"The Best" Sugar Cookies

Amanda Chasten
by Amanda Chasten
40 Cookies
54 min

My mom's classic and delicious sugar cookie recipe that can be used for any holiday or special occasion!

These sugar cookies were one of the many highlights of my childhood. Every Christmas, Easter, and Valentine's day, we would break out the big wooden cutting board, rolling pin, and festive cookie cutters from the closet. My mom and siblings would make the dough all together (all sneaking bites along the way), wait excitedly as it chilled, and then have the best time rolling it out and cutting fun shapes. Then we'd bake them and wait with anticipation again while the cookies cooled. My mom would stir up the simple yet delicious glaze and add some food die if we were feeling like it. Then we'd paint the glaze on the cookies and rush to add sprinkles before it dried.

These are the cookies we'd leave out for Santa, bring into school, and enjoy at home around the holidays. Every time I eat them, I am always brought back to those magical days. I am sharing with you because I hope you can get the same enjoyment out of this recipe as I have! They are made with simple ingredients and have the best texture and flavor.

How do you make sugar cookies taste so good?

  1. Make sure your butter is soft, but not melted. The best way to do this is to leave it out on the counter for a few hours, but you can also speed the process up by microwaving for about 15-20 seconds.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy before adding any other ingredients. Then add the eggs and vanilla and mix well.
  3. Mix dry ingredients together well before adding to the wet.
  4. Once you combine the wet and dry ingredients, don't over mix! Stop the mixer right when the dough is well combined.
  5. Make sure you chill the dough for at least 30 minutes! Don't skip this step as it is important for the mixture to be cold in order to successfully roll and cut it out.
  6. When you roll the dough, try to make an even layer so cookies bake evenly. Dough should be about 1/8"-1/4" thick. The thinner the dough, the shorter the bake time.
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes or just until cookies look done, but before they are brown on the edges. Over baked cookies are DRY.
  8. For the icing, it should be runny but not too runny. If you've made it too thin, add more powdered sugar. In this recipe, I also added some Bonnemann cherry jam and cinnamon to the glaze for extra flair!
  9. Make sure the cookies are completely cool before you ice them. Once you ice them, make sure to allow at least 30 minutes for them to dry completely before packaging them up.
  10. Storage - store cookies for up to 5 days in an airtight container. If you'd like to freeze extra dough, place in a plastic freezer bag and keep up to 2-3 months.

Now Let's get to the recipe!

Recipe details
  • 40  Cookies
  • Prep time: 45 Minutes Cook time: 9 Minutes Total time: 54 min
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  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 TBS vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 c. confectioners sugar
  • 1-2 TBS milk or almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 TBS Bonnemman (or any brand) Cherry Jam
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350.
Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.
Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well.
With the mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in two parts.
Mix until well combined, making sure not to over mix.
Remove dough from mixture, press into a ball, and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Store in fridge for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.
While dough chills, make the glaze. Add powdered sugar to a small bowl, add milk, and mix carefully. Then, add in the jam and mix until well combined.
Remove dough from fridge and sprinkle flour on a clean counter surface or large cutting board. Get out your rolling pin. Have extra flour handy to sprinkle small amounts at a time on top of dough to keep dough from sticking to the surface or rolling pin.
Roll dough into an even layer until it is 1/8"-1/4" thick.
Cut into shapes with cookie cutters. Re-roll excess dough until all dough is used. You may need to re-chill dough if it gets too warm.
Place cookie dough shapes onto a cookie sheet, about 1/2" apart and bake for 8-10 minutes or just until golden (remove before they start getting brown).
Let cool and then ice using a butter knife or teaspoon. Add sprinkles if desired. Let glaze air dry for about 30 minutes before packaging up.
Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Amanda Chasten
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  • Judy Patton Judy Patton on Dec 17, 2020

    I am going to make them, They look wonderful

  • Indre Koch Indre Koch on Dec 18, 2020

    Instead of rolling the dough on a floured surface I use powdered sugar. It rolls just as easily and the dough doesn't get too tough, especially when you're rolling the scraps.