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Crunchy Sugar Cookies

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Yields about 2 dozen cookies

  • by Nicole Rees from Fine Cooking
    Issue 109

  • 1 cup granulated sugar; more for shaping
  • 4 oz. (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened but not meltingly soft
  • 1 oz. (2 Tbs.) vegetable shortening, preferably trans fat free, softened
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 drops almond extract (optional)
  • 9-1/2 oz. (2 cups plus 2 Tbs.) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • White or colored (coarse) sanding sugar for rolling (optional)

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar, butter, shortening, and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg, vanilla, and almond extract (if using) and mix on low speed ( just to combine); then beat at medium speed for a total of 1 minute.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and baking soda to combine; then add to the mixer. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds, just to combine. Scrape down the bowl and then mix on medium-low speed for another 30 seconds to mix the dough uniformly.

Gently roll the dough into 1-oz. balls (about 1 heaping Tbs. each). Roll the balls in sanding sugar (if using). Arrange at least 21/4 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Flatten the dough balls to 1/4 inch thick with the bottom of a glass dipped in granulated sugar (re-dip the glass after each cookie). Bake one sheet at time until the tops are light golden and set, 15 to 18 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the sheet for at least 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

I made these for a fundraiser and they are amazing! They melt in your mouth. I've been making these and the Chewy Sugar Cookies (also here on Fine Cooking) and can't decide which I like better; both are fantastic! I reserved a small plate for my husband and kids and they are getting rave reviews. I told the 10 year old that they were going to be sold at a bake sale and he asked if he could buy them! =) I have to agree with him that these may be the best cookies I've ever made.

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