Sugar Cookie Recipe
There is nothing like a good sugar cookie! Once you stick those pretty cutout cookie shapes that are laying so perfectly on a parchment-covered baking sheet into your oven, it will make your house smell like it is filled with love and welcome you in with open arms. A sugar cookie isn’t just a cookie. It has the power to do many, many amazing things and we are going to dive headfirst into that very soon. But for today, we are going to talk about this sugar cookie recipe.
Before we get started, I want to tell you if you already have a sugar cookie recipe that you like and produces cookies that don’t spread when they are baked, keep it. Don’t ditch what works for you just because there is something new on my blog. Remember, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Keep your recipe.
If you are looking for a good sugar cookie recipe this one might just be what you are looking for. I’ve been playing around with ingredients for a while now looking for a new recipe that doesn’t spread when it’s baked and still has that delicious sugar cookie flavor we all know and love. This is what I came up with and I am really happy with the results.
Sugar Cookie Recipe Video:
Are you ready to see why I love those cheap mats from Wal-Mart? Here you go!
All good sugar cookie recipes begin with butter. Most call for unsalted butter at room temperature. Now you might be asking me why recipes call for unsalted butter and that’s a really good question. If you purchase salted butter, how do you know how much salt is in the butter? The answer is, you don’t. Different companies use different amounts of salt when they add it to butter. If your recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and your butter already has 1/2 tsp of salt, guess what, you have just doubled the amount of salt and the flavor of your cookies is going to change.
When you add the salt and unsalted butter to your recipe you have complete control over the amount of salt that is added, thus ensuring a good cookie with a good flavor. Here’s more information on Salted or Unsalted Butter for you.
Here a little information on The Right Way to Soften Butter because making sure your butter is the right temperature when you make your sugar cookie dough is very important to the cookies holding their shape and not spreading while baking.
If you’re interested here’s some information on How to Soften Butter Quickly so you can start baking your cookies faster without watching the butter sit on the counter for an hour doing it on its own.
- Cream the butter for a minute and slowly add the sugar. Mix it until it is light and fluffy looking, but don’t overmix it because it will cause the dough to collapse and get bubbles as it bakes.
- Next, add the eggs one at a time mixing well between each addition, but be careful and don’t over mix them.
- Then, add the vanilla, baking powder, and salt.
- Again, turn on the mixer long enough to make sure the ingredients are mixed together and that’s it.
Now for the flour.
- Flour is another very important ingredient in your sugar cookie recipe. Adding too much flour can make your cookies dry and crumbly. I always, always, always measure the flour. This cheap little food scale is less than $20, but worth its weight in gold! Get it? “Weight” in gold! Hehehe
Once I started weighing my flour, my cookies have become more consistent in flavor and it helps get that perfect shape we are looking for.
- When you add the flour to the dough, add about 1/2 cup to 1 cup at a time and mix with the mixer on low. We all know what happens if you turn the mixer on high, you might get lost in a cloud of flour and end up with white hair before your time.
- Add the flour a little at a time and mix until it is combined. Be careful! Over mixing can make your cookies tough.
- Stop mixing when you don’t see streaks of flour in your bowl.
Time to roll.
- Divide the dough into two or three balls and place each on a cutting mat that has been sprinkled with a little flour. If you don’t have mats, that’s alright, roll it out on a floured surface.
- If you don’t have cutting mats, you are about to see why I love them so much. Watch the end of the video at the end of this tutorial. You might want to run to Wal-Mart and grab a few because they make life easier.
- Cover the dough balls with plastic wrap and roll it out evenly. To do that, I purchased rolling pin rings (I use the 1/4″ rings) that slide on each end of the rolling pin. It’s like little silicone wheels for your rolling pin. The dough doesn’t stand a chance. Just ‘drive’ the rolling pin with the spacers over the dough and it will be perfectly even like a freshly paved road with no hills or potholes. You’ve gotta love that!
- Also, the mats don’t take up space at all! They are flat and are easily stored under your cookie sheets.
- Next, stack the mats on top of each other and place them in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. Why roll out the dough before you chill it? I am so glad you asked!
- If you place the disc of dough in the fridge before you roll it out, you have to wait for the dough to warm up before you can roll it. If you roll it out on mats and then place it in the freezer, you don’t have to wait to start cutting the shapes. It is a real time saver.
Here is one thing I’ve noticed. If you have a cutter with a really small area, you might want to let the dough warm up a bit. Popping almost frozen dough out of a cookie-cutter can cause the dough to break even if you flour the cutter. What good is a good sugar cookie recipe if you break the cookies before you bake them? If you let it warm up a bit, they will pop right out of the cutter and you will have beautiful cookies.
The reason I freeze the dough for 10-15 minutes is that freezing it will allow me to be a little rougher when taking it out of the cutter. When I remove it from the cutter, it keeps its shape. If I don’t freeze the dough, well, you see that little sad snowflake cookie in the picture. Poor thing!
I’ve said it once and I will say it again, I am a tomboy. I’m a bit rough with things. I need something that will allow me to push the cookies out of the cutter and freezing it for a few minutes before cutting the shapes works for me. It might not work for you. One recipe or one way of doing things isn’t for everyone. You have to play around and find something that makes you happy! This sugar cookie recipe and freezing the dough a bit makes me happy. I hope you find something that works this well for yourself. 😉
I hope you are enjoying ‘The Bearfoot Basics” because I have a lot more planned for you! Stay tuned!
If you would like to have a sugar cookie recipe chalkboard printable then click the link. Hang it on the fridge and it will save you some time looking up the recipe every time you bake.
Sugar Cookie Recipe:
Sugar Cookie Recipe
- 2 sticks (8 ounces) of unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups (297 grams) of granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp of Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 cups (17 ounces) of All-Purpose Flour
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Begin by placing the flour in a bowl and set it aside.
- Place butter in a bowl and beat until smooth.
- Add the sugar and mix until combined.
- Add eggs one at a time mixing well in between each addition.
- Add the vanilla, salt, baking powder, and mix
- Mix in the flour one cup at a time and mix just until the ingredients are combined.
- Divide the dough into 3 discs and roll each one out on a mat. Freeze for 10-15 minutes and cut out your cookie shapes and bake 6-9 minutes.
Sugar Cookie Recipe and Tips:
How to Soften Butter Quickly
Why do Sugar Cookies Spread When Baked
Salted or Unsalted Butter
Beginners Guide to Cookie Decorating
Basic Cookie Decorating Supplies
Basic Decorating Supplies
Thank you for the recipe. I’ve tried many but haven’t found a “favorite” yet. May I ask what thickness you roll out your sugar cookies? Thanks.
That would have been a nice thing for me to include! LOL I use the 1/4″ spacers when rolling the dough. I added it to the tutorial above. Thanks for reminding me to add it. SMOOCH!
This recipe and method WAS AWESOME! Thank You! Jen
Thank you! I’m so glad you liked it!
Merry Christmas Jennifer!
Hi! Do you use bleached or unblewzjed flour? Large
Or extra large
Thanks so much!!
My cookie dough came out sticky, and would not flatten
Sorry to hear about your cookie dough. How did you measure your flour? It sounds like it needed a little more flour. Email me if you want to talk about it more. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. 😉
Since you weigh your dough, how much should 4 cups weigh?
I don’t actually weigh the dough, I weigh the flour. One cup of all-purpose flour weighs 4.25 ounces so four cups of flour weighs 17 ounces.
If you like to use grams,17 ounces equals 481 grams of flour.
Hope that is what you were asking. 😉
I meant how much should the flour weigh.
Got it! Then I did answer correctly. LOL
Also, the weight for the ounces are listed in the printable recipe.
Thank you for your recipe and tips. I have tried many sugar cookie recipes and not yet found one that works just right AND tastes good so I’m eager to give yours a try. Question for you – do you freeze your cookie pan before you put it in the oven?
I don’t freeze the pans before I add the cookies. I have a lot of baking sheets so I don’t have a need to freeze them.
If I only had a few pans and a lot of cookies to bake, I would try to cool them as quickly as I could before I added the cookies. But no need to freeze as long as the pans are room temp.
I have been struggling to find a really good sugar cookie recipe and can’t wait to try this one. Question am I looking right at it? I don’t see the oven temp. I am assuming 350?
I can’t believe I forgot to put the oven temp! Where is my brain?
You bake the cookies at 375 degrees for 6-9 minutes.
Sorry about that! I added the temp to the recipe. 😉
Please add the weight of the flour to the recipe as well.
Oops, it is there.
You are a genius:)
No I’m not! Very far from it. Scatterbrain, yes. Amelia Bedelia, yes. Genius, no! LOL
Oh my gosh Karen! A true to the name Icelander. I don’t come across “Dottir” too often. Nice to see ?
Hey Lisa! You are a rockstar! The perfect sugar cookie recipe! I made it last night and woke up very early this morning because I was so excited to roll them out to bake. One question, I purchased your animal cookie book and your vanilla cookie recipe is the same with one exception; 1/2 cup powdered sugar which is how I made my recipe and I’m totally excited it is perfect. Just curious why the powdered sugar was taken out and what the difference you see by removing that 1 ingredient ? I had perfectly shaped cookies after leaving in the freezer for the recommended time. So excited! And I weighed flour at the recipe’s 600 grams.
I am glad to hear you had good results with the sugar cookie recipe in my book. If that recipe works for you, keep it! Don’t change. Just like I said in the post, “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.”
I don’t really have a good reason for tweaking the recipe and replacing the powdered sugar with the granulated sugar other than I know there are different ways of doing things. Here is an example: I have 2 “go to” apple pie recipes. Both of them are delicious and they are both my favorites. Same thing with the sugar cookie recipe. Both of these recipes work and both taste good.
I love powdered sugar and granulated sugar so I wanted to try each in the recipes.
Another factor in unsalted versus salted butter is that unsalted butter has a shorter shelf life. If you want the freshest butter, reach for unsalted.
That is very true Jane. Unsalted has a shelf life of about 1 month. Salted has a shelf life of about three months. I was going to share that in my upcoming butter post. 😉
Sorry. I didn’t mean to alter your posts in any way. I always enjoy what you have to say.
NO!!! You didn’t alter it! I am so sorry if I made you feel that way!! Please forgive me. I love everyone’s input and your are right on target with the unsalted butter being fresher. I appreciate your input and please forgive me if I gave you the wrong impression.
Big, big bear hug!!!
Next in line to “ironing” my cookies when they come out of the oven (my most favorite and extremely useful tip from you) is this tip to chill/freeze the dough, cut shapes, re-chill, and bake. LOVE it! (and you, too!) Must be the “tomboy” in BOTH of us. 🙂
You are so cute Janis! I just ironed a batch of cookies 10 minutes ago and then read this. You made my day!
Ironing ?? With à fondant smoother maybe ??? Can you explain please. Thank you.
And also, you rechill before baking ?
I know “ironing” a cookie sounds weird, but when I remove the cookies from the hot oven, I use a fondant smoother to flatten them. I made a tutorial on it a long time ago and here is the link: http://thebearfootbaker.com/2012/03/flatten-my-cookies-and-not-my-hair/
It works and I use this trick every single time I make cookies. 😉
I am new to your blog and am in LOVE!!! You are beyond talented. Would you by chance mind sharing what kitchen scale you use?
Hi Jeanette! Welcome!
I just picked up a cheap one at Wal-Mart and it works great. I think mine is so old they don’t make them anymore. As hard as I tried I couldn’t find it on the Wal-Mart or any other site. I did however, find one that looks a lot like mine and it about $20. Here is the link if you want to see it: http://amzn.to/1ZrxSl6 and this is an affiliate link for Amazon.
Before you pay shipping, you might want to check Wal-Mart or your local stores.
Lisa, this is now my one-and-only! I was wondering whether to skip the baking powder but so glad I didn’t – they held their shape beautifully, and I really like the texture too! Thank you. Yum!
YEAH JULIA!! I am so happy the recipe worked for you! (((Happy Dance!)))
Lisa, thanks for taking the time and sharing your expertise with the rest of us. I am just getting into cut cookie making and this recipe along with all of your other tips/tricks will be a huge help! Cheers!
You are very welcome Diane! Happy baking!
Is the dough suppose to be creamy like a chocolate chip cookie dough or should it all be formed together when you are finished mixing?
It should be formed together but a little sticky. You can always add a 1/4 cup more flour if yours is too sticky but be careful and don’t add to much or it will cause the cookies to become dry and spread when they are baked.
Good Morning/Afternoon All!
I just wanted to say for those who may have issues still over their cookies spreading (as I initially had with this sugar cookie recipe until I re-read everything and reduced the baking powder to 1/4 tsp and Voilla! Perfection, not once by happenstance but all 4 batches now happily in my freezer for 10 days awaiting to be thawed and decorated…tea pots and cup for an Alice in Wonderland High Tea ” 11th Un-Birthday” for my granddaughter.
Thank you for all the hints and and help.
I am glad reducing the baking powder worked for you. I really, really, really hope you share the “Un-Birthday” cookies with us! 😉
I am a fairly new baker and I have to say, I love your posts! Thank you for all the useful information. I am curious how much in advance do you make your dough before baking it? Also, after you have made the cookies and decorate them how long are they good for?
Sorry it took me so long to answer your question. I have had the grandkids for the past 5 days and haven’t been online.
I usually bake the cookies the day I make the cookie dough but you can keep it in the fridge for 2 days and you can freeze it for up to three months.
Once you decorate the cookies, they will stay fresh up to 4 weeks if they are stored in an airtight container. I personally don’t wait that long. I usually give the cookies away when they are three days old. I don’t like giving cookies that have to be eaten right away but keep in mind they will stay fresh for 4 weeks if stored properly.
Why is it that by the time I iced my cookies and let them dry they are already soft! Should I return them in the oven a bit to crisp them up?
I would suggest you buy an inexpensive oven thermometer to make sure your oven is the correct temperature. Sometimes if your oven is set at 375 degrees it could actually be cooler. If you test the temperature you will know if you need to adjust the temp.
You could also try baking them for a longer time. Pull them out of the oven when the bottom edge of the cookies start to look tan.
I have been asked to make monogram cookies for a wedding. I am trying to plan it all out. How long does it take for the cookies to dry after flooding in order to decorate? and how long after I monogram them do you think before I can wrap them?
I’ve been looking around and these are by far the best tutorials I’ve seen.
thanks so much!
It’s nice to meet you!
The time it takes for royal icing to dry depends on the humidity in your area.I live in a place where the humidity is high so sometimes it takes about 8 hours for my icing to dry. A friend of mine lives in an extremely dry area and hers will dry in about an hour.
I suggest you play with it to see how the royal icing will dry for you.
Rolling out the dough before chilling is genius! Thanks
I’m glad this method works for you too. Its so simple and we don’t have to worry about messing up the shapes. 😉
HI there! Do you think I could cut this recipe in half and it would come out the same? Any suggestions?
Ii have never cut it in half before but I have doubled it and that worked well. If you do cut it in half will you let us know how it turns out? 😉
Dear Lisa. I just printed your Halloween e cookie book. Will make some cute cookies with your ideas. Your cookie recipe is the best. Will you be putting a Christmas e book this season on your web site?
Haven’t made these yet so wondering are they a soft cookie?
Yes Tawna, they’re soft! 😉
Thank you so much for this blog! I just discovered it and have learned so much from you already. I’m really enjoying learning how to make and decorate cookies!
I have a question…the after I roll out the dough onto the flexible cutting boards and put in into the freezer…I’m having difficulty removing the dough from the cutting board, without it sticking it to the board. Is this just a flour problem? I’m worried about adding too much flour…but the dough is also breaking apart as I pull it from the cutting board.
Thanks for your help!
I usually lightly flour the mat (I’ve done it with and without flour and either way works) and then add and roll out the dough. Freeze it for a few minutes and then flip the mat upside down and pull it away from the dough. I found a video I made a while back that will help you see how I do it. I’m a very visual learner so hopefully this will help you see how I do it.
Let me know if you need anything else.
Okay so I followed your recipe and the dough is crumbling what did I do wrong and please how can I fix it..
I’m sorry to hear your dough was crumbly. My first thought is did you weigh the flour? Before I began weighing my ingreidents my dough would be because I used a lot more flour than the recipe called for. I thought I was doing it right and once I bought a scale I realized how much “extra” flour I was using. If you did weigh it, let me know and we will see if we can find other reasons it might be crumbly.
How many cookies does this recipe make?
It will make 35-40 three inch cookies. 😉
I haven’t had to make sugar cookies in a hundred years period so quickly I checked on Pinterest and pick this one. Absolutely perfect every time. Prep time was short baking was short, I like the fact that I only had to refrigerate the dough for 10 or 15 minutes. Perfect perfect perfect. Thanks for the recipe it’s the go to from now on. In the family cookbook!
I’m so glad you like it Shelly! I like the quick chill and the fact it’s fast.
Happy baking my friend! 😉
Probably the best cookie recipe I have ever found. Worked like a charm. The cutting mat system is just brilliant!!!
Thank you so much for sharing it and for the really clear instructions! 🙂
Thank you for the sweet comment Valeria! I’m so happy you liked the recipe! 😉
I have never seen a cutting mat. I asked at my walmart and she just showed me the silpat. Are they the same?
The mats are just regular flexible cutting mats at Wal-Mart and here is the link: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Color-Flexible-Cutting-Mat/20531370.
You can also find the link on my shopping page. If you click the picture you can see all the information so when you go back to Wal-Mart you will know what your looking for.
Hope this helps.
Hi Lisa! I LOVE THIS RECIPE !!❤️️ They turned out perfect!! My young granddaughters will be joining me later to decorate and I know they will love them. I’m so glad I found you. Have a wonderful Christmas!!
I’m so glad you like the recipe Debbi. I wish I could decorate with you and your granddaughters! Have fun and have a Merry Christmas!
Hi there! Just tried this recipe tonight and they turned out great 🙂 So great, in fact, I’m wondering if they will freeze and thaw out well to serve at Christmas. Have you tried freezing them to serve later? Let a sista know 😉 thank you!
I freeze them undecorated all the time and I can’t tell the difference. You can freeze them for up to three months but I like to use them within a week or two. If your freezing a lot of them you may want to place a layer of parchment paper or freezer paper in between each layer and then let them thaw completely before you open the container and decorate them.
Made these today, they are the best sugar cookies I have ever made. This recipe is a keeper
This really is the best sugar cookie recipe! I made elephant shaped cookies for my baby shower and they were a hit! I’m planning a shower for my sister in law and wondering if these could be made with gluten free flour?
I’ll be honest, I have never tried them with gluten free flour. If you try it will you let me know how it turns out?
Where did your polar bear cookie cutters?!
It’s a Wilton cutter and here is my Amazon Affiliate link: http://amzn.to/2iaLlQT
I’m so new to all this cut cookie stuff. I decorated them when I was little with my grandma. I’m hoping this will be a fun new experience I can carry on with my kids as she did. I however have a question. Once you start to cut your shapes, you end up having left over dough, on top of trying to get the shapes as close as possible without ruining it, is it possible to combined the left overs and reroll them out and chill again to cut even more shapes so it isn’t wasted?
You can re-roll cookie dough. I usually get 3 rolls out of it and then the shapes will start to spread as they bake. Heres a post I wrote with info you may find helpful:http://thebearfootbaker.com/2016/04/can-you-re-roll-cookie-dough/.
Let me know if you ever need anything. I’m here to help.
I have to say this is one of the worst cookie recipes i have tried. And i have made many sugar cookies and lost the recipe usually use. This were dry and not thay sweet. Plus hard to roll out.
That’s really rude to say. It probably would’ve been better to ask for help and try to solve the issue.
I made this re ipe last night and I loved it! The only problem was that the dough became crumbly and dry. I added a bit of water and it worked! The cookies were great.
I have a couple of toddlers and was going to skip sugar cookie cutout cookies this year until my husband announced to my 4 year old, we would be making them. It’s typically been such a long and messy process until I came across your recipe and instructions. YOU’RE MY HERO! The cookies turned out delicious, the cutting mat process made the rolling and clean up so incredibly easy. What would have taken all day to make, turned into a couple of pleasant hours, baking and decorating with the family. Thank you so much! Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas Steph! I’m glad you and your kiddos made a good Christmas cookie memory. Hug your hubby for me and tell him thanks! 😉
I’m very new to cookie decorating and I’ve already learned so much from your blog! Thank you for making the tips and instructions easy to understand. I only have one small question. Do you freeze the dough before and after you cut it? Thank you so much!
Nice to meet you and welcome to the wonderful world of cookie decorating. 😉
I make the dough, roll it out on the mats, freeze it for a few minutes and then cut the shapes. I usually don’t chill it again unless the cookie cutters start to rip or tear the dough instead of making a nice slice and shape. If it tears, I pop it back in the freezer for a few minutes and then finishing cutting all the shapes.
I love the sugar cookie recipe but is there a choclate version?
I do have a chocolate roll out cookie recipe. You can find it here: http://thebearfootbaker.com/2014/03/chocolate-roll-out-cookies/
I’ve sent you three emails so don’t hate me if you get another one! 😉
This is THE best sugar cookie recipe. I have used the same cookie recipe for 36 years and never been happy with how they don’t have “sharp” edges.. I loved the flavor of mine but not how they turned out. I have tried so many but still not the right outcome. Now I have the best of both with your recipe, great flavor and perfect edges. And the frosting, too. Thanks!
I don’t have a food scale so I just measured out 4 cups of flour and added them very slowly. I didn’t even add the entire four cups and the dough came out way too dry. I couldn’t even roll it out it was so crumbly. I don’t know what happened 🙁
I’m so sorry your dough didn’t work out for you. I don’t know why it was dry and crumbly. I hate to ask but are you sure you added everything else? I did that once and realized I didn’t add the eggs. I wish we were neighbors and I’d come over and bake with you.
Oh my gosh – I came to the comments to try and see if someone else also asked why their dough was so dry … YEP turns out I didn’t add the eggs! Blonde moment! 🙂
As many times as I’ve made this recipe, I forgot to add the eggs yesterday! It happens to all of us at some point! LOL
Hi Lisa – I figured out why I forgot the eggs – while your recipe includes them, your step by step with pictures in the tutorial never adds them. Just a FYI in case anyone else follows the pictures too!
Also, I’ve made these cookies about 8 times since then, all with perfect results. Decorating has become my main (fattening hobby) and it’s so relaxing for me.
One piece of advice – I’ve been mixing up the flavoring a few times and subbed in raspberry extract or almond extract, etc in place of vanilla for fun. It’s almost too subtle and I’d like to really punch some flavor in. Have you made other “flavors” of sugar cookie and have any advice?
Thanks! I’m on youthe blog all the time. So many things to learn – royal icing transfers are up next!
Made them for my daughters class for Valentines day so they could decorate them. They came out perfect! First try! I found the perfect decorating sugar cookie and they were so delicious.
Can I use 1/2 almond extract and 1/2 vanilla?
You can flavor the cookies any way you like. Did you know they even have root beer flavor? I’d love to make a frosty mug with a root beer float that actually tasted like a root beer!
Have fun experimenting with your flavors!
Omg! This is the BEST sugar cookie recipe ever. I followed it to directions and came out perfectly. I want to make a lot of cookies, and I was wondering, can you double the recipe?
Thanks again for an amazing recipe.
In the written directions, you forgot to show when you add the eggs, so I just watched the video instead.
Thanks once again for an amazing cookie recipe.
Do you put the dough in your freezer or in the refrigerator? I don’t have room in my freezer. I think I have finally perfected my recipe, it just spreads a bit at the bottom. I roll out my dough and refrigerate, then I cut and place on cookie sheets, then I refrigerate the filled cookie sheet before baking … maybe I shouldn’t refrigerate the second time.
I place them in the freezer Joan. But like I said in the video, if you have something that works for you, keep doing it. If you have an issue and need a suggestion or two, try something from the video. If you need help let me know! 😉
I bought some of the rolling mats at Big Lots. There were 5 or 6 in a pack, varying sizes, for 5 bucks! I can’t believe what a difference these mats made! I covered each with a layer of plastic wrap and started stacking them on top of each other, on a cookie sheet. I got busy and didn’t bake for 3 days. I just removed the dough from the freezer, gave it about 5 mins to thaw a little and cut my shapes, returned to freezer for 5 mins, then baked. PERFECTION!!!! No spreading at all! You are just a bundle of joy and geniusness! ???
Can I ask why you divide the dough into 3 portions? I usually just roll out the whole thing in between 2 parchment sheets?
When I divide the dough into three equal parts it fits on my mats better. It’s just a personal choice on what works best for me! 😉
How well does this recipe do in shipping? I have a request for cookies in Florida, and I’m in New York, and she wants decorated cookies for a kids party.
I wrote a book and shipped hundreds of cookies overseas and not one cookie broke! If you pack them well, they will ship well. Here is a post that might help:https://thebearfootbaker.com/2015/08/ship-cookies-like-pro-video/.
I just made these and I am SO happy with them!!! Thank you so much!!! I’m a little afraid to do the royal icing decorating part For the first time!
I’m so proud of you Ashley! Don’t be afraid to decorate them. The more you do it the better you will like it and the more comfortable you’ll feel!
hello! great recipe- love your site. Thanks for all the great info.
what size eggs do you use? Thanks so much!!!
I use large eggs. I hope you like the recipe! 😉
I love this recipe. As the worst baker in All the Lands 🙂 ….I have been using this recipe for almost a year, this recipe is easy and makes me look like im a cookie pro. Thank you! My daughters think i’m awesome, and one day I’ll tell them about you haha!
Thanks, Evelin! I look forward to meeting your daughters! lol
Your posts have been so helpful, thank you!!!!!
Hi, I have just tried your recipe, but have some questions….how you know that the cookie is baked? And how to prevent cookie s corners from browning? Thanks a lot.
Most of the time when we bake we hear “bake it until it’s golden brown” but that’s not the case with sugar cookies. We want the sugar cookies to be soft and tender so when do we remove them from the oven? I always set a timer so I know when they’re done.
1. You want to bake them anywhere from 6-9 minutes depending on your oven.
2. The edges will not be brown, but the center of your cookie dough will look like it’s starting to crack.
3. When you remove them from the oven they will continue to bake a little so removing them before they brown is a good thing.
4. Once you know how long it takes them to bake, it will be the same for each batch unless your oven decides to change its temperature. Mine is doing that now. In the past, if I set it to 375 degrees, it has been 375 degrees. But now it’s getting older and if its set for 375 degrees, it’s only 350 degrees inside the oven. That can cause the cookie to spread as they bake because it’s baking them too slowly. Or if your oven is too hot, the edges and bottom will get brown and the inside of the cookie won’t be done.
5. If that happens, get an inexpensive oven thermometer for about $5 and hang it on the inside of your oven so you will know exactly what the temperature is. It has helped me know exactly how long it will take to bake them and they are soft and tender each time I bake them.
I know this is a lot of information and I hope I didn’t scare you away. Once you find the right time, set the timer and enjoy your perfect cookies every time you bake them!
This will be the first time I have iced a cookie. I just opened my own bakery and got a request for decorated cookies and not sure witch is better, a sugar cookie or a shortbread? Also can you add things like dried fruit or nuts to a sugar cookie recipe? Can’t wait to read more of your blogs. Thanks
I’m totally a sugar cookie girl, but I do love shortbread. I’m sure you can experiment and see what kind of things you can add to the recipe. Fruit and nuts are always a good plan in my book!
Let me know how it turns out. 😉
I’m so glad I found this site. I have been looking for a cookie recipe that doesn’t spread. I am going to try it and I’ll let you know how my cookies came out. This is the first time I’m going to make sugar cookies. I’m going to decorate them for my granddaughter’s birthday it’s a mermaid theme.
I made the cookies! They came out beautifully. The best thing that I liked about it was that they did not spread. I followed your instructions and they came out perfect. I’m made cookies for my granddaughter’s birthday theme “Mermaids.” Thank you so much I found you your recipe. this is the first time I make sugar cookies.
I’m happy to hear your mermaid cookies turned out so well. I hope you’re as addicted to making cookies as I am! 🙂
Let me know if you need anything! 😉
I love these cookies!! I did read that you can freeze the unused dough up to 3 months, what is your best way to freeze the unused dough?
Thanks for all you do for us!!!
Hi Lisa! I made your cookies on Sunday and they are AMAZE!!
Thank you so so much for your recipe and for all the awesome tips from you and your readers as well.
I’m a first time cookie maker/decorator and this recipe was easy to follow and tasted DELISH! All my family and friends are impressed. I think I’ll be making more!
Hi Lisa! I’m trying to duplicate a recipe for sugar cookies from a local bakery, and I’m sure they don’t use butter in the cookie dough. I think they probably use Sweetex. If I substitute Sweetex for Crisco or butter in a cookie recipe or an icing recipe, do I use cup for cup, or do I use less Sweetex. Thank you! Debbie
I’m not sure because I don’t know what kind of cookie recipe it is. Can you possibly ask someone in the bakery? You might be surprised. They may say they use butter or they use Sweetex or something different. At least you’ll know where to start.
I was looking for a recipe to make some cookies for Christmas and thankfully I stumbled across this recipe. This was my first time ever making sugar cookies and they turned out awesome! Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe, my family and I really enjoy it.
Ive never been so excited to make sugar cookies!! Cant wait to get started! Thanks for the tips, the truths, and the fun!
I am an experimental baker and I have tried so many sugar cookie recipes and have never found one that I have set my heart on….. UNTIL NOW! My son and I made your recipe, The kids and I cut them out, decorated them and then we started to devour them!! They are delicious by themselves, fantastic with icing. I made sure to print this recipe and write on top “USE THIS RECIPE” Thank you for posting/sharing!
Awe Betty! You just made my day!!
Thank you so much for sharing that with me! I hope you and your son use this recipe to make fun memories in the kitchen! If you ever feel like sharing some photos of your cookies with me, I’d love to see them!
17 oz for 4 cups of flour? not 18? for unbleached all purpose?
Here is King Arthur Flour’s Measurement chart: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/learn/ingredient-weight-chart.html
Each cup of Unbleached All-Purpose Flour weighs 4 1/4 ounces. So four cups are seventeen ounces.
I don’t usually comment on blogs, but i have to say that this freezing the dough thing has changed my life! Reduced my christmas-cookie-cursing to zero! I threw out all my other sugar cookie recipes! Thanks!
I’m glad this recipe works for you Gen. I know it made my life easier and I don’t have a bunch of misshaped cookies on a baking sheet when they come out of the oven.
Your “Christmas-cookie-cursing” made me laugh out loud! Thanks!!!!
I just tried this recipe today – I’ve been so excited to decorate cookies and I finally got around to making some. Unfortunately, mine didn’t turn out beautiful like yours. I’m not sure where I went wrong. I weighed my flour, used the freezer technique…I had to cook mine longer than 9 minutes to get them done in the middle. The flavor is good, but some cookies broke and others are too crispy on the bottom. Is my oven too hot?
Do you have an oven thermometer? How thick are you rolling the dough before you cut out the cookies? Do you use parchment paper or a Silpat on the bottom of the baking sheet?
Second, how thick is the dough you rolled out? You could try rolling it out thinner and see if that helps. Once you try this, email me and let me know if it helped. If not, we will keep working on it! 😉
This worked great for me thanks!
I ADORE this recipe and have found your tips and suggestions for decorating extremely helpful! I like to roll the dough at 3/8″. Do you have a suggestion of how long to bake them at 375? I realize trial and error is best, but am hoping for a starting point to check them without opening and closing my oven again and again. ?Thank you so much!
I don’t know how long it will take to bake them because all ovens bake differently. Your oven could say 375 degrees when it’s actually only 350 degrees. If I were you, I’d bake a few cookies at a time and watch for a few things that will tell you when they are done.
1. Most of the time we tell you to bake the cookies until they are golden brown, but that’s not the case with sugar cookies. Once the edges start to turn brown you’ve gone too far. You want to remove them before they turn brown. We want them to be soft and chewy not hard and crunchy.
2. I like to remove the cookies when the center starts to look like it’s cracked in the center.
The best way to do this is to bake some (maybe two or three) at a time and see how long it will take for this to happen. After a few tries, you will have a good idea of how long it will take.
Hope this helps!
Hi, this is my first attempt at this. What should the dough fell like? Mine was sticky.
It shouldn’t be “sticky” so if you think it needs more flour you can add a little more. If you want to roll it out and cut your shapes without freezing it you can add up to 1/2 cup more.
Hi there, I love the flavor of my sugar cookie recipe but they tend to lose their shape pretty bad and just come out fat. I’d love to try this recipe but I live at 6,500 feet above sea level. Would this recipe work at high altitude?
I posted a comment on your question other question but here it is again. I wanted to make sure you go it. 🙂
I know altitude can cause problems when baking cookies. King Arthur Flour has a great post on this. Here is the link: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/learn/high-altitude-baking.html.
If you look under cookies it has several things that you can try to adjust like oven temperature, baking time, sugar, liquid, and flour. I’m sure you can find the information there and they even have a hotline if you need to talk to someone.
Hope this helps!
Hi there! I’ve been struggling to find a recipe for cookie dough that not only tastes good but holds its shape. Problem is I live at 6,200 feet above sea level. I found a good tasting high altitude recipe but they just end up like fat versions of the cutters. Would this be a good recipe for high altitude? I’d love to try it but baking is so different here.
I know altitude can cause problems when baking cookies. King Arthur Flour has a great post on this. Here is the link: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/learn/high-altitude-baking.html.
If you look under cookies it has several things that you can try to adjust like oven temperature, baking time, sugar, liquid and flour. I’m sure you can find the information there and they even have a hotline if you need to talk to someone.
Hope this helps!
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I have tried other recipes and most of them did not end up with great cookies such as these! I ended up having to use more flour than what it calls for but that was totally fine for me. I am so glad I found your page! ❤️❤️
I just “discovered” your blog while searching for Halloween cookies and I’m happily scrolling all the pages, looking at your tips for royal icing. This will be my first experience making and decorating with it, and I’m looking forward to getting started! Thanks for all you do!
Your welcome Amanda. Look for more because I’m working on a few tutorials now. 😉
Love your video. Using a scale was the best tip. I works. Love the Apple Cider Kitchen Aid Mixer
Hi Lisa – this has become my go-to recipe (it gets rave reviews). I use the Mainstays mats from Walmart per your directions, but find that the dough sticks to them, even if I dust them with what seems like a lot of flour. Are there other tricks for preventing the dough from sticking? Is it possible to add too much flour during the rolling process? I considered using a pastry cloth to roll the cookies out on and then setting that on the mat for the stability, but maybe there is an easier fix? Thank you!!
I’ve never had a problem with the mats but again you know how humidity is with the cookies. How long do you leave your butter out before you bake? Try leaving it out for thirty minutes and then make the cookie dough. If that doesn’t work, email me and well try to find a solution for you. 😉
Thank you! I try to remember to leave the butter out overnight, but in the winter that means it’s not particularly softened since the kitchen temp stays about 65 degrees (until I preheat the oven). It’s pretty dry in our house as we have forced air heat. Most of the time I microwave the butter (both sticks together in the glass mixer bowl) on half power for 60 – 90 seconds so that it’s soft but not melted. Maybe that’s what I’m doing wrong – maybe the microwaving is the culprit. I also measure the flour in cups, perhaps I should be making more use of my kitchen scale…. Thanks again and best wished for happy holidays. 🙂
I know what you mean about the butter. I want my cookies to be the same every single time. Here are a few tutorials and tips that might help you out. 😉
The right way to soften butter: https://thebearfootbaker.com/2016/03/right-way-to-soften-butter/
How to Soften Butter Quickly: https://thebearfootbaker.com/2014/10/soften-butter-quickly/
Have fun baking!
Hello there, I am going to try this recipe and just wanted to know if these cookies are soft and chewy or hard and crunchy?
The cookies are somewhere in the middle. They’re not hard, but not soft. It’s kind of like the three bears, somewhere in the middle is just right!
The dough did not turn out malleable at all is very crumbly. Must need more butter or less floor.
I do not recommend this recipe!
Did you measure your flour? I measure my flour every time I make cookies and it turns out perfect. I hope you find the issue because decorating sugar cookies is a lot of fun!
Made these exactly as the recipe suggested. While they haven’t spread so far, they don’t necessarily taste good. They are VERY bland and don’t taste like sugar cookies. I would suggest looking for another recipe if you want your sugar cookies to taste like sugar cookies 🙁
Did you add any flavor to it? You can add vanilla extract or almond extract to flavor it.
Can the dough be frozen for a couple of days?
Yes, the dough can be frozen for a few days. It actually can be frozen for up to three months, but I don’t like doing it that long. If you are going to freeze your dough, be sure to wrap it correctly and place it in an airtight container. When you’re ready to use it, place it on the counter and let it thaw (come to room temperature) before you unwrap it or begin to decorate.
This is my second year using this recipe and sifting the flour makes a world of difference. The cookies are softer and kneading is easier. The flavor Is good and texture is melt in your mouth sugar cookie!
Thanks for this recipe. Happy holidays!
Thank you, Beatrice! I hope you have a Merry Christmas!
This was the easiest sugar cookie dough I’ve ever worked with. It is essential to WEIGH the flour ,as you suggested,to get the perfect consistency! They are just the right sweetness for frosting. I’m putting a glaze and colored sugar on mine. I baked them at 350 degrees in a convection oven for 6 minutes. Thank you for the great recipe.. I’ll make them again next year.?????
I used this recipe today to make our Santa cookies and I love it. I will never use another sugar cookie recipe again!!!! I also made 56 cookies with one batch and I used shaped cookie cutters.
Excellent sugar cookie recipe. I have made over 30 different sugar cookies and this is one of the best. I follow the directions, sift and weigh my flour.
Finally a recipe that doesn’t stick to your hands and cookies taste pretty good.
Thanks for sharing, God bless you.
Hello Lisa, I’m so excited about trying your recipe.This would be my first time with a chilling recipe so I have one question :
When you say freeze the dough do you mean put it in the fridge where you put the milk? Or does it mean put it in the freezer where you put the ice trays?
Since Im a foreign I need to be sure of this key part of the process. Pls pls answer me 😉
I tried it today, Loved the flavor, since its the first time I bake with a chilling/ freezing recipe, it’s was a little tricky since my room temperature was warming the dough real fast so I had to chill again the shapes, they did spread a little but maybe next time I will bale it at night ☺️
I normally despise sugar cookies. But on a whim, I decided to try a batch of these to decorate with my 2 year old. Hands down, this is the best sugar cookie recipe I’ve ever tried. The cookie is tender, flavorful, and really melts in your mouth. Thanks for a great recipe!
You totally made my day Amber! I had a few really rough recipes before I decided to make my own. It took me several batches to get it right but this is it for me. I’m glad it works well for you and your 2-year-old! Shoot me an email if you want to do something with me at Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas. Blogs always need warm families during the holidays! 🙂
I used this recipe at Christmas when our church volunteers made 500+ cutout cookies for an outreach. The cookies turned out beautifully. I’ve had SO many problems with some of my older recipes spreading or not keeping a good shape, but this recipe holds up! I’ve added this recipe to my book, and will use it for all future bulk cookie creations.
Thank you for sharing this Angela! I love this recipe and I had issues with recipes I used before. I’m so glad we’re both happy with it. And the next time you and your church make 500+ cookies, let me know. I’ll try to come to help! 🙂
I followed your recipe exactly. My dough was sticky and couldn’t be handled to form a ball. What went wrong?
Do you have Facetime? I can call you the next time you make it and see if we can find the issue together.
If you want a phone call or want to Facetime, send your phone number to email@example.com and I’ll send you my phone number (so you’ll know it’s me) and I’ll call you. We’ve got this! Sugar cookie dough is awesome and we’ll work it out together!
I’m so glad I found your site, it has been super helpful! Do you re roll your scraps and freeze/cut them again? Or what is your scrap process? Thank you!
I usually roll my sugar cookie scraps three times. I roll out my dough. Put it in the freezer for a few minutes. Cut out my sugar cookie shapes. Gather the dough that wasn’t used from the entire batch and roll it out and cut more cookies. If I use it more than three times my cookies get a little wonky.
Here are a few rolling the dough tutorials I’ve made. Maybe one will help you a little.
Hope that helps! 😉
I just want to tell you how much I love your recipe. I was really starting to get discouraged after 2 failed batches that I almost gave up on making cookies. I too am a tomboy and can be heavy with the hand, and while I don’t have a scale I did gently used a spoon to scoop into the measuring cup, plus I replaced my all-purpose flour with sifted flour, I even went as far as buying new measuring cups as my other ones were from the dollar store. The recipe called for baking at 6-9 min I had to add 3 more minutes to my timer as they were not quite done the first time. Thank so much for sharing this recipe. ? Happy Baking.?
How long do they keep for?
Sugar cookies will stay fresh for about a week after being baked if they’re kept in an airtight container.
I am a beginner and am loving all your advice! Is it okay if I bake the cookies and then store them in the freezer for a few days before I frost them?
Sure it’s okay Catherine! Just be sure you have the dough covered or wrapped well with plastic wrap.
Can I do just half of the recipe?
Haven’t made these yet, just starting to browse for recipes and instructions on decorating cookies. Your step by step instructions don’t mention the eggs! At first I thought I misread it, but they are in the recipe, just not in the pictured step by step instructions.
How did I miss that Juli! I added it to the directions. Thank you for letting me know!
Well this recipe worked P-E-R-F-E-C-T-L-Y for me!! It is so delicious! I have made countless sugar cookies from countless recipes, even one’s i’ve bought, and I like this one the most, BY FAR!! Thank you so much, Lisa 🙂
Just found your site in the last 48 hours and love it! This 50-something Texan has had trouble w/ sugar cookie spread all her life. Until now. I tried your sugar cookie recipe — and yay, no spreading!
I also watched your Cookies 101 – Part 1 video before baking. No wonder I’ve had problems in the past — my butter too warm, I baked the cookies too long, and rolled them too thin.
Thank you for sharing your tips!
I made these and used all the tips regarding freezing the dough before cutting them out. Perfect!!! I will now play with flavors. I’m so happy to have found this recipe. I have tried many!
I just Made your sugar cookies and the cookies turned out to be just perfect!!
Anyone who says they dont, they are not following your steps for this Recipe!
The taste super super good and i am sooooo happy i found the perfect recipe 😃
Thank you so much for sharing 💕
I’m glad the recipe worked well for you Susanne and thanks for the sweet comment!
I love this recipe! It’s my go to every time! Thank you, Lisa!
Just used this recipe today for the first time…all I can say is THANK YOU!! These remind me so much of the sugar cookies my mom made while I was growing up. Brought back wonderful memories. This will definitely be my go to recipe!
Lisa – when I roll the dough out how thick should it be?
Different people like different thicknesses. I roll min at 1/4″.
I also have The Cookie Countesses Precision Rolling Pin and I love it. It’ll always roll my dough the right thickness.
Hi Lisa, I just made this recipe and was delighted to find the cookie tasted delicious and no spreading occurred!! I did find the baked cookie to be somewhat dry, though; do you know of any way to fix this? Thank you!
If your cookies were a little dry try removing them from the oven a bit sooner. They will continue to bake after they’re removed so sometimes that can cause them to dry out. Thy removing them a little soon and they should be what you’re looking for.
Looooove this recipe!!! I’ve been making it for a few years until recently, I moved to a higher elevation and now my cookies come out hard as a rock 😭 do you have any recommendations on how to alter the recipe for higher elevations?
Hello, these cookies are amazing and look so cute cut into shapes! We have written a sugar cookie round-up article and have included this recipe. You can view it here if you wish, https://www.diythought.com/5-delicious-sugar-cookie-recipes/ Please let me know if you would like me to make any changes. Thanks, Kelly
Where did you get the polar bear cookie cutter? I love it!!!
That is a Wilton Cookie Cutter from a long time ago. I agree about loving him. He’s totally adorable!
I’ve been looking online and I can’t find anyone selling it anymore. Ann Clark has one that looks a lot like it. Here is the link so you can check it out.
I did find a link on Amazon that will show you what the set looks like in case you want to search for it:
Hi Lisa, I just started listening to your blog today. Then yes that took me down the crazy road of all the blogs and website from the ladies in each episode. I have been doing cookies for 10 year as a just kind of side thing. I did go to culinary school and want to do this as a job but really do t know where to start as far as the business goes. Any tips or advice? Also the mat idea was amazing!
I’m so happy! I‘ve been looking for this recipe AGAIN, since I first found it in 2016. I used it then for my parents 50th anniversary . Your recipe-and especially the quick freeze method-are awesome! I’ve been searching for awhile now and I’m so glad I found you again. I can’t recommend your recipe enough. It is by far the best recipe I’ve found for making CLEAN EDGED, no spread sugar cookies for special events or anytime. The cookies taste wonderful, which is fabulous because there is nothing worse than biting into a gorgeous cookie to find it tasteless. Excellent job, Bearfoot Baker, and thank you so much for sharing your knowledge.
Thank you, Dona! I’m so glad you like it!!!
After years of mediocre sugar cookies I’ve found the one. This recipe was so easy and tastes great! I do have a question. I baked them for 9 minutes on parchment paper (just beginning to brown on the edges) and let them cool on the paper in the baking tray. The top of the cookie was great but by the time I took them off the parchment paper the cookies left an oily residue and didn’t seem done on the bottom. Do you bake yours on parchment paper and do you take them of the tray right away? Thanks!
I’m glad you liked the recipe.
Now to answer your question. I bake my cookies on parchment paper and sometimes I bake them on a Slipat. Either way, I remove the cookies from the oven before the edges start to turn brown.
As soon as I take them out of the oven I remove the parchment paper or Silpat from the pans and carefully place them on a cookie rack to cool. This will help stop the bottoms from turning brown.
Here are my affiliate links for the cookie racks:
Ultra Cuisine: https://amzn.to/31UiUyB
Wilton Cooling Racks- https://amzn.to/3mu5aUL
Thank you for your knowledge. Quick question that you may have already answered. How early before needing to make the cookies can I place the dough in the freezer? 1 week, 2 weeks? THanks!
That is a great question and I plan on doing a tutorial on it one day in the future. Until I make a post you should check out Design Eat and Repeat. My friend Melissa has an amazing tutorial on freezing dough and I’m sure she will answer all of your questions. You can find the post here: https://www.designeatrepeat.com/freeze-sugar-cookie-dough/.
I just had to comment to say this was my first time EVER making cookies from scratch and I had so much fun! This recipe was so easy to follow and the cookies turned out amazing! Thanks so much Lisa!!!
I’m glad you like it! Have fun baking and decorating Let me know if you have any questions!
These cookies spread really bad. If you want nice professional looking cookies, this recipe is not it.
I’m sorry the recipe didn’t work for you. If you’d like to talk about some issues that may have happened I’d love to chat with you. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can get in touch and solve the issue.