There are so many sugar cookie recipes floating around out there, but this is the one I have been using for years. It's really fail proof. I love that the cookies can be puffy (or not) and soft (or not) depending on how thick you cut them and how long they bake in the oven.
I also love this recipe because you do not need to (but can) chill the dough. If this doesn't shout THE MOST VERSATILE SUGAR COOKIE RECIPE, I don't know what does. So here I am sharing my beloved sugar cookie recipe that I really couldn't imagine doing without.
First you will cream the butter and sugar together. I love to make cookies by hand and stir with a spoon. You can just as easily use a hand held mixer or a standing mixer. Make sure that the butter has had a few minutes to come to room temperature. I think getting the butter to a soft (but not too soft) state is key to making this recipe work.
Stir the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy. It's a little difficult to see in this picture, but you want to incorporate air and to make sure that there is no distinction between the butter and sugar.
Next you will add in the eggs and vanilla and beat thoroughly. If I want to quickly warm up my eggs I throw them in a glass of hot water for about 5 minutes. If you like the hint of vanilla but don't want it to overpower, half that. You can also substitute with almond extract for a different flavor.
Next you will add the dry ingredients. I like to dump the flour in first, then add the salt and baking powder and give them a little stir with the flour before mixing them in with the wet ingredients. It saves me from having to wash an extra bowl!
At first the dough will look a bit shaggy. Keep mixing!
This is what my dough looked like when everything was mixed together. From Here I rounded it into a disc and refrigerated for later because I had to be somewhere.
Once you have mixed the dry and wet ingredients you can either roll the cookies out right away, or put the dough in the fridge to chill before rolling out. I do recommend that if you are rolling them right away, measure all of your flour and keep back about half a cup to use for sprinkling on the pin and surface of the dough.
I like to roll dough on parchment paper because it's less sticky and messy. Sprinkle the surface with a very light covering of flour, then sprinkle the dough lightly and also add a light coating to the pin. If the dough feels extra sticky I will add extra flour into the dough in very small increments (about a teaspoon). It's easy to go overboard with the flour and then your sugar cookie will taste like flour and have a dry texture.
To make the frosting, I throw the ingredients into the mixer and wait patiently while the machine does the work. This is one of the few instances in my kitchen when I don't mix by hand. First I add the butter and let it mix around until it's broken down. Then I slowly add the powdered sugar. I like to taste it as I go because I don't like the frosting to be too sweet.
Then I let the machine run for about 2-3 minutes to incorporate lots of air. Once the powdered sugar are thoroughly mixed I add the vanilla and up to a Tbsp of milk if needed.
I like eat my sugar cookie without any extra adornments. Just the cookie and a good slathering of frosting. Yum! What do you like to put on your sugar cookie? I hope you enjoy this sugar cookie recipe as much as we do. If you make these cookies take a picture and tag me on Instagram #peachtreedr
Sugar Cookie Recipe
1 c butter, softened
1 c sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
3 1/2 c flour* (see note)
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt (omit if using salted butter)
2 tsp pure vanilla (or 1 if you don't like a strong vanilla taste)
1. Cream together the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy.
2. Add the eggs and vanilla. Mix until combined
3. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until they are combined.
4. If desired, you may roll out the dough immediately and cut the cookies into shapes. Or you can refrigerate for a few hours and then roll out the dough.
5. Bake at 350 for 7-10 minutes
Note- It's important to carefully measure the flour and pay attention to how much you are using when you roll out the dough. I like to add all but the last 1/2 c of flour to the dough and save that portion to use for rolling out the dough. That way I don't add too much flour. If it's really hot in your kitchen or the dough is too sticky, throw it in the freezer for a few minutes or let it chill in the fridge before rolling it out.
Buttercream Frosting Recipe
1 c butter (I use unsalted)
3-4 c powdered sugar (I tend to use the lesser amount but I advise that you taste as you go)
1/2 tsp salt (omit if you use salted butter)
1 tsp pure vanilla
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer add the butter. Beat it until it breaks down and loses its stiff shape.
2. Slowly add the powdered sugar. I like to add about 2 cups up front and then slowly add the rest to reach the consistency and taste that I want.
3. Once you have added all the powdered sugar let it mix for 2-3 minutes to incorporate air and get the consistency that you want.
4. Add the vanilla and milk and mix for another 30 seconds.
For another fail proof cookie recipe try