This is the basic sugar cookie dough recipe that we use every Christmas. It is a reliable sugar cookie dough and it is so easy to put together! I try to make something different every year, but this recipe is the first one that gets baked as soon as it’s December 1st!
I have seen recipes that say you could use the dough without chilling, but I find this dough is best used after it’s chilled. I even chill the rolled out dough before having the kids cut into shapes.
The kids look forward every year to cookie baking time! This is such a perfect recipe to let the kids take over and bake their own cookies! If you have never baked with kids before, be warned that it gets very, very messy! There will be sprinkles on every corner of your counter and probably even the floor.
If I have more than 2 kids baking (when we baked this batch, there were 4 kids), I do divide the dough into 4 portions so everyone gets their turn rolling it out and making the shapes.
Part of the beauty of sugar cookies is that you can keep them very simple or you can get very creative with them. Making sugar cookies with kids is a great way to get them into baking and to create special memories with you in the kitchen.
These cookies decorated with love make for extra special gifts. Baking cookies for yourselves or for a thoughtful gift, with a good basic recipe and some practice, you will end up with fantastic cookies each time!!
And all those sprinkles all over the kitchen floor? Eventually you will clean all of them up!
I have seen recipes that say you could use the dough without chilling, but I find this dough is best used after it’s chilled. I chill the rolled out dough before having the kids cut into shapes.Most recipes for sugar cookies are extremely similar to this. There are recipes that call for lemon zest or even orange zest.
Some recipes use almond extract instead of the vanilla extract. This particular recipe uses vanilla extract. You could add sprinkles just before baking and keep them simple. Or you could let the cookies cool down and then ice and add sprinkles. My kids prefer them with the icing and sprinkles!
Here are some other recipes to inspire you:
Basic Sugar Cookie Dough Recipe
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour spooned and leveled, plus more for shaping the cookies
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter 2 sticks, room temperature
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed for several seconds. Stop mixer to scrape the bowl, then turn the mixer to high speed and beat until the batter is incorporated, about 1 minute.
- Divide dough into two equal portions. Place each dough piece in plastic wrap. Wrap the dough pieces and flatten into disks. Refrigerate the wrapped disks for about 1 hour (or up to 3 days).
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Remove the first portion of dough and place on the counter. Unwrap the dough. Sprinkle powdered sugar on the bottom and top of dough. Place another sheet of plastic wrap on top of the dough. roll out the dough between the 2 sheets of plastic wrap.
- Roll out first disk ¼ inch thick.
- Cut into shapes and place on parchment-lined baking sheets; refrigerate until firm.
- If using sprinkles, sprinkle them on before baking. Place at least 1-inch apart on greased baking sheet
- Bake for about 10-12 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking time. Cookies should begin to turn golden brown around the edges. Repeat process with the other disk.
- Let the cookies cool down completely on a wire rack. If you didn't decorate with sprinkles before baking, you could ice the cookies and add sprinkles.
- Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.