Easy sugar cookie recipes are a dime a dozen but if you want a no-fail recipe, you must try this one, which produces delicious, chewy, sugar cookies.
Chewy, sturdy, and crunchy thanks to butter, shortening and a cup of sugar in the dough.
You’ll roll this simple drop cookie dough in glittering sanding sugar before baking in the oven.
Easy Sugar Cookie Recipe
“Mother, why can’t you ever make normal cookies?”
That’s what the 16-year-old son asks me semi-regularly.
By normal cookies, he means a cookie he likes, like these sugar cookies.
Keep in mind, before you call child services on me, that this is a young man who prefers vanilla over chocolate and really vanilla ice cream over any other dessert, with the exception of cheesecake.
But, this easy sugar cookie recipe met the bar for being a “normal cookie.”
I think you’ll enjoy this cookie and I hope you’ll make it as is–using both butter and shortening in the dough.
I think select modern bakers are averse to using shortening but it really does have its place in your baking arsenal.
Be sure to cream the butter, shortening and sugar together for five minutes or until light and fluffy.
When the mixture is fluffy enough, your spatula should glide through it easily.
How to Customize Sugar Cookies:
-Replace the tsp of vanilla extract with 1 tsp of one of the following:
- almond extract
- peppermint extract
- lemon extract
-Roll the cookie dough in colored sanding sugar instead of white sanding sugar
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Will Sugar Cookies Last?
In my house, about 48 hours. Your time may vary.
No, seriously, you can safely keep these cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for three to five days.
Much longer than that and I would store them in the freezer.
How Should I Store Sugar Cookies?
Store sugar cookies in an airtight container, separated by layers of wax paper.
If you don’t have any wax paper, use parchment paper or plastic wrap.
Do you have a fancy cookie jar you want to keep the cookies in? Seal the cookies in a resealable plastic bag first. Many cookie jars, especially the fancier ones, are not airtight.
What’s the difference between a sugar cookie and a shortbread cookie?
The difference between a sugar cookie and a shortbread cookie is that sugar cookies have more ingredients, including a leavening agent, like baking powder or baking soda.
Sugar cookies have more ingredients usually than shortbread cookies.
In addition to leavening, sugar cookies will have eggs and salt.
Shortbread cookies are a minimalist’s cookie, generally calling for sugar, flour, butter, vanilla or another flavoring.
What are the Five Types of Leavening Agents?
According to Quizlet, there are five types of leavening agents. They include:
- air (as in steam, for getting a rise when you’re making popovers)
- egg whites (think of meringues)
- yeast (bread rising)
- baking soda (cookies or baked goods)
- baking powder (cookies or baked goods)
What can I use as a substitute for baking soda?
Did you know baking soda is the main ingredient in baking powder?
So if you’re making a recipe and you’re out of baking soda, you can use three times the amount of baking powder to substitute the baking soda.
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup shortening (Crisco or similar)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup sanding sugar, any color
- Measure dry ingredients, flour, baking soda and baking powder into a medium bowl.
- In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter, shortening and sugar on medium high for five minutes or until light and fluffy. Be sure to pause briefly at least twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl and the bottom of the bowl with a spatula.
- Add vanilla extract and egg and beat for another minute until combined.
- Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. The dough will be somewhat thick.
- No need to chill this dough.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Pour sanding sugar into a bowl.
- Using a cookie scoop, or spoon, portion one-inch balls of dough and roll into the sanding sugar.
- Place balls of dough--four rolls of three balls each--on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Once you have 12 balls of dough on the sheet, flatten each ball with the bottom of a glass. After the first couple balls, you may have to dampen the glass to keep it from sticking to the dough.
- Bake at 350 for 12 minutes or until the bottoms of the cookies are golden.
- Let cool on a wire rack.
Unlike many other cookie doughs, there's no need to chill this dough before baking. That makes this cookie a great choice if you've got to crank out many dozens of cookies for a swap or a party.
Sanding sugar gives these cookies an extra bit of crunch and sparkle. If you don't have sanding sugar and don't want to buy any, you could substitute granulated sugar.
However, sanding sugar gives a more polished, pretty look to your cookies so I would encourage you to see it out. You can find sanding sugar just about everywhere these days--including Target and Walmart--or at your local gourmet food shop. The cost is minimal--I think I paid $1.45 for my last jar.
You can also buy sanding sugar on Amazon (of course!).
To switch things up a bit or to customize these cookies for a certain holiday, look for colored sanding sugar.
This post and/or recipe may contain affiliate links, which means if you click through and make a purchase, I'll earn a commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. See Disclosure policy.
Nutrition InformationYield 36 Serving Size 36 cookies
Amount Per Serving Calories 106Total Fat 6gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 14mgSodium 47mgCarbohydrates 13gFiber 0gSugar 7gProtein 1g
What have you been baking lately? Do you have a favorite sugar cookie recipe?