Perfect Sugar Cookies




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This is the perfect recipe for sugar cookies when you need to cut out detailed shapes.  The ratios of dry ingredients to liquids ensures that the cookies don't spread too much when you bake them, making them ideal for cookie cutters!  I've used this recipe both for cookie bouquets, and moustache cookies, and am sure I will use it many times again in the future.

Allow a good two hours to refrigerate the dough before baking.  This makes cutting the shapes much easier.

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Step 1: Ingredients

Get your butter and egg out of the fridge at least 30 minutes prior to mixing for best results.  Even though you are going to refrigerate this dough for an hour or more, creaming together the butter and sugar is considerably easier when the ingredients are all room temperature!

1 cup (8oz) butter, room temperature
1 cup (200g) sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla (or your favorite) extract
3 cups (375g) flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Step 2:

Cream together butter and sugar, scraping sides of bowl with a rubber spatula.  Start on a medium speed, and gradually increase to highest speed possible until mixture is light in both color and texture.

Add egg and vanilla. Mix well.

Sift together dry ingredients and add a little at a time to butter mixture with the mixer on a low speed.  Scrape the bowl often.  Mix until flour is completely incorporated and the dough comes together.

Chill for 1 to 2 hours

Step 3: Roll, Cut, and Bake

Roll out your chilled cookie dough to about 1/4" thickness between two sheets of plastic wrap.  Using plastic wrap instead of a floured surface means you can re-roll the scraps without them getting tough from the addition of too much flour.

I recommend dividing your dough into two portions before rolling, and keeping the other refrigerated.  Then when you've cut out one batch, you can gather up and refrigerate the scraps from it while you roll out the next batch.  This keeps your dough chilled and easy to work with.

Cut out whatever shapes you desire.  I recommend mustaches!

Bake at 350F (180C) for 10-12 minutes, adjusting time to compensate for size of cookie.




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    17 Discussions


    1 year ago

    I tried to make this receipt but my dough just stayed in crumbles. Can anyone tell me what I done incorrect?

    Thank you for putting both American and British measures, I can never figure how to convert.



    5 years ago

    Do you use salted or unsalted butter? Any tips for high altitude baking? First batch looked a little dry and flaky...didn't clump together unless I did it by hand.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I tried this and made them with whole wheat flour. Well, now I know why nobody makes them that way! They tasted too much like bread. So I am trying again, this time with unbleached flour, and they are decidedly edible, but still not awesome like sugar cookies should be. So I guess I had better give in and use regular old white flour if I want the to taste right


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I wonder if coconut oil would work in place of the the corn syrup? I like to roll out on waxed paper--easier clean-up, and not as frustrating as plastic. Martha Stewart's royal icing with lemon juice in it is a tasty icing recipe.

    OH, PS, you can also roll cookies out in powdered sugar, thus eliminating the rage-inducing plastic wrap mishaps, and also the floury taste :)

    Scooch, you're an experienced-but-frustrated amateur chef/baker's best friend! LOL :) Thanks again, your "basic" recipes are really, really awesome!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Cookies are beautiful!

    Can you please share the icing recipe that you used for the cookies pictured above? Thanks ;)

    1 reply


    1 cup confectioners' sugar
    2 teaspoons milk
    2 teaspoons light corn syrup
    1/4 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
    assorted food coloring

    I don't normally use corn syrup, but the addition made the colors extra glossy.



    7 years ago on Introduction

    Beautiful! I am into this! Thanks for sharing! Have a splendorous day!


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I've used both Wilton's sticks and just straight up bamboo skewers from my local grocery store, both with great results.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Wiltons...shows how much I know about baking. Ha! I have Popsicle sticks....I guess I'll experiment..