Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies

Total Time:
4 hr 40 min
10 min
4 hr
30 min

3 dozen cookies, depending on the size of the cutters

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Colored sugar and milk, for decorating, or Royal Icing, recipe follows
  • Royal Icing:
  • 2 pounds confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons meringue powder (egg white powder)
  • Food coloring, as desired

Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a second large bowl and mix well. Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture 1 cup at a time. Chill the dough for 3 to 4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment. Roll out the dough and cut it into shapes with cookie cutters or a knife. Place the shapes on the prepared cookie sheet. If decorating with colored sugar, brush the cookies with milk and sprinkle with colored sugar (if using royal icing, leave unfinished). Bake until the cookies are just beginning to brown around the edges, 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of the cookies.

Remove the cookies to a rack to cool completely. If using royal icing, decorate the cookies as desired.

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Royal Icing:

Combine the confectioners' sugar, meringue powder and 3/4 cup water in a large bowl. Mix slowly with an electric mixer until stiff enough to form peaks; the icing should be pure white and thick, but not fluffy and bubbly. If the frosting is over-beaten, it will get aerated which makes it harder to work with. If this happens, let the frosting sit to settle, and then use a rubber spatula to vigorously beat and smooth out the frosting.

Add up to 1 tablespoon food coloring and mix with a rubber spatula until the color is uniform. Gels are best with royal icing. You don't want to thin them with liquid colors. Be careful of adding too much color, which reduces the sheen of the frosting and can break down the consistency of the frosting over a couple of days. Store the icing at room temperature, covered, with plastic wrap on the surface.

Yield: 3 1/2 cups icing

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3.9 91
Note to self, always read the reviews before making anything! This cookie is terrible! What a waste of my time energy and money! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Great sugar cookie recipe - but needs icing or sugar on top. I've been using this recipe for years, Christmas, Halloween, etc. works great with cookie cutters. It is made to be used with icing or sugar on top - that brings out the flavor. If you want to eat them plain, you will need to add more sugar and flavor to the dough. Try lemon/orange peel & extract, and 1/2 cup more sugar. I use the lemon for Easter, cut out egg or bunny shapes and add a thick layer of colored sugar. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Never made sugar cookies before. Used because posted as popular sugar cookies from food network. Kept tasting thinking my taste buds may be off. Then looked at these reviews. Totally disappointed and wish I had looked at the reviews first! Very bland cookie if you follow the recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Absolute WORST recipe for sugar cookies I have ever tried!! One poster said they tasted just like how their grandma used to make......ewww, you can't be serious. These "cookies" were nasty and as several people have said, they are more like biscuits rather than cookies. Even my 4 year old son hated them. The dog would not even eat them, either. OMG, they were that bad. I threw out the cookies and the remaining dough. What are you trying to do? Poison people? item not reviewed by moderator and published
If your looking for a traditional sugar cookie dough recipe this is it! It was so easy that my 11 year old son made these for our family using fun shapes that he detailed himself. We will definitely be using this recipe again and again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
The Yummiest & easiest cookies ever!! I adjusted the sugar to 1 1/2 cups and 2 tsp of vanilla, as stated in other reviews. I wanted simple undecorated sugar cookies, so the increase of sugar made them perfect by themselves. My two super picky boys, age 7 & 6, loved them. If your going to decorate them I would leave out the extra 1/2 cup of sugar, unless you like them very sweet. My mix came out moist and not too sticky. I had no problem handling it in my hands. I made a big ball out of it and wrapped in plastic wrap. Chilled for 3-4 hours. It does come out pretty hard. I cut it in half and placed the other part in the fridge until I was ready to use it. I use powder sugar to coat the surface of my counter to roll out the dough instead of flour. Do not crowd them on the cookie sheet. I also rotated the cookie sheet halfway through the baking time. The end result was a light crispy edge with a slightly chewy center with a lot of favor and sweetness. They were even better the next day. item not reviewed by moderator and published
These were SO easy and very yummy! As stated in some of the reviews others have left, they aren't super sugary, but once you load them with frosting and decorations, that will no longer be a problem! :) These taste exactly like how I remember my mom making them when I was little. I'm keeping this recipe! :) item not reviewed by moderator and published
lets try this out! item not reviewed by moderator and published
These cookies tasted just like my grandma would make. I used real butter and rolled them out between wax paper. They make perfect cut out cookies. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I think this is one of the best recipes for Sugar Cookies! And does it ever make the house smell like Christmas.. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've used this recipe for sugar cookies for years - agree, it can be bland. If I don't cover them with icing, I add more vanilla extract and a thick coating of colored sugar. Another option is to add lemon/orange peel & extract. The sugar or icing on top does help make the flavor of the cookie stronger. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Nobody's getting poisoned for goodness sake. If you don't like it, just say that. You kind of went WAY over board here. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe seems like it includes pretty standard cookie ingredients - maybe you used salt instead of sugar? item not reviewed by moderator and published
Obviously you don't bake much. Not all cookies are super sweet. Some are lighter, and the sweetness comes from the icing or sugar on top. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Thanks for the excellent suggestions. I agree - I have been making this recipe for years, and when I leave them undecorated I add more sugar and extract. Another option is lemon or orange peel. item not reviewed by moderator and published

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