Vanilla Sugar Cookies

Total Time:
2 hr 20 min
25 min
1 hr 45 min
10 min

12 (3-inch) cookies

  • 2 1/3 cups plus 2 tablespoons (11-ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks; 6-ounces) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (4-ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.

  • In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.

  • Add the flour mixture in 2 batches, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Beat until the dough just comes together, being careful not to over mix.

  • Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Form the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  • Place the ball of dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper and roll out to 1/4-inch thick. Keeping the dough in the parchment, transfer to a cookie sheet and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  • Cut out the cookies in the desired shapes and place on a half-sheet pan lined with parchment paper or an un-greased nonstick cookie sheet, at least 1-inch apart. Transfer to the freezer and chill for at least 15 minutes or until they are firm.

  • Bake until the cookies are light golden brown, about 10 minutes.

  • Let cookies cool completely on the sheets before decorating.

  • *Cook's Note: They will still be soft when they come out of the oven and may break or become misshapen if they are moved off the sheets before cool.

View All

Cooking Tips
More Recipes and Ideas
3.8 26
Big hit!! Everyone loves these sugar cookies! item not reviewed by moderator and published
very good, perfect for frosting item not reviewed by moderator and published
I think one of the best sugar cookies recipe.Always came out from the oven perfect.I have Elissa Strauss Confetti Cakes cookbook, i tried almost all the recipe and all is amazing!!!!I recommend for everybody. item not reviewed by moderator and published
These are awesome cookies!!! So in heaven ! Only they taste like shortbread cookies!! I don't mind that though. This is my go to recipe when I make cookies from now on!!! I am so confused by why some dont agree. I guess it's all a matter of opinion. I ate some plain and I thought it was delicious!! I made mine on the the thick side and they turned out firm on the surface yet perfect soft all the while holding a nice dense texture. My dough didn't seem too try. My only guess is other may have made mistakes along the way thinking it wouldn't make a difference. If your confused by all the reviews.... Guess you'll have to give it go yourself!!! Just follow the recipe exactly! If you don't agree....then at least you know what recipe you won't be trying next time or you may just have your favorite ever!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
help!!!! my dough turned out too dry, i read other comments and one said to add a small amount of milk, so... can i put the dough balls back in the bowl and remix w/ the milk added? item not reviewed by moderator and published
when i made the cookies, they tasted great! item not reviewed by moderator and published
delish! the dough was dry, very difficult to make into a disc to chill, so I added about 1/2-1 teaspoon of milk and it was perfect! I also added a glaze of just powdered sugar, milk and vanilla and they were amazing! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I tried the recipe and I loved it!!!!!!!!!!!!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
i love cookies and im only 99 item not reviewed by moderator and published
My cookies turned out great--and I followed the recipe to a T! I agree with others that following the recipe correctly (including unsalted butter, all the waiting/chilling, etc. is kind of a requirement before you plan to review a recipe :D And well worth the effort for my part... I have perfectly-shaped, firm but light/crispy and delicious Halloween cookies waiting for their frosting. The only reason I gave it a 4 vs 5--they really taste more like a buttery shortbread than an actual sugar cookie. Really great for frosting or icing though!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
These are a cookie that are a wonderful base for royal. While I personally would not eat them plain, I find them to be the perfect base for pipe-and-flood cookies. Compliments on taste and texture every time. I believe with the older ratings on here, these users quite possibly simply failed to research what finished product would suit their purpose. Quite frankly, you can look at the photo attached and know it's a cookie that most likely would require icing. There is NO salted butter called for in this recipe. Please don't replicate the mistakes of another users and blame it on the recipe contributor. I would advise one to read recipes and steps beforehand. It saddens me to see one give a poor rating for another's product because they themselves cannot manage their own time or follow instructions. Roll-and-cut dough needs to be refrigerated and the cut cookies set to take the best shape! : item not reviewed by moderator and published
I almost gave up on this recipe before trying it (because of the negative responses, but I'm so glad that I tried it anyway. It was so easy (I don't even own a mixer!. Yes, you have to wait a while for the dough to refrigerate, but read a book, watch a tv show while you're waiting - not a big deal! The cookies were simple and delicious - perfect for decorating. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I love this recipe! It is the perfect cookie for decorating with royal icing. The cookie isn't very sweet so its perfect with icing on it...not over sweet. I find the recipe to be pretty simple, yes it takes long because of the refrigeration (but what rolled sugar cookie isn't), but it is easy to make. It is also VERY easy to roll out between the parchment paper and a lot less messy! I've made this cookie several times for favors for bridal showers, baby showers, adult and kids birthday parties. Everyone thinks the cookies come from a bakery. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I was looking for a light cookie to have with tea and this recipe is it! I have no idea how people gave this recipe a bad review. My only thought is that they were so violently hungry while making the cookies they forgot to read/follow to a recipe in their impatience. (Using salted butter, really?) I'm not an experienced baker nor do I even own any of the fancy equipment the recipe calls for and my cookies came out deliciously. I just let the (unsalted) butter get soft and hand mixed everything. I followed someone's suggestion of adding another teaspoon of vanilla extract. I even added a little dried rosemary to some of the dough and topped those cookies with lemon curd - fantastic! My only suggestions would be to 1.) eat a meal before making the cookies and 2.) add the flour mixture in multiple (more than two) parts so you can make sure the dough doesn't become too dry. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My kids and I made these for a bake sale.. We shaped them into hearts and frosted with pink royal icing. They were a hit! I loved the texture and the flavor! item not reviewed by moderator and published
this recipe took very long to make and it tastes pretty bland unless you make icing or something.... oh also its really important not to use salted butter in this because it makes it taste really weird plus after you eat it you get really really really thirsty or you end up craving for something juicy... conclusion: could be dog food... item not reviewed by moderator and published
I altered this recipe a little by adding an extra teaspoon of vanilla extract. I did not plan on frosting the cookies so to make up for that I added a little less than a cup of white chocolate chips to the dough. Right after taking the cookies out of the oven I sprinkled them with cinnamon. DELICIOUS!! This is a great alternative to the "typical" frosted sugar cookie. item not reviewed by moderator and published
These cookies are really good. Their definitely something you need a heavy duty standing mixer to make. The dough is a bit crumbly, but with a good mixer it will come together. So don't worry about overmixing the dough too much either. The cookies themselves could be a bit sweeter in my mind. Now, I realize she must always ice them. Because if you try them plain, the cookie is a bit bland and salty. But with her royal icing, they are the perfect balance of sweet and salty. I'm giving this recipe 5 stars because they can be rolled thick, but still be light and flaky almost. I think next time I will use 3/4 or 1 cup of sugar. I hope it doesn't throw off the recipe too much. So if you are making undecorated cookies, I would decrease the salt to 3/4 teaspoon and increase the sugar to 1 cup. But with the icing, or if the cookie will be completely covered, I think it's fine to use the recipe as is. Hope this helps to anyone who has no idea what to expect from the recipe, I know I did! item not reviewed by moderator and published
If your not use to baking then this recipe is not for you. Yes, it does appear rather time consuming but you can cut 45 min. off the recipe. Follow the directions for ingredient preparation, put it in a zip lock bag and let it sit 30 the refrigerator. Take it out and rolling out the dough is very easy. If you know what your doing, work with it quick and do your cookie cutting, cover it with parchment paper and put the pan in the freezer for 10 or 15 mins. and then bake. I like this recipe a lot. Sometimes I add lemon or orange rind, or spray rose water and sprinkle powdered sugar. Also depending on the size of the cookie cutters you can get 24 cookies our of this recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I just finished making these cookies and it was very complex. With the refrigeration, freezing, and cooling it took forever. And in the end, the cookies do not even taste very good. Dont waste your time with this recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
self-explanatory. it was a total failure. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've made these cookies for presents for the holidays and recently have made them for my sister's wedding shower. The cookies are absolutely gorgeous and everyone asked me where I bought them! The look was priceless when I said I made them! item not reviewed by moderator and published
After reading the reviews for this recipe I was not sure I wanted to try it out. I decided to give it a go since the recipe did not look unusual. I found the dough rolled out very well and the cookies were a hit! Don?t over mix the dough! I plan on using the cookie recipe again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
It was very hard to roll out the dough. Dough was very dry. I won't make this again!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I tried this recipe and the dough was so dry I couldn't roll it out! A horrible waste of my time. item not reviewed by moderator and published
The cookies came out gritty and salty. item not reviewed by moderator and published

Not what you're looking for? Try:

Rolled Sugar Cookies