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Classic Sugar Cookies

classic sugar cookies Dessert
Classic Sugar Cookies
  • Prep 60 min
  • Total 7 hr 50 min
  • Servings 55

As you might expect from Betty Crocker, these are the classic version of a sugar cookie—the kind your grandma or even great-grandma would recognize. These cookies are the originals that provided a sweet, universally lovable starting point for generations of bakers to riff on, and we stand by them just as they are. With a tender, short texture that comes from a good buttery base, they break with just the right balance of bend and snap. And the taste? When we recently baked up a few batches for pre-Christmas testing, person after person in the Test Kitchens said, “Now THAT is a sugar cookie.” While flavor and texture are arguably the key criteria on which cookies should be judged, when it comes to sugar cookies, there’s another important factor: how easy they are to decorate. It’s crucial that sugar cookie dough can be easily turned into cookies that are equal parts decorative and delicious. During our most recent testing of this recipe, we also noticed that there were no instructions for a glaze in this recipe. Not wanting to leave you—or your cookies—high and dry, we tested a few glazes. The one we landed on is simple and made with common pantry staples, but the magic is in the ratio of ingredients—we ensured that it results in a glaze that’s easily tintable, covers smoothly and dries firmly so that you can stack the finished cookies without fear of smudging them. However you chose to decorate them, dress these classic sugar cookies up in holiday style and they’ll be the star of every Christmas gathering. MORE+ LESS-

Updated November 12, 2019
Gold Medal Flour
Make with
Gold Medal Flour

Ingredients

Cookies

1 1/2
cups powdered sugar
1
cup butter, softened
1
teaspoon vanilla
1/2
teaspoon almond extract
1
egg
2 1/2
cups Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
1
teaspoon baking soda
1
teaspoon cream of tartar

Frosting

3
cups powdered sugar
3
to 5 tablespoons milk
1/4
teaspoon vanilla
Food colors, if desired
Colored sugar or candy sprinkles, if desired

Steps

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  • 1
    In large bowl, beat 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, the softened butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla, the almond extract and egg with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon, until well blended. Stir in flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Divide dough in half; shape dough into 2 disks, and wrap in plastic wrap. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
  • 2
    Heat oven to 375°F.
  • 3
    Roll each disk on lightly floured surface until 1/4 inch thick. Cut with 2- to 2 1/2-inch cookie cutters into desired shapes. On ungreased cookie sheets, place cutouts at least 2 inches apart.
  • 4
    Bake 7 to 8 minutes or until edges are light brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely.
  • 5
    In medium bowl, beat 3 cups powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons milk and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla with spoon until smooth and spreadable. If frosting is too stiff to spread, add additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time. Tint with food color. Spread frosting on cooled cookies. Decorate as desired with colored sugar or candy sprinkles. Let stand about 4 hours or until frosting is set. Store covered in airtight container at room temperature with waxed paper between layers.

Expert Tips

  • Choose your cookie sheets wisely—look for shiny aluminum sheets with no sides that allow air circulation for cookies to bake evenly. Dark sheets absorb more heat, making it hard to control browning. Insulated cookie sheets slow down baking, providing control but also requiring longer bake times.
  • If you don’t have cooling racks, you can transfer the warm cookies to a chilled cookie sheet lined with clean kitchen towels, or use a cooled wooden cutting board—anything to cool the cookies down quickly.
  • As you bake, be sure to allow cookie sheets to cool before you place fresh cutouts on them for the oven.
  • You can prevent cookie dough from sticking to the cookie cutter by dipping the cutter in flour between uses.
  • Cookie sheets should be at least 2 inches smaller than the inside of your oven, so the heat can circulate completely around them. Be sure to arrange the oven racks, before you preheat the oven, so that you can bake in the center of the oven. We recommend baking one cookie sheet at a time.
  • As an alternative to decorating with frosting, sprinkle cutouts with granulated or colored sugars before baking.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Cookie
Calories
90
Calories from Fat
30
% Daily Value
Total Fat
3 1/2g
5%
Saturated Fat
2g
11%
Trans Fat
0g
Cholesterol
10mg
4%
Sodium
50mg
2%
Potassium
20mg
1%
Total Carbohydrate
14g
5%
Dietary Fiber
0g
0%
Sugars
10g
Protein
0g
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
2%
2%
Vitamin C
0%
0%
Calcium
0%
0%
Iron
0%
0%
Exchanges:
0 Starch; 0 Fruit; 1 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 1/2 Fat;
Carbohydrate Choice
1
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

More About This Recipe

  • Our Classic Sugar Cookies have such a tender crumb and balanced sweetness, you’d never know how easy they are to mix, roll out and cut. If it’s your first time behind the rolling pin and cookie cutters, take a few minutes to read over these step-by-step sugar cookie instructions that walk you through mixing, rolling and baking. Once you have a counterful of baked cookies ready to go, the real fun begins, as your sugar cookies serve as blank canvases for your colorful creativity. Frosting, icing, sprinkles and colored sugar will make these classic sugar cookies distinctively yours. Check out our best sugar cookie recipes for even more creative ideas. Once you master the basics, you’ll find yourself picking up new cookie cutters wherever you travel, and making classic sugar cookies all year long.

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