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Childhood, come alive! It’s cookie baking season in this house and we’ve only just begun. Round 1 we have a super simple and totally basic sugar cookie recipe from who knows how long ago. Perhaps it came from an old cookbook? All I know is this recipe was written on a scrap-o-paper the size of my hand and I’ve had them every Christmas since the 80s.
Sugar Cookies Are Easy
Besides being totally #basic (har har) sugar cookies are crazy easy and great for kids who have little patience (or talent) for finicky cookie dough. This is because this cookie dough is pliable, not crumbly, and can be mashed back together and rolled out without a fuss.
Even the ingredients are simple. You probably already have them all in your house!
Add 1 stick (½ cup) of softened butter to a mixing bowl. I’m using my KitchenAid Stand Mixer but you can totally do this by hand, no problem. Whisk until creamy-smooth. Then add 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Mix together well, then add 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and ¼ teaspoon salt until it forms a soft dough.
To Chill or Not To Chill
Listen, I know everybody says to chill their dough. It does help with texture! But in reality, especially if we’re talking Christmas cookies that are just gonna be eaten by children who don’t give a darn, let’s just go ahead and make these suckers without bribing them to wait another 30 minutes. Right?!
So feel free to wrap your dough in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes or more. You can even stick it into a quart sized freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months! But on to making these sugar cookies (un-chilled) already.
Baking and Decorating
Preheat your oven to 325º F. Now, roll out your dough on a floured surface. What’s great about this recipe is that the cookies are good thick or thin. Adjust your baking times according to how thick or thin they are. 12 minutes for thin cookies and probably 15+ for thicker ones. Keeps you from having to hover over your littles to make sure they do it JUST right.
Cut those cookies out and transfer to parchment paper. You can go ahead and put them on a cookie sheet to bake OR add an egg wash over the top for some sprinkle action. If you like that idea just whisk an egg with 2 tablespoons of milk for a thin wash you can brush right on the raw cookie dough. Sprinkle however you like. I know my kids did…
As I said before, adjust your baking times according to how thick or thin your cookies are. 12-15 minutes should do the trick. Remember, when you take the cookies out of the oven they’ll be softer and then harden up as they cool. So don’t freak that you have raw cookie dough if you’ve baked for 15 minutes and they don’t have that golden look. They may only get a hint of golden around the outside edges but still be cooked through!
After they cool you can decorate with icing and more sprinkles. But seeing as how this Christmas I’m strapped for time, I’m gonna just let these sugar cookies be. Amen.
Check out more blank canvas cookies with these Basic Gingerbread Cookies.
- ½ cup (1 stick) softened butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Add 1 stick (½ cup) of softened butter to a mixing bowl. Whisk until creamy-smooth.
- Add 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Mix together well.
- Add 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and ¼ teaspoon salt until it forms a soft dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes or place into a freezer bag to freeze up to 3 months. Or begin rolling out the dough immediately if you desire.
- Preheat oven to 325º F. Roll out and cut sugar cookie dough into shapes and transfer to a parchment lined cookie sheet. If you want sprinkles, whisk one egg with 2 tablespoons milk to make an egg wash. Brush cookies lightly with egg wash and decorate with sprinkles.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes depending on the thickness of the cookie. Let cool before decorating further.