These quick and easy cookies have deliciously crispy edges and super chewy centers that will keep you coming back for more. If you’re looking to satisfy your cookie cravings, look no further.
Why are these sugar cookies so good?
Who doesn’t love an old fashioned sugar cookie? Slightly crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside – these cookies are as good as it gets! Correction. They’re not just good. They’re GREAT!!! Here’s why you’ll love these cookies:
- The perfect texture. Not too thick. Not too thin. These cookies are delicious with their sugar crusted edges and crackly centers. You’ll definitely be back for seconds!
- Amazing flavor. These cookies are delightfully buttery and have the perfect hint of vanilla in every bite.
- Easy to make. You’ll need just a handful of simple ingredients to bake a batch of these classic cookies in under an hour.
- Stay fresh for days. These cookies will stay soft and chewy for 5 days – if they last that long!
Whipping up a batch of these easy drop cookies is a cinch. Made with just a few pantry staples, you can make these classic sugar cookies whenever the craving strikes. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Baking soda
- Baking powder
- Vanilla extract (and almond extract, optional)
How to make sugar cookies from scratch
This recipe is as easy as 1-2-3. Follow the directions below and be sure to check the recipe card for a full ingredient list and step-by-step instructions. You can use either a stand mixer or handheld mixer for this recipe – both work great!
- Step 1: Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Step 2: Add the egg, vanilla and almond extract, mixing to combine well.
- Step 3: Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl.
- Step 4: Add the dry ingredients to the egg and butter mixture and combine until just incorporated. Do not over mix!
- Step 5: Scoop the cookie dough into 2-ounce portions. Roll the dough into a ball using your hands and then roll each ball in a small bowl of granulated sugar. Set the cookie dough balls on a parchment lined baking sheet and chill for 30 minutes.
- Step 6: While the dough chills, preheat the oven to 350°F. When the dough is chilled, transfer 6 cookies to a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 11 to 12 minutes. The edges should be set but the centers should look puffy and crackled. Do not over bake.
- Step 7: Remove the cookies from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes. The cookies will be super soft fresh from the oven so allow time for them to cool in order to develop moist, chewy centers. Repeat with the remaining cookie dough balls.
Pro-tips for soft and chewy sugar cookies
When it comes to baked goods, cookies are pretty straightforward. But nailing that perfect soft and chewy sugar cookie texture isn’t always easy. Lucky for you, I have all the tips you need!
- Bigger is better – larger cookies bake more evenly. For best results, measure the cookie dough balls into 1.8 – 2.0 ounce portions using a kitchen scale. Space the cookies out 2 to 3 inches apart on the cookie sheet.
- Chill the dough – just 30 minutes of chill time helps enhance the cookie’s flavor and control their spread in the oven. Making sure your oven is fully pre-heated is also helpful. Do as I do: place the cookie dough in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes and at the same time, preheat your oven to 350°F. When the cookies are ready to bake the oven will be fully preheated.
- Roll the dough in sugar – the sugar acts to help draw out the moisture from the surface of the cookies as they bake. The tops of the cookies dry out before the centers fully set, resulting in the crackly top.
- Do not over bake – over baked cookies will be dry and crumbly. Don’t be tempted to leave the cookies in the oven too long as they will continue to bake from the residual heat once removed from the oven. As a general rule, I always err on the side of under baking cookies slightly for the very best texture.
Decorating sugar cookies
These homemade sugar cookies are incredibly delicious fresh from the oven – they’re anything but basic! To make them extra festive, try these easy decorating ideas:
- Roll them in sprinkles. Get the kids involved…they’ll love it!
- Frost them with vanilla buttercream or cream cheese frosting. Yes, please!
- Toss them in a bowl colored sugar. Red and green would be so fun & festive for the holidays!
- Dunk them in a bowl of cinnamon sugar for a delicious snickerdoodle flavor.
- Make them into ice cream sandwiches. Just add a scoop of your favorite ice cream flavor between two cookies and press them together to form a sandwich. SO GOOD!!
How to store sugar cookies
These cookies keep nicely stored tightly covered at room temperature. If you can manage not to eat them all in one sitting, they’ll stay fresh for up to 5 days.
Yes! You can chill the dough before baking the cookies by freezing the cookie dough balls on a baking sheet until firm. Then pop them in a plastic freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Place them directly on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for an additional 1 or 2 minutes. To freeze baked cookies, cool them completely and then place them flat in a freezer bag or storage container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost at room temperature before serving.
Your cookies may bake up flat for several reasons. Be sure to use room temperature butter that is not too soft. For best results, measure the flour using a digital kitchen scale. And finally, check that your oven isn’t running too hot with an oven thermometer. If needed, chill the dough longer to help prevent the cookies from spreading too much in the oven.
Absolutely! A hand mixer will work just as well as a stand mixer.
I recommend using unsalted butter for this recipe as that will allow you to better control the amount of salt going into the cookie dough. If you only have salted butter on hand, omit the additional salt listed in the ingredients.
As they bake, these cookies will hold a fairly uniform circle shape. To make the cookies perfectly round, use a biscuit cutter or large round cookie cutter to “swirl” around the outside edges of each cookie immediately after they come out of the oven. This helps to nudge the edges of the cookies in towards the center making picture-perfect circles. You can also use the inside arch of a fork to work your way around the edges of each cookie.
Add these classic sugar cookies to your weekend baking list or bookmark the recipe for the holidays. I hope you love them as much as we do!