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The Best Sugar Cookies

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This easy-to-follow recipe makes six dozen of the best sugar cookies ever! These are quick to roll out, and great for decorating year round.

12 sugar cookies, decorated as snowmen, on a cooling rack.

I know a lot of bakers who took a long time to find their go-to cookie dough, and I sure had to kiss a lot of frogs to find this recipe! I’ve been making these sugar cookies every Christmas with my children for over 10 years. There is no better recipe!

I have used this for so many different occasions. The photo above is from Christmas, but this is a crowd-pleaser for all holidays, parties, and just a day that ends in “y”!

Each batch makes six dozen cookies (depending on the size of cutter you use) and they roll out perfectly every time. They have truly earned my award for The Best Sugar Cookies. 

Ingredients for The Best Sugar Cookies

It is almost dangerous how simple these cookies are. It makes it a bit too easy to make them on a whim, but I don’t mind! 

For the cookies themselves, you need butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, flour, butter emulsion or extract, baking powder, and salt. Butter emulsion can be omitted, but you can find it in the grocery store or craft store.

The ingredients for sugar cookie recipe, shot from above

You will want to use a standard baking sheet for these, lined with parchment paper. Any decorations will require additional ingredients, and I have some ideas for that down below. 

The process shots for creating the sugar cookie dough, before it is chilled.

How to Make // The Steps

  • First, cream together the butter and sugar until it is really light and fluffy.
  • Then, add the eggs and the vanilla and butter extracts.
  • Finally, add the dry ingredients and mix until well.
  • Once your dough is ready, wrap it in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for 3-4 hours before rolling and baking. I prefer to let it chill overnight if possible!
Sugar cookie dough, rolled out on a flour-coated surface, ready to be cut into shapes.
  • Once chilled, roll and cut the cookie dough using your favorite cutter, or just the rim of a glass. 
  • Place the cookies on the parchment-lined baking sheet, and put these in a preheated 350° oven for 8-10 minutes. 
  • Note: These should come out light, so remove before edges brown. 
Sugar Cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet

Why does this recipe make the Best Sugar Cookies?

  • Each batch gives you a ton of cookies, making it easy for events. 
  • The dough freezes exceptionally well, which means it’s easy to pull out for a few cookies on a Sunday night! 
  • This dough rolls out like a dream.
  • The cookies taste incredible every time. 
Sugar Cookies in process of being decorated and turned into snowmen. Fondant and frosting are nearby, ready to be added.

Decorating, Storing, and Gifting

Decorations: Naturally, the sky is the limit when it comes to decorating the best sugar cookies.! This is my hands-down favorite sugar cookie glaze and I use it almost every time I make these. A little food coloring and a piping bag give you a world of choices! 

For the Fondant Snowman cookies pictured, I used pre-colored fondant to make snowmen. I cut out white fondant circles about the same size as the cookie, then used the same cutter to cut out colored fondant for hats, and cut the pieces in half, cutting a thin strip for the trim. Using a paintbrush and water, I “glued” them onto the white base and then rolled the face and pom-pom. I alternated the colors and added detail using the back of a knife. I love how they came out.

Freezing: This is super easy to halve if needed. But since these are The Best Sugar Cookies ever – I like to keep some around. You can freeze half of the batch in plastic wrap, or you can pre-roll portions of dough and freeze them between layers of parchment paper. 

Storing: In an air-tight container these will be just fine on the counter for a few days – but make sure to keep them out of the sun, so the icing doesn’t melt! If you want to put these in the fridge, they will last a few extra days. 

Gifting: I love giving the best sugar cookies as gifts. I do recommend gifting them carefully, using parchment paper between cookies, so they don’t break apart in transit.

Nine sugar cookies shaped like snowmen faces, with different colored hats.

Originally published in March 2010, revised December 2020 with updated images and updated recipe card.

12 sugar cookies, decorated as snowmen, on a cooling rack.

Sugar Cookies

Yield: 6 dozen
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 23 minutes

This easy-to-follow recipe makes six dozen of the best sugar cookies ever! These are quick to roll out, and great for decorating year round.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Cream together the butter and sugar until it is really light and fluffy. Add the eggs and the vanilla and butter extracts. Add the dry ingredients and mix until well.
  2. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 3-4 hours or overnight.
  3. Roll the dough out and cut using your favorite cookie cutter.
  4. Bake the cookies in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. Do not brown the edges.

Notes

This dough freezes well. Divide in half, wrap well, and keep in the freezer until ready to use.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 72 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 128Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 49mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 0gSugar: 8gProtein: 2g

All information and tools presented and written within this site are intended for informational purposes only.

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Is there a post on how to decorate these? We make them every year but usually just use different color glaze. This year the kids are wanting to decorate them (snowmen like above, trees, etc). Would making the glaze and putting it in a piping bag work or would it run?

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Sara

Tuesday 5th of May 2020

Can I half this recipe? Will it turn out the same?

Bree Hester

Wednesday 6th of May 2020

Absolutely!

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