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Soft Sugar Cookies

December 7, 2009 Print This Post Print This Post


I have no idea when I started enjoying sugar cookies so much. Don’t get me wrong, I’d still prefer chocolate *anything* 9 times out of 10 but somehow these sugar cookies have made their way into my favorites! Sneaky little buggers! But if you give them a taste, you’ll know why. They’re delicious. Soft and sweet and just fabulous.

Every time I make these, hubby takes a taste of the dough and declares “OMG that is SOOOO good!!” So I guess as far as tasty cookie dough goes, this recipe is also a winner. Although that’s to be expected of America’s Test Kitchen recipes. After all, they do spend a lot of time researching and testing recipe to find the perfect combination of flavor and balance. I did tweak the recipe just ever so slightly. I substituted vanilla sugar for rolling the cookies, as well as increasing the vanilla extract in the dough. The recipe as I bake these are below.


Add these to your baking list for the holidays this year! They’re delish!

Sugar Cookies
Yields: 2 dozen

2 cups granulated sugar*
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
14 Tbsp (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs

Set oven rack in middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread 1/2 cup of the sugar* in a shallow dish for coating and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together and set aside.

Beat softened butter, vanilla and remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar together in a large bowl using an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3-6 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl & beaters as needed.

Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly mix in the flour mixture until combineds. Give the dough a final stir with a rubber spatula to make sure dough is combined.

Line large baking sheets with parchment paper. Using damp palms, roll 2 Tablespoons of dough at a time into balls, then roll in sugar to coat. Place balls on parchment-lined baking sheets, spaced 2 inches apart. Flatten cookies with the buttered bottom of a drinking glass, then sprinkle and remaining sugar over flattened tops.

Bake cookies, one sheet at a time, until the edges are set and just beginning to brown but the centers are still soft and puffy, 10-12 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking. Allow cookies to cook on baking sheet for 10 minutes, then serve warm or transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

* If you have vanilla sugar, substitute 1/2 cup for vanilla sugar for rolling cookies

Source: Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, 2006.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Karine December 7, 2009 at 9:40 pm

Great cookies! Can I have one?


MaryMoh December 8, 2009 at 2:43 am

These do look soft and yummy. Would love some of them with a hot cup of tea now.


Jessica {The Novice Chef} December 9, 2009 at 6:26 am

These are my favorite type of cookies: The kind where I already have everything to make them!

I will be making these ASAP! They look so dang good! Sometimes simplicity is best!


TasteStopping December 10, 2009 at 2:33 pm

These look like little pillows of vanilla perfection. And in a chocolate-leaning world, sometimes a little (or much) vanilla is nice. I wonder if you could roll them in cinnamon and sugar and make something close to a snickerdoodle. Just as is, they sound fantastic.

Anyway, I found you through TasteSpotting and am writing to say that if you have any photos that aren’t accepted there, I’d love to publish them. Visit my new site (below), it’s a lot of fun! I hope you will consider it.



Simply Life December 13, 2009 at 8:21 am

WOW those look wonderful! Great photos!


rebecca December 13, 2009 at 10:37 pm

oh great cookies, love your site


Pam December 14, 2009 at 8:03 am

Your cookies look so pretty!

Bee Happy!


Lorie December 15, 2009 at 3:40 pm

Thanks for this recipe!! I am not a fan of icing and these are the best un-iced sugar cookies I’ve made!


ashley December 15, 2009 at 3:42 pm

Lorie – I’m glad to hear you love these as much as we do! I’m not a huge fan of the iced ones either.. they’re typically too sweet for me! These are just right!


Karen December 15, 2009 at 10:05 pm

The husby and I made these this weekend, and they really are. so. good. *Off to the kitchen for another one…*


Dina December 20, 2009 at 11:44 pm

they look yummy!


Lorraine March 30, 2010 at 7:48 am

Best sugar cookie ever! My niece Amanda made them and I couldn’t believe how good they were. Hope she makes more (hint, hint!)


Lisa June 10, 2010 at 5:05 pm

These are perfection. I’ve been searching for a really good sugar cookie recipe for years. Thank you.


Katie November 27, 2010 at 6:24 pm

Make these for thanksgiving…they came out GREAT!!


Nicole June 25, 2012 at 3:08 pm

This cookies are amazing and super soft. I made a batch and they were gone in less than 24 hours! :)


Vicky November 30, 2012 at 2:58 pm

These are simply wonderful. I have to share that I made these to be included in my friend’s care package while he was stationed in Afghanistan. After his first batch he requested that I *always* include them in all of my care packages. His entire unit came to love them, he used them to trade for other goods, when he could bare to part with any. That’s a true test to how wonderful these cookies are (and how great they last, even shipping across the world). Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe! They’re a must bake!


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