I spent the last year trying a bunch of sugar cookie recipes that claimed to be the best all around. And I ended up with so many bloated snowmen, unrecognizable stars and sad sad looking hearts. But there were also a bunch of recipes that “explained” how to fix the spreading issues, how to prevent uneven cooking, etc. How about we just start with a good recipe and that way we don’t have to worry about all those issues?
So, I present to you the only sugar cookie recipe you’ll ever need. I made hundreds of these cookies in the last few weeks and every batch turned out perfect, even when I re-rolled the dough together and cut out more shapes. PERFECT cookies. EVERY TIME.
These are boutique quality cookies. The kind you find in fancy little bakeries, all perfectly glazed.
I adapted the recipe from several recipes, so here’s my go at it.
- 3 cups bleached, all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) margarine, cold and cut into slices
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, cold and cut in to slices
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 tsp vanilla extract (I like clear, because it produces LIGHT cookies)
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F.
- Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside. Cream the sugar and cold butter. Add the egg and extracts, and mix. Gradually add the flour mixture (1 cup at a time), and beat until just combined, scraping down the bowl after each addition.
- The dough will be very crumbly, so knead it together in the bowl with your hands. The warmth from your hands will melt the butter a little. When it forms a nice ball, scoop it out of the bowl and pat together to keep it's shape.
- On a floured surface, roll your dough out until 1/4" to 1/2" thick and cut out shapes. Place on parchment lined baking sheets (I stick the cut-out cookie sheets in the fridge for 10 mins first, or freezer for 5 mins before baking) and bake 10-12 mins. Let sit a few minutes on the sheet and then transfer to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
- The 1/4" cookies will cook in about 10-11 mins, the 1/2" cookies will cook in about 11-12 mins.
- No change to recipe for high-altitude. The cookies will cook for about 12 mins. You'll see the sides and bottom turn golden, but take out while the top is still light.
- Wait until cookies are completely cooled before frosting or icing. These cookies will last in a covered Rubbermaid container for 10-14 days. Or you can freeze the cooked cookies in freezer bags for 3 months (before or after frosting them). Defrost cookies at room temperature with circulation to prevent condensation on icing.
Let me know if you have success with the recipe too! 🙂
If you want a good royal icing recipe check out my next post! The BEST Royal Icing Recipe Ever.