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Everyone should have a solid sugar cookie recipe in their cookie arsenal. They’re wonderfully versatile and couldn’t be easier to make – but finding the right consistency is critical to achieving the perfect sugar cookie. After making hundreds, maybe even thousands, of sugar cookies over the years, it’s one recipe that stands out as the best for making rolled sugar cookies. Between this recipe and our favorite recipe for Royal Icing, we’ve made some pretty amazing and festive holiday treats.

This is a great recipe to share with a new baker. A simple sugar cookie recipe is practically fool-proof and will make a ton of cookies. The ingredients are super simple, just your usual suspects of flour, salt, sugar, and a flavored extract. One “ingredient” that is a must for making the very best sugar cookie is the refrigerator. Chilling the dough is kind of a magical step in the process that will help the cookies truly shine once they’re baked. Once the dough has chilled, it’s time to roll out the dough and use any festive cookie cutters you’ve got on hand, be they holiday shaped or something whimsical for a party.

Be sure to really watch the cookies as they bake. You’ll want them to be fully cooked and avoid overly dark or burnt edges – this will help to preserve the blank canvas-like surface that you’ll want to have when it comes time to decorate these delightfully crisped cookies. A completely cooled sugar cookie is ready to decorate, and you’ll want to try our recipe for royal icing – royal because it’s just so glossy and practically luxurious in texture. This recipe for sugar cookies is perfect at any time of year, from Christmas to the Fourth of July or anywhere in between. Enjoy eating them and have fun decorating!

Serves 3 dozen

30 minute active, 3 hours inactive

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  1. Mix flour, salt, and baking powder together in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
  2. Beat butter and sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer until creamy. Add egg, vanilla, and almond extract and continue beating until well combined.
  3. Add dry ingredients to wet, one-third at a time, and beat with mixer until dough forms.
  4. Lay out two large pieces of plastic wrap. Transfer half of the cookie dough onto each sheet of plastic wrap. Wrap the dough and refrigerate for 3 hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  6. Dust a clean surface with flour and unwrap one of the cookie dough balls. Lightly flour the dough as well as the rolling pin. Roll dough out to approximately ¼-⅛-inch. Add more flour, as needed, to top of dough and work surface to prevent sticking.
  7. Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes, maximizing the surface area to use up the most dough. Scraps of dough can be rerolled for more cookies.
  8. Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges begin to turn a light golden color.
  9. Cool cookies briefly on the cookie sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies must be completely cooled before they can be frosted.

Recipe adapted from Sugar Spun Run.

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