The best sugar cookie recipe yields a workable dough that you can turn into the cutouts of your dreams. The baked cookies should have a delicious canvas ready for decorating with sanding sugar, a colorful glaze tinted with natural food coloring (tie-dye, anyone?), or royal icing topped with sprinkles and sugar pearls. This one yields crisp yet tender cookies that keep their shape, taste great, and last a while in the freezer.

If you don’t have a stand mixer, a hand mixer will do the job; just make sure the butter and granulated sugar are well combined. To change up the cookies’ flavor, you can add a little peppermint or almond extract, but no more than ¼ tsp. of either; they’re much more potent than vanilla.

Rolling out your dough between two sheets of parchment paper guarantees that this easy sugar cookie recipe is as supreme (and executable) as its name suggests, as thinly rolled cookie dough can stick to even the coldest countertops. To make your work and cleanup easier, line your cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats from the start. And, if you make these ahead of time, wrap bundles of cookies (undecorated) tightly in plastic wrap and place them in an airtight container so they won’t chip if something shifts in your freezer. 

These cookies can stand on their own, but if you include them in a cookie tin, we recommend pairing them with another classic like chocolate chip cookies and a couple of bolder options like chewy molasses cookies or ancho-mole cookies.

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Ingredients

Makes 2–3 dozen, depending on size Servings

¾

tsp. kosher salt

½

tsp. baking powder

3

cups (375 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling

cups (2½ sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces

1

cup (200 g) sugar

1

large egg

1

large egg yolk

1

tsp. vanilla extract

Colored sanding sugar or Easy Sugar Cookie Icing, for decorating

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