The Best Sugar Cookie Recipe / Easter Cookies, Christmas Cookies

Sharing the best sugar cookie recipe that we use all year round!

The kids did a great job decorating this year's Easter cookies!


I'm so excited to share this recipe with you, because I have been making these cookies for a long time (tweaked a bit from a recipe given to me in college, from Jean Marie)!


They are the only sugar cookies that Bill and the kids have ever known, haha!

Without fail, we make these sugar cookies at Christmas and Easter, but also sometimes Halloween, Valentine's Day, 4th of July, birthdays if requested, baby showers, themed parties, and I even made them as wedding favors to go in the hotel bags at our wedding 11 years ago... you get the idea! You'd be surprised at how many cool cookie cutters exist for any and every theme imaginable! We love to share these with friends and neighbors and after my margaritas, they are the most requested item I make, haha.


CLASSIC RECIPE.

Now, I love almost all sugar cookies, but I have to say, these are my favorite!

I can appreciate the hint of almond in a lot of sugar cookies, even the lightness of the lemon zest that some people add, BUT, I ALWAYS COME BACK to the classic vanilla, buttery, flaky, almost qualifies as shortbread cookies that these are.

*Note - before you tackle making these cookies, give yourself a couple days before an event or holiday, because there is a bit of a timely a process to make them. It's possible to start in the morning and finish in the evening, but I prefer to split it up over a couple days - make the dough, cut out and bake the cookies, ice the cookies - but they are ABSOLUTELY worth it if you have the time. And after awhile, it becomes second nature, so it's really not too hard!



SUGAR COOKIE INGREDIENTS.

Dry Ingredients -

3 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1.5 tsp baking powder

*all sifted


Wet Ingredients -

1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter (if not salted, add 1/2 tsp salt to dry ingredients)

1 egg lightly beaten

1.5 tsp vanilla

3/4 -1 cup heavy whipping cream + possibly more as dough starts to come together

*all at room temperature


ICING.

3/4 bag of powdered sugar

1 stick of butter, softened

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream + possibly more as icing starts to come together.

1 tbsp vanilla or more to taste

- beat in mixer or with a hand held mixer until thick and smooth. Spread on cookies and add sprinkles. Let dry on counter before storing.


NOTES.

*These ingredients are for one batch of cookies.

*They freeze well up to 1 month.

I sometimes double, but usually triple this recipe. It's great to have plenty extras to give away or freeze and save for later.

*This Easter, I multiplied it by 4, making 2 batches together at a time, and will freeze a dozen for a mom's night I'm having next week.



INSTRUCTIONS.

*See below for instructions that I put together in a short list.

1. Measure and sift flour, sugar, and baking powder in a large bowl. Gently combine dry ingredients.


2. Cut butter into dry ingredients with a pastry cutter or butter knife until it is thoroughly combined and large chunks are small.

This is 2 batches at once. Then I made another 2.

3. After butter has been cut, lightly beat egg in a separate container. Add vanilla to the egg(s) and then pour into bowl.

4. Add heavy whipping cream to the dough, starting with 3/4 cup (although you may end up using 1.1/4 cup), and mix with a fork. Keep adding cream if need be, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough is wet enough to stick together, as seen below.


5. Next, using your hands, incorporate the dough together, again adding a little whipping cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, as need be.


6. Then separate the dough into smaller balls, and knead a bit before wrapping up in plastic wrap.

There should be about 2-3 balls of dough to refrigerate for each batch of cookies.


7. Place the dough in the refridgerator for at least 2 hours, or overnight. You're ready to start rolling out the cookies after this!


8. Remove dough from fridge and let sit for 15-30 minutes. Prep work area with a dusting of flour. Work dough into hands a bit to warm it up. It is best to roll out dough while it is still chilled.

9. Roll to 1/4" thick. The thicker, the better.

I mean, how cute are the carrots, haha!


10. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes and remove to cool.


11. If desired, frost cookies with a thick layer of icing. Or is it ice cookies with a thick layer of frosting? ;)

Keep the finished cookies sitting out for the icing to dry before packing up.

Here's a good idea of the thickness I shoot for:


That's it! And here's a shorter list of the recipe instructions without pictures for convenience:

  1. Measure and sift flour, sugar, and baking powder in a large bowl. Gently combine dry ingredients.

  2. Cut butter into dry ingredients with a pastry cutter or butter knife until it is thoroughly combined and large chunks are small.

  3. After butter has been cut, lightly beat egg in a separate container. Add vanilla to the egg(s) and then pour into bowl.

  4. Add heavy whipping cream, starting with 3/4 cup (although you may use up to 1, 1/4 cup), and stir with a fork. Keep adding cream until the dough is wet enough to stick together, 1 tablespoon at a time.

  5. Next, using your hands, incorporate the dough together, adding a little whipping cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, as need be.

  6. Then separate the dough into smaller balls, and knead a bit before wrapping up in plastic wrap.

  7. Place dough in fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight. You're ready to start rolling out the cookies after this!

  8. Remove dough from fridge and let sit for 15-30 minutes. Prep work area with a dusting of flour and preheat oven to 400 degrees. Work dough into hands a bit to warm it up. It is best to roll out the dough while it is still chilled but not too cold.

  9. Roll to 1/4" thick. The thicker, the better.

  10. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes and remove to cool. Add icing (icing recipe above) and let dry out before storing.

You can pin this for later as well:



If you make these classic sugar cookies, I hope your family and friends enjoy them as much as we do.

I'm sure they will become a favorite in your home as well. Let me know if you make them!

I hope it's been a wonderful start to the Easter Season -