Foolproof Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies

WaTeasa Freeman
Southern Kitchen

Serves: Makes 5 to 6 dozen, depending on size

Hands On Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes


2 large eggs

1 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling

1 teaspoon vanilla

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling the dough

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until smooth. Whisk in the sugar and vanilla until smooth. While whisking, slowly pour in the butter, continuing to whisk until smooth.

Stir in the flour, baking powder and salt until fully incorporated. The dough should feel like soft Play-Doh. Divide the dough into four portions. Wrap three of the dough portions in plastic wrap.

On a well-floured counter, roll out the unwrapped portion of dough until it measures about 1/8 inch thick. Cut into shapes using cookie cutters and transfer to the prepared baking sheets about 1 inch apart. Re-roll the dough scraps and cut out additional shapes, placing them onto the baking sheet. Save any additional scraps.

Sprinkle the cut shapes with a little sugar and bake until as browned as desired, 10 to 12 minutes (see note). Let cool on the baking sheet for 3 to 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough, re-rolling scraps as many times as desired. Let the baking sheets cool to room temperature before reusing.

Serve the cookies once cooled, or store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

About the recipe

These thin, crisp, slightly-sweet sugar cookies are perfect for a holiday cookie platter, and for baking with kids.

This recipe came with the recommendation to bake the cookies until deep golden brown, and we like it that way. That said, if you prefer a more traditional pale brown cookie, bake for 10 minutes. Eleven minutes of baking will yield light golden brown; 12 minutes will give you the recommended dark brown color. These cookies will also take well to icing and other decorations. If you’d like to decorate the cookies, skip the extra sprinkle of sugar before baking.