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Perfect Sugar Cookies

Updated on December 2, 2017
DixieMockingbird profile image

Jan has been cooking and writing about food for over twenty years and has cooked on multiple television stations, including Food Network.

The Perfect Sugar Cookies

Perfectly golden, butter sugar cookies - exactly the recipe you've been looking for!
Perfectly golden, butter sugar cookies - exactly the recipe you've been looking for!

The Perfect Sugar Cookie

I think this recipe for sugar cookies needs to appear in most parenting books since it’s about the simplest cookie recipe there is, the kids love it, and it takes about 4.2 seconds to throw together. This is baking success. As a parent, you’ll need to produce about 53,768 sugar cookies per kid. On top of that, anytime I have one of The Horde volunteer me to take cookies to a class event, these are my first choice. They're perfect for bake sales, class parties, holidays, gift giving - Who doesn’t love a sugar cookie?

Also fun? Swap out the vanilla extract for almond extract, and you have a more elegant variation with no additional work. Or use coconut, lemon or orange extract...the variations are endless. If you use citrus extracts, add a teaspoon of zest. If you use coconut, roll cookie dough balls in shredded coconut before baking. These cookies really are incredible - either alone or as a base.

Now, these are not the ones that you roll out, use cute cookie cutters with or mess with a lot of decorations. These are a basic butter cookie that drops – meaning they’re fast AND minimal mess. Sure – if you’d like, knock yourself out with any number of icings, frostings or glazes – they’re all good. But quite honestly, these cookies don’t need the dressing up. They are buttery and tender and have no problem standing all by themselves. This is the perfect sugar cookie recipe.

One of my favorite things about this recipe? Super inexpensive! The entire batch costs $2.46, which means .08 each for 30 cookies. So take TWO batches to the next bake sale - you'll look like a rockstar for next to nothing!

Perfect Sugar Cookies Recipe - Ingredients

Perfect Sugar Cookies Recipe - Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature

  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar

  • 1 egg

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or almond, orange or lemon extracts...

Perfect Sugar Cookies Recipe - Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F°. In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar for about five minutes. Sirt in egg and vanilla. Scrape down sides of the bowl. This helps make sure the ingredients are fully incorporated.
  3. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients. With a tablespoon or small disher (ice cream scoop) drop rounded spoonfuls of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet. If using a tablespoon you may wish to roll them to make more perfectly even cookies. A disher does most of this for you - I think they're even on Amazon as "cookie scoops" now.
  4. Bake 10 to 12 minutes in preheated oven, or until tops are golden. Let sit on cookie sheet two or three minutes before removing to cool completely on wire racks.

Cream Butter and Sugar First

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This helps the cookies to rise and gives them a beautiful texture.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This helps the cookies to rise and gives them a beautiful texture.

Shift Together the Dry Ingredients

Shift the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda together in a separate bowl. This ensures the complete integration of the dry ingredients, so you don't have to over mix the finished dough.
Shift the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda together in a separate bowl. This ensures the complete integration of the dry ingredients, so you don't have to over mix the finished dough.

My Favorite Cookie Tool!

Now called a cookie scoop, these little scoops make having perfectly even, round cookies super easy.
Now called a cookie scoop, these little scoops make having perfectly even, round cookies super easy.

Give them Room

These cookies don't spread too much, but I like placing just 12 on a sheet at a time. This makes sure the edges don't touch, so they stay perfectly round. Just makes them pretty!
These cookies don't spread too much, but I like placing just 12 on a sheet at a time. This makes sure the edges don't touch, so they stay perfectly round. Just makes them pretty!

Let Them Cool Just a Bit...

Letting the cookies rest for just a little on the baking sheet before moving them to a wire rack ensures they'll 'set', and not tear apart when you lift the hot cookies to a baking rack to cool completely.
Letting the cookies rest for just a little on the baking sheet before moving them to a wire rack ensures they'll 'set', and not tear apart when you lift the hot cookies to a baking rack to cool completely.

Perfect, Golden Brown, Buttery Goodness

Look for a touch of golden brown on the cookies - they'll be perfectly done inside, a tiny bit crispy on the outside and beautifully soft and tender inside. The perfect sugar cookie, indeed.
Look for a touch of golden brown on the cookies - they'll be perfectly done inside, a tiny bit crispy on the outside and beautifully soft and tender inside. The perfect sugar cookie, indeed.

Make Your Own Vanilla Extract

© 2011 Jan Charles

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    • DixieMockingbird profile image
      Author

      Jan Charles 6 years ago from East Tennessee

      Thank you!

    • VeronicaFarkas profile image

      Veronica Roberts 6 years ago from Ohio, USA

      I agree - easy and kids love them! Sugar cookies are timeless, and great for any occasion. This is a well-written, easy-to-follow hub!

      I love the pictures. Yum! =]

    • DixieMockingbird profile image
      Author

      Jan Charles 6 years ago from East Tennessee

      Wow - the cinnamon sugar idea is BRILLIANT! I want to try that now~! And yes - butter is the only thing I EVER use!

    • DixieMockingbird profile image
      Author

      Jan Charles 6 years ago from East Tennessee

      Thank you both!

    • Senoritaa profile image

      Senoritaa 6 years ago

      Was looking for such an easy cookie recipe. Its perfect!!

    • litsabd profile image

      litsabd 6 years ago

      So simple and so quick! You are right ...it should be in a kids' book! Thanks!

    • bayareagreatthing profile image

      bayareagreatthing 6 years ago from Bay Area California

      I have made this recipe only I roll the dough in small walnut size balls and then roll around in cinnamon sugar. This is by far the BEST sugar cookie around! Oh and always use real butter for these. Margarine doesn't do this justice. Thanks for the recipe-I lost mine!!! Just in time for Thanksgiving!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 6 years ago from sunny Florida

      Love love love easy recipes...love them even more when they look like they taste good...and from the looks of the picture I believe I would like to have some, right now...when will be able to send cookies, edible cookies, through cyberspace.I do a lot of baking this time of the year so definitely will try this out.

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