Sugar cookies are like a blank slate. You can eat them plain and hand-shaped, or use cookie cutters and embellish them with elaborate decorations using frosting, candies, sprinkles or chocolates. If given the chance, sugar cookies can cater to everyone. Even our pugs love these cookies, though we only give them a bite!
The sugar cookie has been a tradition in my family for generations. Probably because, at its heart, it is a comfort cookie. It is simple, sweet—but not too sweet, and feeds the whole family. My mom, the perfectionist that she was, loved this recipe because she could execute it so precisely with careful measuring and cookie cutters, but it was also kid-friendly so she could have fun with me and my sister, and later her grandchildren. Mom’s memory is a part of both the cookie and the cookie-making process, so it is one we continue to carry on and cherish.
While this recipe is easier with a KitchenAid mixer, you can also mix it by hand.
1 Tbsp milk
1 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sugar
3 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
1. Mix the butter and sugar until blended.
2. Add in the rest of the wet ingredients. Mix well.
3. Add dry ingredients.
Once blended, form dough into a ball. If the dough is sticky, let it chill in the refrigerator for an hour—or overnight if you want to prepare them ahead of time.
Preheat the over to 400 degrees F.
Now you have three options:
1. Hand-form it:
Form the dough into smaller balls and flatten them.
2. Cut it up:
Roll the dough into a log and cut it into 1/2 inch slices.
3. Roll it out:
1. Cover a small portion of your counter with flour (I put down a large non-stick baking liner on the area first for easy clean up).
2. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough into a large, flat square. It can technically be as thick as you want, but I’ve found around 1/2 inch is the perfect thickness.
3. Press cookie cutters onto the dough and carefully peel your shapes from them.
4. Once you’ve made as many shapes as you can, re-roll the remaining dough into a ball and roll it back out to make more.
5. Repeat until there is almost no dough left.
5. Hand-form the remaining bit of dough into a circle or fun shape of your liking—this always becomes the sample cookie out of the oven!
1. Using a spatula, carefully place these cookies onto a greased baking sheet or use a non-stick baking liner on top of the sheet.
2. Bake for 10 minutes maximum.
3. Remove from oven when the edges start turning a golden brown.
I watch my cookies continually to make sure they do not burn at the edges, but some family members love them burnt! This recipe makes a few batches, so experiment with how long you keep them in the oven to see which ones you or your family like best.
Let them cool and use a spatula to place cooked cookies on parchment or wax paper, or even just a paper towel on the counter.
Then enjoy plain or decorate!