Sugar Cookies

Recipe by Susan Reid

Simple, sweet, comforting and familiar, a good sugar cookie has it all: a little crunch, a tender center, and a familiar undertone of vanilla. These sugar cookies can be customized in many ways to suit your taste. A touch of almond extract, some lemon zest, or a hint of nutmeg are all perfectly at home in this dough. Want a snickerdoodle? Roll the unbaked cookies in cinnamon sugar before baking. Want a cookie that's crisp through and through? Press them flat before you put them in the oven.

35 mins
10 to 12 mins
1 hr
3 1/2 dozen cookies
Sugar Cookies - select to zoom
Sugar Cookies - select to zoom
Sugar Cookies - select to zoom
Sugar Cookies - select to zoom


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  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets or line with parchment.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

  3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and cream cheese (if you're using it) until light and fluffy.

  4. Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts, and the egg; scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.

  5. Add the flour mixture, and mix at low to medium speed until the mixture is evenly moistened.

  6. Place the 3/4 cup (149g) sugar in a large plastic bag, or in a shallow pan. Scoop the dough by tablespoonfuls into the sugar, rolling them in the pan or gently shaking them in the bag to coat them with the sugar.

  7. Place on the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2" between them. Using a flat-bottomed glass, flatten the cookies to about 1/4" thick.

  8. Bake the sugar cookies for 10 to 12 minutes — 10 minutes for softer cookies, 12 minutes for crunchier. The edges of the cookies will just barely begin to brown.

  9. Remove the sugar cookies from the oven and cool on the pan for 5 minutes, before transferring to a rack to finish cooling completely.

Tips from our Bakers

  • For rollout cookies, include the cream cheese, and make the dough with 3 1/2 cups (420g) flour; place the dough in a plastic bag, flatten it into a disk, and chill for 1 hour before rolling it out and cutting. Bake the cookies for 8 minutes, until golden brown at the edges. The recipe will make 6 dozen 2" cookies.

  • If you like a slightly chewier cookie, add 2 tablespoons (39g) corn syrup to the dough. The cookies will spread a little more.

  • Looking for a gluten-free version of this recipe? Find it here: Gluten-Free Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies.