Classic Sugar Cookies
A Classic Sugar Cookie Recipe from the Betty Crocker Kitchen
The bakers at Betty Crocker consider this the best sugar cookie recipe out there—because it’s the kind your grandma or even great-grandma would recognize. With a tender, short texture that comes from a good buttery base, these cookies break with just the right balance of bend and snap.
But when it comes to the perfect holiday sugar cookie, there’s one more crucial factor: how easy are your cookies to decorate. This simple glaze is easy to tint, covers smoothly and dries firmly so that you can stack your finished cookies without fear of smudging. Dress these Christmas sugar cookies up in holiday style, and they’ll be the star of every festive gathering.
- 1 1/2cups powdered sugar
- 1cup butter, softened
- 1teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2teaspoon almond extract
- 2 1/2cups Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
- 1teaspoon baking soda
- 1teaspoon cream of tartar
- 3cups powdered sugar
- 3to 5 tablespoons milk
- 1/4teaspoon vanilla
- Food colors, if desired
- Colored sugar or candy sprinkles, if desired
- In large bowl, beat 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, the softened butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla, the almond extract and egg with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon, until well blended. Stir in flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Divide dough in half; shape dough into 2 disks, and wrap in plastic wrap. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
- Heat oven to 375°F.
- Roll each disk on lightly floured surface until 1/4 inch thick. Cut with 2- to 2 1/2-inch cookie cutters into desired shapes. On ungreased cookie sheets, place cutouts at least 2 inches apart.
- Bake 7 to 8 minutes or until edges are light brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely.
- For your icing: In medium bowl, beat 3 cups powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons milk and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla with spoon until smooth and spreadable. If frosting is too stiff to spread, add additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time. Tint with food color. Spread frosting on cooled cookies. Decorate as desired with colored sugar or candy sprinkles. Let stand about 4 hours or until frosting is set. Store covered in airtight container at room temperature with waxed paper between layers.
Pro Tips for baking sugar cookies.
- tip 1 – Choose your cookie sheets wisely—look for shiny aluminum sheets with no sides that allow air circulation for sugar cookies to bake evenly. Dark sheets absorb more heat, making it hard to control browning. Insulated cookie sheets slow down baking, providing control but needing longer bake times.
- tip 2 – If you don’t have cooling racks, you can transfer the warm cut-out sugar cookies to a chilled cookie sheet lined with clean kitchen towels, or use a cooled wooden cutting board—anything to cool the cookies down quickly.
- tip 3 – As you bake, be sure to allow cookie sheets to cool before you place fresh cutouts on them for the oven.
- tip 4 – You can prevent cookie dough from sticking to the cookie cutter by dipping the cutter in flour between uses.
- tip 5 – Cookie sheets should be at least 2 inches smaller than the inside of your oven so the heat can circulate completely around them. Be sure to arrange the oven racks before you preheat the oven, so that you can bake in the center of the oven. We recommend baking one cookie sheet at a time.
- tip 6 – As an alternative to decorating with frosting, sprinkle cutter cookies with granulated or colored sugars before baking.