Sugar cookies are soft, chewy, light cookies that are so easy to make, you will have a large batch is about 30 minutes. These are the best cookies to make for every holiday because they are so versatile. Decorate them specially for each holiday or frost with some easy frosting. This sugar cookie recipe does not need to be chilled and can easily be frozen for later.
SOFT SUGAR COOKIES
Soft sugar cookies are the best simple cookies and so easy to make. It’s a simple mix of ingredients that most people always have on hand and all you need is a mixer.
I prefer soft and chewy cookies to the crunchy ones every time so these are my go-to cookies. These sugar cookies and my cream cheese cookies are the cookies that I make most often. Both types of cookie dough is very simple to make and my favorite part is that it does not have to be chilled.
These cookies are also very easy to change flavors as well. Sugar cookies out-beat cream cheese cookies here because they can be frosted, decorated with different sprinkles, or iced.
Making cookies is my favorite family activity. I love it when my kids help me make cookies and the older one even takes over and does most of the steps himself. It’s a great family tradition for us to make gingerbread men cookies in the fall and to make sugar cookies for Easter.
Of course, making cookies is not just for holidays. Since sugar cookies take about 30-45 minutes to make from start to end, we often make cookies on Sunday mornings just for fun.
HOW TO DECORATE SUGAR COOKIES
Simple sugar cookies are rolled in granulated white sugar before baking. You can change sugar for other decorative coating to suit different occasions.
Whether you are making sugar cookies for Easter or for Christmas, different kinds of sprinkles or colored sugar can be used to roll the cookies. There are also many decorations to choose that can be simply added to the top of the cookie.
Add little sugar carrots for Easter, sugar snowflakes and ugly sweaters for Christmas, sugar turkeys for Thanksgiving. All these baking decorations are often found in the baking isle.
Sugar cookie can also be iced or frosted.
To make simple cookie icing, all you need is 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1 1/2 tbsp heavy whipping cream.
Warm up heavy cream but not too hot. Add powdered sugar to a shallow bowl and whisk in warm heavy cream slowly, until all smooth. Icing can either be spooked over each cookie or drizzled.
Buttercream frosting is usually used to frost sugar cookies. To make a simple buttercream, you will need 1 cup of softened unsalted butter, 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract, and 3 Tbsp heavy whipping cream.
Beat butter on medium-high speed for a couple of minutes and then switch to a whisk attachment. Add powdered sugar and vanilla on low speed and then start increasing the speed as it’s combined.
Pour in heavy whipping cream, mix it in and scrape sides and bottom of the bowl. Turn the speed back to medium-high and beat for a few more minutes.
HOW TO STORE SUGAR COOKIES
Always make sure you you are storing cooled cookies, so let them cool to room temperature before putting away into the container.
Un-frosted sugar cookies can easily be stored on the counter, in an air-tight container. You can use a cookie jar for storing if the jar has an air-tight lid. A simple plastic storage container with a lid can also be used.
Just make sure to keep the container away from direct sunlight, oven, or stove.
At room temperature, stored in an air-tight container, sugar cookies can last up to a weeks. After that, the cookies will start to harden or get stale.
If you’ve added icing or frosting to the cookies, store them in an air-tight container, in the refrigerator. Line some waxed parchment paper between the frosted cookies.
HOW TO FREEZE BAKED COOKIES
Freeze baked cookies un-frosted.
To freeze baked cookies, lay them in one single layer of a wire rack and let them cool to room temperature. Once cooled, place the wire rack in the freezer and let cookies freeze for about 2 hours. (Set the timer so you remember the cookies.)
Once frozen, transfer cookie into a large zip-lock freezer bag. You can either store all cookies at once, or portion them into smaller bags.
Make sure to label, seal, and place back into the freezer. Frozen cookies will last up to 6 months.
Frozen baked cookies thaw very fast. You can simply leave a few on a wire rack and they will be thawed in about 30 minutes. If you have an immediate craving for a cookie, heat it in a microwave for 10-15 seconds.
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Soft Sugar Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
- 1 egg room temperature
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup white granulated sugar for rolling the cookie dough
- Preheat oven to 350 and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. (You can make 2 batches at the same time if more baking sheets are available.)
- Beat butter and sugar together for two minutes in an electric mixer on medium-high speed.
- Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl and beat for another minute.
- Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl again and beat in egg and vanilla extract on medium speed.
- Lower speed to low and add flour and baking powder. Beat just until combined.
- Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl and make sure all ingredients are evenly mixed.
- Scoop cookie dough with a cookie scoop (you can use #50 or #40 cookie scoop). Quickly but gently roll it into a ball and gently press to flatter it only slightly.
- Roll each cookie ball in white granulated sugar.
- Place cookie dough balls on prepared cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, depending on the size of the cookie.
- Cool cookies on a wire rack.