Light, sweet and melt in your mouth, this is the Very Best Sugar Cookies recipe you’ll ever make. An easy dough that can be used to make effortless slice and bake cookies or simply perfect cutouts that don’t lose their shape in the oven. This is the only cookie recipe you’ll ever need.
I have a confession to make. You may not like it….so you should probably sit down. Are you sitting? I dread baking cookies. Like seriously moan out loud when I know I HAVE to make cookies for something. I’m a little ashamed of it since I, actually, LOVE cookies and nothing is better than a freshly baked cookie straight from the oven. But the time leading up to the actual baking process….knowing the mess that awaits me is what causes the awful procrastination that I battle each and every time I have a batch, or 5, of cookies to make.
BUT (there is a but)…once I get in the kitchen and start creaming the sugar with the butter….watching the mixture become a light yellow, fluffy cloud….my mood will suddenly change. I fall under the spell that MOST baking enthusiasts look forward to….like a runner’s high…but with butter, sugar and carbs. 🙂 Then I start to tinker with recipes and work until I have created a pure work of art. Something I don’t mind running off on the treadmill or allowing to hang out as my extra winter layer. Something like the Very Best Sugar Cookies Recipe that’s been a staple in my holiday baking lineup for years.
I absolutely love a perfectly tender sugar cookie and these are just that. Buttery, crisp and tender with a soft, chewy center that, basically, melts in your mouth. The Very Best Sugar Cookies Recipe is perfect for everyone because you can make either a simple slice and bake cookie by rolling up the dough into a log, chilling it for a period and then slicing before baking to a wonderfully humble cookie. OR you can roll out the dough and make holiday cutouts that hold their shape when they bake. No spreading, no splitting…just perfectly shaped cookies every single time.
And the best part about baking the Very Best Sugar Cookies recipe is that there is very little cleanup. The dough comes together easily in your stand mixer bowl just like my easy Gingerbread Dough and my favorite Cream Cheese Cutout Dough. Then you can decorate with your favorite color Royal Icing or make things REALLY simple and use this AMAZING Cookie Icing that I found at my grocery store this weekend. It’s mess free and great for the little ones!
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes and chilled
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough
- Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt until combined. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Turn the mixer to low and add the egg. Beat to combine.
- Add the milk and vanilla continuing to beat until well combined.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients to the sugar mixture and beat until the dough begins to pull away from the sides.
- For slice and bake cookies:
- Divide the dough in half and roll each half into a log approximately 2 inches in diameter. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour or up to 24 hours. Dough can also be frozen at this point for up to 2 months.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- When ready to bake, slice the dough into rounds approximately 1/4 inch wide.
- Place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake for 6-8 minutes until the edges are golden brown and the centers are set.
- Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool to room temperature.
- For cutout cookies:
- Divide the dough into two equal disks and wrap tightly with plastic wrap.
- Chill the dough for 1 hour or up to 24 hours. Dough can be frozen at this point for up to 2 months.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Sprinkle powdered sugar on a clean dry surface and roll out one dough disk to 1/4 inch thick.
- Using a cookie cutter, cut out shapes and arrange approximately 1 inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment.
- Bake for 6-7 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn golden brown around the edges. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 1-2 minutes before transferring to a cooling wrap to cool completely before decorating.
- Repeat with remaining dough.
Baked cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week at room temperature.