Sugar Cookie Recipe

After much research and The Great Sugar Cookie Experiment I am happy to have a sugar cookie recipe that is perfect, in my humble opinion, for decorating with my favorite royal icing. This is a vanilla almond sugar cookie recipe and not only is it delicious, but the cookies are sturdy enough for both decorating and shipping. Break out your favorite cookie cutters and give my favorite sugar cookie recipe a try. I’d love to hear what you think!

Sugar Cookie Recipe -

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Sugar Cookies for Decorating

1-1/8 cup unsalted butter
1-1/4 cup sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder

1. Cream together the butter and sugar. I set the butter out on the counter for about 30 minutes, chopped into small squares, to bring it to room temperature before beginning. (I have had bad luck with using the microwave to bring butter to room temperature.)
2. Beat in the eggs (I set these out on the counter with the butter to bring them to room temperature too), vanilla, and almond flavorings.
3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder.
4. One cup at a time, mix the dry ingredients into the wet. Scraping down your bowl as needed.
5. Divide dough up into three sections, Saran wrap, and refrigerate overnight. (For some reason cookies just taste better when the dough is refrigerated overnight.)
6. When you are ready to bake, take the dough out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter for a few minutes so it’s not too hard to work with.
7. After rolling and cutting your dough, set your dough shapes in the freezer for about 10 minutes before baking to reduce spreading.
8. Bake on parchment paper lined baking sheets at 350 for 6 to 8 minutes.
9. After removing the cookies from the oven, let them sit for a couple of minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.

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74 Responses to Sugar Cookie Recipe

  1. Heather says:

    I’m making these cookies for my own baby shower and I have about 25-30 people coming( big family and lots of friends) I am doing 2 shapes for each person ( a lion head and a monkey head) about how many recipices do you suggest I make of this dough. I have already started with a double batch but I feel like I would need at least one more but don’t want to be swimming in cookies. I mean I do need right around 80 cookies ( someof the me want some as well).

    • Janine says:

      Two to three batches should do it, Heather. It will depend on how big & thick you make your cookies and if you reroll your dough.

  2. Linda Joyce says:

    Is this a good recipe even if you don’t want to roll it. I just want to use it for a drop cookie.

    • Janine says:

      I’ve never used this recipe for drop cookies, Linda. I love it because it has minimal spreading and is sturdy for decorating and shipping. And, of course, it’s delicious! I don’t know if it would be right for drop cookies because those tend to rise and be more chewy. If you give it a try, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  3. Camille Lonker says:

    Just to clarify, when you say MIX in dry ingredients that means by hand, not mixer. Correct? I don’t want to ruin my dough! Thank you. :)

  4. gavy says:

    How long can you freeze the cookies for?

  5. Patty says:

    I made these cookies and they are delicious but my batch spread and became thinner. I rolled them at 3/8 inch. Any suggestions? Thanks!

    • Janine says:

      Spreading can be so frustrating, Patty. Sugar cookies are notorious for it! There are a couple things I suggest you try to reduce the spreading as much as possible: 1) Make sure you set the cookies in the freezer for about 10 minutes before baking so the dough is chilled. 2) Try the recipe without any baking powder.
      If you still have too much spreading after trying these tips, check out this post by Sweetopia for more ideas:

      Hope this helps!

  6. Crystal says:

    I have a question, the recipe calls for almond and I don’t know where I can find almost extract on such short notice. Is there anything I can substitute since I don’t have it? I only have vanilla bad butter extract.

    • Crystal says:

      I have a question, the recipe calls for almond and I don’t know where I can find almost extract on such short notice. Is there anything I can substitute since I don’t have it? I only have vanilla and butter extract.

    • Janine says:

      You can leave the almond out, Crystal.

  7. lyn says:

    I am so glad I stumbled upon your website when I was searching for minecraft cookies. I have decided to start making some for my nephews minecraft party but as I continued browsing I found your blog about thw cookie experiment and I found that the perfecr batch of sugar cookies consisted of 1 and 1/4 cups of butter but on this recipe it says 1 and 1/8 so I was wondering if it was a mistype or is the one on this site correct. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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  10. Elizabeth says:

    How many dozens can one batch make?

  11. Joanna Goff says:

    I was wondering is this a soft sugar cookie or does it get hard after cooling off. I’m looking for a not so hard cookie but not so soft either because I may want to make lollipop cookies and want it to be sturdy enough to stay on stick. Thanks for your answer!

  12. Sherry Baird says:

    I made this cookies, and the texture and the taste are awesome. Question: I need to make them for a birthday party, is this something you can make ahead of time(cooking the cookies) and then freezing them? And will the taste and texture be the same if frozen! Also can you use the royal icing and freeze on the cookie as well? Love Love this Recipe!!

    • Janine says:

      Yes, Sherry. You can freeze them either before or after you decorate them. I’ve done it both ways without any issues. Make sure they are sealed air tight. When you’re ready to defrost them, keep them sealed and let them completely defrost before unsealing.

  13. Sherry Baird says:

    Thank you so much!! Sorry, I have two more question, Can you stack them on top of each other if you decorate them? and How long does it take to defrost them?

    • Janine says:

      Sherry, yes, you can stack them. I would put wax paper in between. I can’t remember how long they took to defrost exactly… a few hours I think. It’s been a little while :)

  14. Sherry Baird says:

    Maybe this is my last question!! When drying the cookies my icing look really good to start with but after a day or two, they began to look like the icing was separating, Is it possible that you would know the reason for this so that I can correct it? Thank you again for the recipe, I can’t get over how good they taste!! Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. God Bless You!!

    • Janine says:

      Sherry, are you referring to the icing on the decorated cookies? It should be completely dry after 24 hours. Did you use any flavoring with oil in the ingredient list?

      • Sherry Baird says:

        Yes I am referring to the decorated cookies, and no I don’t think I used flavoring that had any oil in it.

        • Janine says:

          Sherry, the only time I’ve ever had an issue with the icing setting is when I used almond flavoring with oil. Make sure there isn’t any oil in the ingredients lists of your flavorings. Also, even just a bit of oil on the utensils you use will do the same. That is why I have a set of tools and containers that I use for just royal icing.

  15. Tina says:

    LOVE this recipe!! Do you have a specific/favorite type of pan that you use for baking the cookies?

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