slightly golden. Let cool completely.

  7. When cookies are cooled, dip into glaze or pour over the top. Top with sprinkles immediately. Let the glaze cool completely before serving. To store cookies, place in container and separate layers with parchment after set.

glaze:

  1. Place powdered sugar in a large bowl. Add almond emulsion or almond extract and meringue powder to the powdered sugar.

  2. Add milk or water, a little at a time whisking to combine. Add food coloring and whisk until color is evenly distributed.

  3. Dip the cookie into the glaze, allow excess glaze to drip back into the bowl or pan. A spatula may be used to scrape excess glaze off of the cookie. The pour-over method described in recipe post may also be used. Decorate with sprinkles immediately after glazing.

  4. Place cookies on rack or cookie sheet until glaze sets.

Recipe Notes

  • I find that making the dough one day and then cutting, baking and decorating another day makes this a much easier process! The dough may be refrigerated for up to 3 days. The dough also freezes well for several months. When ready to use refrigerated dough, set on counter for 30-60 minutes before rolling out and shaping. 
  • To make your own cake flour: Measure 1 cup of all purpose flour into a medium size mixing bowl. Remove 2 tablespoons of the flour and place back in the flour container. Add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to the flour in mixing bowl. Sift the flour and cornstarch mixture. Sift again about 3-4 more times. Place in a bag or container, measure and use as needed.
  • Almond emulsion is sold at specialty cooking stores (Orson Gygi’s in Salt Lake City) or stores where cake decorating supplies are sold. You may also use almond extract.
  • Meringue powder is also sold at specialty cooking stores and can also be found at many grocery stores or craft stores. Cutler’s uses meringue powder to create a shiny effect on their glaze. It is optional when making the glaze. The same amount of cream of tartar in place of the meringue powder  may also be used to create the shiny effect.
  • I have noticed the shiniest effect for glaze seems to come when using the combo of water (instead of milk) and meringue powder in the glaze.
  • If the glaze starts to get too stiff, add a small amount of water and whisk in until desired consistency.
  • The hot pink color is achieved through using a food coloring purchased through Michaels or (in Utah) at Orson Gygi.
  • Make sure to use a clean sheet of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan used to glaze the cookies if you are using the trough method. After you pouring the glaze over the cookies, scrape the excess glaze back into a container for a future batch of cookies. Refrigerate any leftover glaze.

30 thoughts on “Cutler’s Famous Glazed Sugar Cookies

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Recipe Rating




  1. My little girl broke down crying when I told her we didn't have time to make sugar cookies the other day (truth be told, it was more of a "save mommy's sanity" thing than a clock issue), so we cruised on over to cutler's instead, and everyone left happy! Best cookies on the planet, hands down! I could watch that hot pink icing waterfall all day…sugar therapy for the soul;)

    1. Lindsay, that is too funny. Thank Heavens for Cutlers! I love to make cookies at home, but it is so nice to drive thru and pick up a cookie when I'm having a craving or don't have time to make my own. And that icing waterfall, the best!

  2. Amazing photography work Corrine! I am so good at quality control, they were all perfect. You are the master of beautiful and the best tasting creations. I may or may not visit Cutlers too often.

  3. Can't wait to make these tomorrow!! Thank you! Living in AZ this time of year is awesome for the weather (I love the sun) but I miss all of my favorite Utah treats and this is my all time favorite! Thank you!

  4. We made these tonight with our kids and we all loved them! Our 8 year old son said “These taste exactly like Culter’s!!” Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  5. Not to be a downer, I adore Cutler’s, but… is a spackle tray from a hardware store food-safe? I know it’s what Curt prefers, but there are so many sketchy metals and metal treatments that I’m just crossing my fingers and hoping he contacted the manufacturer and checked what materials make up his tray.

    On a lighter note, thank you and Curt for sharing the recipe! I am excited to try at home when I’m too far from my local Cutler’s!

    1. I wondered the same thing, so I looked on Amazon for a metal bread pan and found a 12” one that I might buy to see if it works. It was listed as “Norpro 12 Inch Nonstick Bread Pan”. I think you could easily do two rows of cookies with that size. As of today, the price is $8.21.

    1. Amber,
      It is usually found on the top shelf at grocery stores, in a small box. Most groceries sell ” Softasilk” Cake Flour in a box. Make sure you read the label if you buy other brands and buy Cake Flour and not a “Cake Flour Blend”. If you can’t find cake flour at your grocery, you can make your own at home by using this simple method: Measure out 1 cup of all purpose flour into a medium size mixing bowl. Remove 2 tablespoons of the flour and place back in the flour container. Add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to the flour in mixing bowl. Sift the flour and cornstarch mixture. Sift again about 3-4 more times. You now have cake flour! Place in a bag or container, measure out and use as needed.
      I love this recipe. Enjoy!
      xo,
      Si

  6. We adore this recipe. I have always used unbleached white flour, because I always decide to make these when I don’t have cake flour, and they are still fan-freakin-amazing. This recipe is forgiving too. I’ve often done this heavy handed, with a baby in the other, I’ve used flax seed powder in place of the egg and it still is always a hit. Thank you for sharing this.

  7. 5 stars
    One of my favorite treats to get when in UT and this recipe was spot on when made over in WI.

  8. LOVE, LOVE the taste of these cookies. I’ve made them for every holiday but they don’t rise like your pictures. I’ve tried several fresh containers of baking powder to no avail. I roll them to a perfect 1/4 in ,using cake flour and exact measuring. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Bette, hmm I would try refrigerating the dough next time to see if that helps them rise better. Let me know how it turns out and thank you for asking!
      xo
      Si

  9. 5 stars
    Si, so fun this morning to see this again! It was a blast to spend that afternoon in your new kitchen that day and make cookies with you. You did such a beautiful job of showing all the details. You are the only one we trusted with our recipes. Nancy and I are no longer in the Cutlers business but we still like to make cookies. Your blog and cookbook are our source for our go to recipes now.
    Thanks friend!

    1. Curt,

      It’s so great to hear from you! Thank you for the very kind comments and for sharing your wonderful recipes. It has been such a pleasure to learn from you and to eat all the delicious cookies! I am so appreciative.

      Best wishes,
      Si

  10. Delightful, so yummy!! I’ve over these cookies forever too, and now i can make them with my kids!!

    Do you have their regular peanut butter cookie recipe as well? The one without the frosting? Thank you!