My Recipe Box

Vanilla Sugar Cookies


Yields about 2 dozen cookies.

  • To learn more, read:
    A Sweet Holiday Gift
  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 68

  • 8-1/2 oz. (1-3/4 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 1/2 lb. (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar; more for coating
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
For the best results, measure your flour by weight instead of volume. (1 cup of all-purpose flour equals 4-1/2 oz.) If you don’t have a scale, be sure to use the proper technique when filling your measuring cups.
Note: Be sure to bake these cookies on a cookie sheet, not a rimmed baking sheet; otherwise, the dough will spread too much, and the cookies won’t retain a nice, round shape.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt to blend. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachhment or a hand-held mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 min. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat in the egg and vanilla until thoroughly combined, about 2 min. Scrape the bowl again. With the mixer on low speed, slowly blend in the flour until incorporated, about 30 seconds.

Drop the dough by rounded tablespoonfuls into a bowl of granulated sugar and roll to coat; then set the coated balls about 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake until the cookies are golden brown on the edges and slightly soft in the center, 15 to 18 min. Let the cookies cool on the sheet for 1 min. before transferring them to a rack to cool.

The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days.

Photo: Scott Phillips

I made this at Christmas and they were a big hit. A simple yet delicious cookie.

Made again this year for Christmas and everyone loves these. Follow the tips on baking as they help.

This is great as a basic recipe, and easy to add alternate flavors: a bit of lemon or almond extract, or both. More vanilla. Lemon rind, orange rind. A heritage sugar cookie recipe from Gourmet called for wintergreen extract, although I read warnings about wintergreen somewhere. But maybe a bit of mint extract?

These cookies are delicious! I rolled them in sprinkles instead of the granulated sugar and the kids love them!

This was the best sugar cookie recipe I have ever made.

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