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Sugar Cookies

sugar cookies

Let's face it there are a million Sugar Cookie recipes out there! Why add one more? Well because this one is pretty darn good. The flavor is spot on, but my little secret ingredient does that to all my cookies, and they hold their shape during baking amazingly well. You can bake them straight after mixing or you can chill them and come back to them later. It's a very forgiving recipe, and let's face it with 5 kids running around I need my cookie dough not to be high maintenance. 

1 cup Salted Butter (any temperature will do for this, remember I said it wasn't a high maintenance recipe)
1 1/4 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 tsp Almond Extract (the secret ingredient)
4 cups Flour
1/8 tsp Baking Soda
3 tsp Baking Powder

Beat together the butter and sugar until mixed through. Add extracts and eggs and beat just until mixed in. Next add your baking powder and soda, no need to sift this in if you add it before you add the flour. Turn your mixture on medium-low and add the flour 1/2 cup at a time. The dough will become fairly stiff with that last scoop. Now I have my kids help me when I make these most of the time and they aren't particularly precise about their 1/2 cup scoops. Sometimes we have to add a tad bit more because they have under filled the measuring cup. You want the dough to hold its shape and be the consistency of Play-Doh. It is a very forgiving recipe, one that works well for little helping hands, as long as you aim for that Play-Doh feel you will be good.

Pick out your favorite cookie cutters and roll the dough out between two pieces of parchment paper. About 1/4 inch thick will cook up nicely at 350 for 10 minutes. If you go thicker around 1/3 inch you can drop the temp down to 325 and cook them for 15 minutes. I usually do thinner ones simply because it yields more cookies and with 5 kids and the friends of those 5 kids I want a few extra cookies.

Royal Icing
1 lb Powdered Sugar (that's a whole bag)
3 Tb Meringue Powder
1 Tb Kyro Syrup
3-4 drops Lemon Juice
1 tsp Extract of choice

In a mixer add the meringue powder and about 4 Tb of water and mix until frothy. Add the kyro syrup and another minute. Slowly add the powdered sugar, SLOWLY or you'll have a giant sweet and sugary mess on your hands. Add water about 2 tsp at a time until the icing is the desired texture. I generally go for Elmer's glue consistency for the flood coat. The icing that goes above the flood coat, the stuff I want to be more precise I will add 1 Tb of powdered sugar to every cup of icing. Now with the kids helping to decorate one of our favorite things to do is flood all the cookies with white. We then pull out the gel food coloring and dilute it with 1 tsp of milk and we paint the cookies, it is like doing watercolor on cookies. It seems to be the easiest and least messy way for them to decorate AND they still get the fun of decorating. We also love putting the undecorated cookies in bags along with 1-2 piping bags of frosting and delivering them to neighbors for a fun afternoon of family cookie decorating.

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*This article contains affiliate links to some of my favorite products. These aren't just any products though, they are the actual ones I use and order (or have on subscription). By choosing them you know your cookies should taste exactly like the ones I make.