A quick and easy sugar cookie recipe that is well-suited to my tastes. This one has a rich, eggy, buttery flavor with just a hint of vanilla. I first made these for unicorn poop cookies at a friend’s house, where they absolutely shone. I really appreciated the simple recipe, since no-one else’s kitchen is ever equipped quite like one’s own…
Number of cookies depends on size of cutters, usually 40-48 for most cutters (~2-inch).
Minimum total time from start to finish: 2 hours 45 minutes, about 45 minutes active.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened by leaving it out at room temperature for at least 1 hour
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbsp cream, 1/2 and 1/2, or milk
- ~½ Tbsp vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose white flour
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- One largish mixing bowl, at least 6-cup capacity, but about twice that will be more convenient
- Any electric mixer (handheld or standing)
- Plastic bag large enough to hold the finished dough
- Cookie sheet(s)
- Rolling pin (or something close enough, in a real pinch)
Optional but Helpful
- Rubber spatula
- Cookie cutters, but substitute anything round (the top of a glass, for example) or a butter knife under duress
- Parchment paper
This is an extremely basic refrigerated cookie process—if you’re already familiar with the standard cookie-making instructions for chocolate chip and sugar cookies, just do that.
Oven Temperature: 375°
Bake Time: 7-9 minutes
- Cream butter and sugar in the mixing bowl with the electric mixer, scraping down the bowl as needed.
- Add the egg, cream, and vanilla extract (more for a stronger flavor; I wouldn’t add more than about a Tbsp.) and mix until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed with a rubber spatula (or if you don’t have one, as I didn’t, any implement you can find).
Pro Tip: Recipes like this always call for the egg to be lightly beaten before adding to the butter, which is frankly just silly if your mixer is any good (like virtually all modern mixers). If you’re using a really wimpy handheld mixer, just make sure to put the beaters right on the egg yolk before you turn them on.
- Mix the flour and baking powder on a piece of tinfoil, if you have it. If not, add the baking powder to the liquid mixture and stir just enough to distribute it.
- Add flour mixture (or just flour) to the liquid mixture and mix on low speed, gradually turning up to medium, until just combined. The dough should be in chunks about the size of a grape that hold together easily if pressed.
- Refrigerate dough for at least one hour, or as long as 2-3 days.
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Remove dough from fridge and roll out on a flat surface, lightly dusted with flour if dough is sticky, to about ¼ inch in width. Cut using any cookie cutters you like, or whatever you have on hand.
Pro Tip: I often find it easier to work with the dough in batches, splitting it in half and putting half back in the fridge before rolling. Also, instead of flour, try rolling between two sheets of parchment paper to handle the sticky without altering the recipe at all!
- Place on cookie sheets with about 1 inch between cookies.
- Bake in preheated oven for 7-9 minutes, until cookies turn golden brown around the edges.
- Eat and enjoy!
This makes about the same amount of mess as most cookie recipes, in keeping with the standard process. Mixer paddles, mixing bowl, spatulas, and cookie sheets will need to be washed, as well as the surface you rolled the cookies out on. If you roll the cookies on parchment paper, you can avoid that step. For this recipe, you also need to wash the cookie cutters, which isn’t too hard. Total cleanup time is about 20 minutes, for me.