Sugar Cookies

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Simple, sweet, comforting and familiar, a good sugar cookie has it all: a little crunch, a tender center, and a familiar undertone of vanilla. This cookie 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.

Our guarantee: These cookies will have crisp edges and soft middles. With the addition of 1/2 cup flour, the recipe makes crisp rollout cookies for decorating.

Sugar Cookies

star rating (123) rate this recipe »
KAF guaranteed, quick-n-easy
Hands-on time:
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Total time:
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Published: 01/01/2010

Ingredients

Dough

  • 3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 large egg
  • *Adding cream cheese will yield a puffy, cake-like cookie; for flatter/crunchier cookies, leave it out.

Topping

  • 3/4 cup sugar for dredging

Tips from our bakers

  • If you like a slightly chewier cookie, add 2 tablespoons (1 3/8 ounces) corn syrup to the dough. The cookies will spread out a little more.
  • For rollout cookies, include the cream cheese, and make the dough with 3 1/2 cups 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.

Directions

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

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

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

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

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

5) Place the 3/4 cup 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.

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

7) Bake 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.

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

Nutrition information

Serving Size: 1 cookie (23g) Servings Per Batch: 48 Amount Per Serving: Calories: 100 Calories from Fat: 40 Total Fat: 4.5g Saturated Fat: 2.5g Trans Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 15mg Sodium: 70mg Total Carbohydrate: 14g Dietary Fiber: 0g Sugars: 8g Protein: 1g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.

Reviews

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  • 05/04/2015
  • Durg from KAF Community
  • Wow these are good! First time I've ever made sugar cookies, I used the cream cheese, vanilla, almond extract, & a couple of drops of doterra lemon oil, as I added the flour, I added it in 3 separate mixes, it was a perfect texture, baked 17 cookies, 2 cookie sheets, for 10 minutes each, by the way they turned out people even think I know what I'm doing.!
  • star rating 04/04/2015
  • Seth from New York
  • I followed the recipe exactly and they came out great! I just started baking and this was a simple recipe with delicious results. The only warning I have is that some people prefer the cookies to be lightly rolled in loose sugar if they're not a fan of the super sweet. Otherwise go wild with the sugar!
  • star rating 04/01/2015
  • BayAreaBaker from San Francisco Bay Area
  • This is the sugar cookie to beat them all! I left out the almond extract (because I didn't have any, lol) and added the zest from two fresh Meyer lemons (about two teaspoons) and the juice from one of the lemons (about three tablespoons). Because of the extra liquid I also added a touch more flour. I then rolled the balls in clear sugar crystals (great to buy in bulk from KAF), flattened them as recommended and sprinkled a touch more sugar crystals on the tops of the cookies. The sugar crystals gave the cookies that little extra crunch before dissolving (sugar and coolie) in the mouth. The slight tartness of the lemons (these are Meyer lemons, one of the bonuses to living in California) made a nice contrast to the sweetness of the cookie. I also added the cream cheese. I baked some of the cookies to be soft and chewy and others to be crunchy. Both versions were "to die for." This recipe has certainly earned a place in my top ten list. Sometimes "simple" is the best!
  • star rating 03/27/2015
  • Crista from Pittsburgh, PA
  • Baked these for my niece's wedding. They were fantastic! Chewy and soft just like a sugar cookie should be.
  • star rating 02/25/2015
  • member-bsarchett from KAF Community
  • Awesome! I also replaced the almond flavoring with the fiori di sicilia-absolutely amazing! Thank you KAF
  • star rating 01/25/2015
  • Stacy from Walla Walla, WA
  • SO happy with this recipe! I was looking for a fluffy sugar cookie recipe to try with the Fiori Di Sicilia. Yum! I replaced the vanilla and almond extracts with all Fiori. Thank you KAF.
  • star rating 01/10/2015
  • Marcia from New Jersey
  • This cookie is exactly what I think of when I hear sugar cookie. They are perfect! I made them without cream cheese and almond extract but substituted the vanilla extract for vanilla paste. Rather than pressing on the cookie, I rolled the tops of the dough portion with colored sanding sugar. They spread beautifully and it created this crunchy yet chewy in the middle cookie with some bright shiny sugar on top. Definitely going in my book of favorites!
  • star rating 01/06/2015
  • Hannah from New Hampshire
  • Yum! I don't really like sugar cookies, but these were delicious! I was able to freeze/ refrigerate the dough in between batches, and the cookies were equally good every time.
  • star rating 12/24/2014
  • Wendy from Atlantic City
  • This recipe is fast easy to make and also taste great!, My 4 year old grandson loves them.
  • star rating 12/13/2014
  • Chad from Minneapolis, MN
  • This is a great sugar cookie. I follow the recipe exactly - the almond extract really does brighten the flavor. Definitely a go-to recipe.
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