So I am incredibly picky about my sugar cookies. They must be thick, soft, and the perfect balance of buttery and sweet. The thin, crispy kind of sugar cookies just will NOT do. I have spent the last couple of years perfecting my sugar cookie recipe and testing it on lots of people during a variety of holidays, and I can finally say that this recipe is PERFECT!!
If you make a perfect sugar cookie recipe, then you must also make them with the perfect frosting recipe. The frosting must be creamy, delicious, and not too sweet. This recipe is THAT frosting. The best kind of sugar cookie frosting should be soft while you decorate the cookie and then it should slightly harden when the frosting dries. This kind of frosting provides crisp precision when decorating any kind of cookie or cake, and they stack well once they have dried. I LOVE to decorate cookies and there’s nothing worse than runny, mushy frosting!
With Christmas quickly approaching, I decided that it was time to share this amazing recipe. Make these Christmas sugar cookies as gifts for teachers and friends, make them with your kids, or make them for a Christmas Eve snack! You will not be disappointed!!
The Perfect, Soft Sugar Cookie Recipe
These sugar cookies are soft, flaky, and the perfect balance of buttery and sweet. They are excellent for cut-outs and they hold their shape perfectly. This dough does not need to be chilled. Make these cookies with the Perfect Sugar Cookie Frosting and you will have a perfect holiday sugar cookie every time.
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour plus a little more for rolling out dough
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Cream together the butter and sugar until smooth, about 3 minutes.
Beat in the vanilla and egg.
In a separate bowl, combine the baking powder with flour. Then add a little bit of the dry mixture at a time to the wet ingredients. The dough will be very stiff. If it gets too stiff for your mixer, simply finish mixing the dough by kneading it with your hands on a clean, floured surface.
Do not chill the dough. Divide it into 3 batches and roll it out onto a clean, floured surface, one batch at a time, in sheets that are about 1/4 inch thick.
Use your cookie cutters to cut out your cookies and place them on a cookie sheet at least one inch apart.
Bake them at 350 degrees for 6-7 minutes. Let them cool on a cookie sheet for about 2 minutes and then transfer them to a cooling rack.
If you need to chill the dough then roll the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic-wrap, and make sure to set it out on the counter for about 10 minutes before rolling it out.
If you would like your cookies more crispy then cook them for 7-8 minutes, instead of 6 minutes.
The Perfect Sugar Cookie Frosting
This frosting is creamy, soft and not too sweet. It will be soft while you decorate with it but it will crisp up slightly as it dries, which makes it the perfect frosting for decorating cookies!
- 1 cup shortening (I use Spectrum Organic!)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- Food coloring if desired
Mix together the shortening and vanilla with an electric mixer. Beat until creamy (at least 1 minute).
Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time.
As the mixture starts to become dry, begin adding the milk a little bit at a time alternating with the powdered sugar.
Beat until smooth and creamy. Use more or less milk to reach desired consistency.
Add food coloring, if desired. (It makes decorating more fun!)
I know many people are against using shortening, and I was too, but the shortening is what makes this frosting firm up, so it's really the best. I use Spectrum Organic Shortening, which is healthier than the regular brands. You can swap half the shortening for butter but the frosting will have a softer finish and will not stack well.