The Best Sugar Cookie Recipe

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Today I would like to share the best sugar cookie recipe ever! ! For someone with a sweet tooth like me, it’s so natural to have the words “sugar” and “cookie” paired together.

I’m not sure I’ve ever met someone who doesn’t like cookies, so this recipe should be a hit with any crowd. I’ve been wanting to make this recipe for weeks now, and with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, today seemed like the perfect day.

This is my small-batch sugar cookie recipe. Sometimes I just want a cookie, or two. But I don’t want to make a huge batch since our family now is much smaller.

This makes 12 yummy cookies, depending on how thick you roll the dough. In case you missed this other sugar cookie recipe, Frosted Sugar Cookies

The Best Sugar Cookie Recipe

These Cookies Are Thick And Chewy

I like a thick and chewy soft sugar cookie. I frost these with cream cheese frosting, and if the grandkids are here, we will decorate them with “sprinkles.” These cookies are perfect for Valentine’s Day, or any holiday for that matter, just change the cookie-cutter shape.

If you prefer crispier sugar cookies, roll them thinner and watch the pan in the oven to see when the edges are a little darker, not too much, just a little. They’ll cook in less time because they are thinner.

I’m going to double the recipe today because we have company coming tonight! Life is good with some cute cookies in heart shapes, right?

As you know I’m building a small home and all of my kitchen “stuff,” or the majority, is packed up. I ordered some new Valentine’s heart shape cookie cutters.

Well, the cute hot pink cutter looked great, and it is, but the cookies are larger than I had pictured. Yes, the cookie-cutter size said 4 inches, and that was the only one available with the soft cushion top.

When my grandkids come over they’ll love to frost some BIG heart-shaped cookies, such is life. Plus, they taste delicious, so it’s all good. They taste good frosted or unfrosted! And yes, warm sugar cookies taste fabulous!

Kitchen Items You May Need:

  • Granulated White Sugar: Used to maintain moisture, creating a softer cookie, and adding sweetness and flavor.
  • Sour Cream: Used to add more flavor to the Sugar Cookies. It has a 20% fat content. The cream is mixed with a lactic acid that creates that sour taste we all love and helps to thicken the cream.
  • Salted or Unsalted Butter (softened): Due to the fat content, butter helps to produce softer Sugar Cookies and enriches the flavor; it helps to keep the cookies from crumbling. Butter prevents the eggs or any moist ingredient from evaporating, which creates moist, soft, and velvety Sugar Cookies. Due to the added salt in this recipe, you don’t need to use butter that contains added salt, if desired.
  • Egg: Great source of protein, helps to bind the bar together which creates moist and soft Sugar Cookies. Increases browning during the cooking process. Adds a deliciously rich flavor and helps to extend the life of the cookies.
  • Vanilla Extract or Almond Extract (I use vanilla): Adds and enhances the flavors of the butter, sugar, sour cream, egg, flour, and baking soda.
  • Baking Soda: Adds carbon dioxide to the dough which helps to create a delicious soft and chewy cookie.
  • Salt: Used to enhance the flavors of the other ingredients and to offset the flavor of the sugar.
  • All-Purpose White flour (I use bread flour): You can use all-purpose flour, but I find the Sugar Cookies come out fluffier with white bread flour. And, my bread flour has more protein than other flour varieties, which I appreciate when making any of my pastries or bread recipes.

Ingredients – The Best Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

  • Butter (softened): Due to the fat content, butter helps to produce a softer cream cheese frosting and enriches the flavor.
  • Cream Cheese (softened): Helps to thicken the frosting; adds a mild smooth flavor.
  • Powdered Sugar: Helps to create a smooth consistency; adds sweetness; the preferred sugar in baked goods.
  • Vanilla Extract: Adds and enhances the flavors of the butter, powdered sugar, and cream cheese.
  • Sprinkles (color of choice): Little bits of chocolate-flavored candies, typically made with white chocolate that does not melt. Sold in a variety of colors.
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Step One: Gather Ingredients – Preheat Oven – Grease Cookie Sheets

First, gather all of your ingredients so you’re ready to make the recipe. Preheat the oven to (350°F) = (176°C). Grease your cookie sheets or place parchment paper on them. Set them aside.

Ingredients

Step Two: Combine Ingredients – Cream Until Smooth

Using a standing mixer or an electric mixer on low speed, use the whisk or paddle attachment to combine the sugar, sour cream, butter, eggs, vanilla, or almond extract, then cream until smooth.

Start Creaming The Sugar and Butter

Creaming The Ingredients

Cream The Butter and Sugar

Step Three: Add Baking Soda and Salt

Next, it is time to start adding the dry ingredients. Add the baking soda and salt.

Add Baking Soda and Salt

Step Four: Add Flour & Mix

Gradually add the flour and mix until the flour mixture is smooth.

Add Flour

Step Five: Mix the Dough

Don’t mix the dough too long, but it does need to thicken so you can roll it out.

Mix The Flour Thoroughly

Step Six: Roll Out or Put in Fridge

If you want to roll out the cookies later, place the dough in plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator.

Chill in The Refrigerator

Step Seven: Roll Out Dough

When ready to cut out the cookies, place the dough onto a lightly floured surface or countertop. Please flour your rolling pin as well.

Flour The Countertop

Step Eight: Cut Cookies 1/4 inch Thick

I like my cookies about 1/4 inch thick when I roll out the dough. As a result, I get a thicker softer cookie.

Something to consider, a thin cookie won’t be as soft, so you decide how you like your cookies. Use your cookie cutter(s) and cut the dough into the desired shapes.

Sugar Cookie Recipe

Step Nine: Bake at (350°F) for 10-15 Mins

Place the cookies on the cookie or baking sheets. Bake for 10-15 minutes at (350°F) = (176°C). Another key point, depending on the size and thickness of your cookies you, may need to adjust the time. As a matter of fact, my 1/4-inch cookies need 15 minutes to bake.

Ready To Cook

Step Ten: Let the Cookie Cool

Let them cool at room temperature on the cookie sheet before removing them to frost. Make the cream cheese frosting.

Baked Cookies

The Best Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Cream the butter and cream cheese in a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix until it is creamy and fluffy.

At last, it is time to frost the cookies! Decorating the cookies is so much fun! After frosting them, sprinkle them with “Sprinkles,” if desired. At this time, place the uneaten cookies in the refrigerator because they have cream cheese on them.

Step Eleven: Use Sheet to Catch Sprinkles

At this point, be sure and put a cookie sheet below the cookies you want to put the sprinkles on or you’ll end up with them all over your counter space.

Sugar Cookie Recipe

Finished Product

The Best Sugar Cookie Recipe

The Best Sugar Cookie Recipe

5 from 4 votes
The Best Sugar Cookie Recipe
The Best Sugar Cookie Recipe
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 Cookies
Author: Linda Loosli
Ingredients
The Best Sugar Cookie Recipe
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or almond extract (I use vanilla)
  • 3/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3/4  cups white flour (I use bread flour)
The Best Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
  • 1/4 cup butter (softened)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese (softened)
  • 1-1/2 to 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • "Sprinkles" to decorate the cookies
Instructions
The Best Sugar Cookies Recipe
  1. Gather all of your ingredients. Preheat the oven to (350°F) = (176°C). Grease your cookie sheets or place parchment paper on them. Set them aside.

  2. Combine the sugar, sour cream, butter, eggs, vanilla or almond extract, then cream until smooth.

  3. Add the baking soda and salt.

  4. Gradually add the flour and mix until smooth.

  5. Don't mix the dough too long, but it does need to thicken so you can roll it out.

  6. If you want to roll out the cookies later, place the dough in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator.

  7. When ready to cut out the cookies, place the dough onto a floured countertop. Please flour your rolling pin as well.

  8. I like my cookies about 1/4 inch thick when I roll out the dough. I prefer a thicker softer cookie. A thin cookie will not be as soft so you decide how you like your cookies. Use your cookie cutters and cut the dough in the desired shapes.

  9. Place the cookies on the cookie sheets. Bake for 10-15 minutes depending on the size and thickness of your cookies. My 1/4 inch cookies need 15 minutes to bake.

  10. Let them cool on the cookie sheet before removing them to frost. Make the cream cheese frosting as directed below. Frost the cookies. Sprinkle with "Sprinkles" if desired.

  11. Be sure and put a cookie sheet below the cookies you want to put sprinkles on or you'll end up with them all over your counter space.

The Best Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. Cream the butter and cream cheese in a medium-sized bowl.

  2. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix until it is creamy and fluffy.

  3. Frost the cookies. Place the uneaten cookies in the refrigerator because they have cream cheese on them.

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What is the best way to store sugar cookies?

The answer to that question is determined by how long you plan to keep them around before they disappear due to hungry family members. If you think they’ll be eaten in the next two or three days, I’d put them on a plate and cover them with plastic wrap. If you put them in a sealed airtight container you can probably expect they’ll last up to a week or more.

Be sure to keep them away from a heat source or they’ll tend to dry out and be more crunchy.

Can I freeze sugar cookies?

If you plan to freeze them, put them in a sealed container or some freezer bags. You can expect them to be fine for about six months. We’ve let them thaw out before eating them but have also eaten them right out of the freezer. If they didn’t get any moisture in them they can actually taste refreshing that way.

Can I freeze sugar cookie dough and bake the cookies later?

Sure, making the dough today and cooking it later after a few days in the freezer is fine. Sometimes I’ll make larger batches with the idea of putting some of the dough in the freezer for a batch of cookies later. That approach helps minimize the kitchen cleanup. I’d forgotten the dough and left it in the freezer for longer than six months, things worked out ok after that long too.

Can you put food coloring in sugar cookies?

Making the cookies a different color can be a fun way to add adventure to your kitchen efforts. We’ve made the cookies pink for Valentine’s Day or a baby shower. We’ve used green coloring for St. Patrick’s Day. It can be a challenge, but you can make them multicolored with red, white, and blue for the July 4th celebrations.

What can you add to sugar cookie dough?

I love nuts as add-ons to all sorts of baked goods, including cookies. If your family members don’t have an allergy to nuts, give the following nuts a try:

  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Pistachios
  • Macadamias
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Peanuts

Other things to consider as add-ons to the cookies might be granola muesli which certainly changes the flavor and texture. You can also scatter some oatmeal in the batter too, but your friends may suggest a different name for the cookies if you do that. LOL

It would also be fun to add M&M’s, chocolate chips, or chopped dried fruit. The options are endless!

What toppings can I use on sugar cookies?

I enjoy various topping choices, including little “red hots” cinnamon candies. They aren’t Mark’s favorite, but I enjoy cinnamon from time to time.

Here is a list of sugar cookie toppings you may want to try!

  • Chocolate Chips
  • Crushed Up Breakfast Cereal – Such as Lucky Charms, Cocoa Puffs, Cinnamon Crunch, etc.
  • Shredded Coconut
  • Chopped-up Cookies – Oreos, Vanilla Wafers, Gingersnaps, Nutter butter, etc.
  • Crushed Candy – Candy Canes or Peppermints, Heath Bar or Toffee Bits
  • Mini Marshmallows
  • Chopped Candy Bars – Snicker Mars, Mounds, Almond Joy, etc.
  • Pretzels
  • M&M’s
  • Chopped Nuts – Almonds, Cashews, Walnuts, Pecans, Macadamias, Peanuts
  • Potato Chips

It is important to realize, moisture is key to keeping a sugar cookie chewy or soft vs being on the crispy side! Equally important, the butter and sour cream in the sugar cookie dough contain water and milk solids which help to create a soft or chewy sugar cookie. Also, the thickness of the dough when rolled out and cut into shapes is also an important thing to consider. As I have noted before, I like my cookies about 1/4 inch thick when I roll out the dough. I prefer a thicker softer cookie.

If you prefer crispier sugar cookies, for example, roll them thinner. A thin cookie won’t be as soft, so you decide how you like your cookies. Please make sure to watch the pan in the oven to see when the edges are a little darker, not too much, just a little. They’ll cook in less time because they are thinner.

Final Word

Please let me know if you try making my sugar cookie recipe! I think you will love the way in which the sugar, butter, sour cream, flour, egg, and vanilla extract come together to create the most delicious soft sugar cookie ever! They truly are amazing!

Mark tells me his mom spoiled her kids a lot. A few days a week she would have cookies and milk waiting for them on the kitchen counter when they got home from school. She had a sweet tooth like me!

I think he told that story in hopes I’d pick up on the idea and spoil him when he got home from work. Our girls always loved it when I had sugar cookies, or any other dessert, waiting for them.

I love to share my easy-to-make recipes with my readers. This sugar cookie recipe falls into that category. You should have all the ingredients available in your kitchen or pantry.

Give this recipe a try, and you’ll enjoy the time in the kitchen, and your family will love the results. May God bless this world. Linda

8 thoughts on “The Best Sugar Cookie Recipe

  • February 10, 2022 at 7:14 am
    Permalink

    5 stars
    These are amazing! So soft! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • February 10, 2022 at 7:40 am
      Permalink

      Hi Heidi, thank you for the 5 stars, my friend! Cookies are for families to enjoy! Linda

      Reply
  • February 10, 2022 at 8:16 am
    Permalink

    5 stars
    I need to make these! Husband loves sugar cookies.

    Reply
    • February 10, 2022 at 8:28 am
      Permalink

      Hi Paula, thank you for the 5 stars, my sweet friend!! I only make sugar cookies a few times a year, and then after I make them, I think, why don’t I make these more often!!! Linda

      Reply
  • February 10, 2022 at 11:07 am
    Permalink

    5 stars
    My grandson is making these today!! 5 stars from a 12 year old is hard to come by.

    Reply
    • February 10, 2022 at 12:16 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Chris, oh my gosh, thank your cute grandson for the 5 stars, my sweet friend!! He’s making them?? SQUEAL!!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE hearing this!! Linda

      Reply
  • February 11, 2022 at 2:58 pm
    Permalink

    5 stars
    I will have to try them this weekend. Not only for Valentines day but for my 71 birthday Wednesday. I may get my Daughter in Love to help me. I never can get cookies cut right. She’s a wiz at it.

    Reply
    • February 11, 2022 at 4:53 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Jackie, thank you for the 5 stars, my sweet friend! They would be great for your 71st birthday! Happy Birthday! Happy Valentine’s too! You will love these cookies! Linda

      Reply

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