Classic Sugar Cookies

Originally published on December 7, 2010

I’ve had this recipe crammed into my recipe box for so long that I can’t even remember where I got it from. And it’s covered with so much crusted flour and icing drops that I can barely even read it anymore. I like to think it’s these kinds of recipes that my children will cherish the most some day. But I digress…on to the actual recipe.

I make it every year, among the three different cookies that I make to give to my family and friends. These, along with the other two, were my very first introduction to baking and I’ve been making them for about four years now. They’re delicious and light and flaky inside and just a little bit crispy outside, like you would expect sugar cookies to be. But this year, there are a few things I’m going to do differently.

Out are the cute Christmas cookie-cutter shapes. These shapes yes, are very cute but, they’re a pain. Spending all that time rolling and cutting and reshaping, please. It’s Christmas! Who has time for that? Not only are they painstakingly time-consuming, but you throw them into the basket, or Tupperware bowl, or other container and all those little pieces break. So you’re left with oddly misshapen curved sticks that were once candy canes, and long rectangles that have a missing bell-top somewhere. This is what I’m doing instead, and what I recommend you do as well.

Roll the dough into a log that’s about a foot long and maybe 2″ wide. In about 1″ – 2″ slices, slice the dough so that a circle is formed. Place these onto the baking sheet and continue baking as directed. You’ll have uniform circle sugar cookies that you can still decorate with icing, sprinkles, or whatever else floats your Christmas sled, but it’ll be a lot easier for you to do. And if you really want to be on top of things, make the dough this weekend, roll it into the log, wrap it and throw it in your freezer. On Christmas Eve, thaw the dough out, slice it up and Santa has fresh cookies!


3 cups powdered sugar 
2 cups butter, softened  
2 teaspoons vanilla 
1 teaspoon almond extract  
2 eggs 
5 cups all-purpose flour 
2 teaspoons baking soda  
2 teaspoons cream of tartar  


1.) In a large bowl, beat 3 cups powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, 1 teaspoon almond extract and eggs with electric mixer on medium speed. Stir in flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

2.) Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease cookie sheet. Divide dough in half. On lightly floured surface, roll each half 1/8″ thick. Cut into desired shapes. Place about 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. At this point, place any sprinkles, shapes, or other decorations excluding icing that you wish to include with your cookies.

3.) Bake 5-7 minutes or until edges are lightly brown. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack to cool completely before icing (optional.)

4.) Serve and enjoy!