Classic sugar cookies, sweet and chewy, just like grandma used to make. This sugar cookie recipe is easy to make, fun to decorate, and great for holidays and parties.
I like to make both these sugar cookies and my anisette cookies for the holidays.
Classic Sugar Cookie Recipe
The dough is great for cutting out with cookie cutters or making a log to slice into cookie-rounds! Decorate them using your imagination (kids will love this part) and devour! You can also wrap them up into treat bags and hand them out to neighbors or bring them to work.
Sugar cookies are perfect for any occasion, so don’t tuck this recipe away just for Christmas. You can make these any time of the year.
Ingredients you need for these sugar cookies
These easy to make sugar cookies are awesome for all holidays, great for social gatherings and work parties, and make pretty little treat bags for neighbors, teachers, friends, and family.
- Dry ingredients – all-purpose flour, salt, baking powder
- Wet ingredients – unsalted butter, sugar, egg, egg yolk, vanilla extract
- Optional decorations – jimmies, nonpareils, sprinkles, colored sugar, etc
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Helpful Kitchen Tools
How to Make Sugar Cookies
A note from Dorie Greenspan on her “Grandma’s All-Occasion Sugar Cookies” recipe – I don’t know that I’ve ever formally “served” these. When they’re cool, I put them on a plate or in a basket and then, the next thing I know, they’re gone.
- Whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder together.
- Beat the butter until smooth.
- Still beating, add the sugar.
- Add the egg and the yolk and the vanilla.
- Add the flour mixture.
- Divide the dough in half. For roll-out cookies, shape into a disk and wrap in plastic. For slice-and-bake cookies, shape into a chubby sausage and wrap in plastic.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Have two lined baking sheets at the ready.
- Leave about 1 1/2 inches of space between each cookie.
- Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, for 9 to 11 minutes. Cookies should feel firm, but they should not color much if at all.
Can I freeze this sugar cookie dough?
Yes this cookie dough, if wrapped well, can be frozen for up to 2 months.
How long will these cookies last?
The cookies will keep at room temperature in a tin for up to 1 week.
More of our favorite cookie recipes
- Fun with oats, peanut butter, and M&Ms – Monster Cookies
- My son’s all-time favorite – Crisco peanut butter cookies
- The cookies I make every single Christmas – Thumbprint Cookies
- The only recipe I use for – Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Try the delicious frosting on my Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars on this sugar cookie recipe too!
Grandma’s All-Occasion Sugar Cookies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Sugar or cinnamon-sugar for dusting (optional)
- Whisk the flour, salt and baking powder together and keep close by.
- Working in a mixer with the paddle attachment, if you have one, beat the butter at medium speed for a minute or so, until it is smooth. Still beating, add the sugar and continue to beat for about 2 minutes, until the butter is light and pale. Add the egg and the yolk and the vanilla and beat another minute or two. Reduce the mixer speed to low and steadily add the flour mixture, mixing only until it has been incorporated. In fact, because this dough is best when worked least, you might want to stop the mixer before all the flour is thoroughly blended into the dough and finish the job with a rubber spatula. When mixed, the dough will be soft, creamy and appealingly malleable.
- Turn the dough out onto a counter and divide it in half. If you want to make roll-out cookies, shape each half into a disk and wrap in plastic. If you want to make slice-and-bake cookies, shape each half into a chubby sausage (the diameter of the sausage is up to you - I usually like cookies that are about 2 inches or more across) and wrap in plastic. Whether you're going to roll or slice the dough, the packets must be chilled for at least 2 hours.
- Getting ready to bake the cookies: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Have two lined baking sheets at the ready. For these, I prefer to bake a single sheet at a time. You can fill both sheets and keep one sheet covered in the refrigerator while you bake the other.
- If you are making slice-and-bake cookies, use a ruler to mark off 1/4-inch intervals on each roll of dough. With a sharp thin-bladed knife, slice the dough into rounds and place the rounds on one of the baking sheets, leaving about 1 1/2 inches of space between each cookie.
- If you are making roll-out cookies, work with one packet of dough at a time and roll the dough between sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper to a thickness of 1/4 inch, lifting the plastic or paper and turning the dough over often so that it rolls evenly. Lift off the top sheet of plastic or paper and cut the cookies - I like a 2-inch round cookie cutter for these. Pull away the excess dough, saving the scraps for re-rolling, and carefully lift the rounds onto the baking sheets, leaving about 1 1/2 inches of space between each cookie. (This is a soft dough and you might have trouble peeling away the excess or lifting the cut outs. If so, cover the dough, chill it for about 15 minutes and try again.) After you've rolled and cut the second packet of dough, you can form the scraps into a disk, chill, roll, cut and bake them.
- Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, for 9 to 11 minutes, rotating the sheet at the mid-point. The cookies should feel firm, but they should not color much if at all. Remove the pan from the oven and dust the cookies with sugar or cinnamon-sugar, if you'd like. Let them rest 1 minute before carefully lifting them onto a rack to cool to room temperature.
Expert Tips & FAQs
- Storing: The cookies will keep at room temperature in a tin for up to 1 week.
- Freezing: Well wrapped, the dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.
This Grandma’s All-Occasion Sugar Cookies recipe is from when I used to participate in the Tuesdays With Dorie baking group and is from Dorie Greenspan’s cooking Baking From My Home to Yours.
This post was originally published on this blog on December 8, 2008.