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The Best Sugar Cookies

“Every cookie is a sugar cookie. A cookie without sugar is a cracker.” -Gary Gulman

This is a Christmas classic, and one of the first things that I learned to bake. My mom and I would bake a batch of these every year for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, and have some extras for us, of course. A cut-out cookie is a lot of fun and a very simple dessert to make. You can make the dough ahead of time and freeze it for when you are ready to bake and decorate.

I got this recipe from a family friend and haven’t found another sugar cookie recipe that is comparable. They are just the right amount of sweetness, buttery, and soft all while holding the shape of the cut-out. These cookies aren’t overly sweet, so adding a super sweet frosting won’t give you too much of a sugar rush. Over the years I’ve typically decorated my cookies with fluffy white frosting and sprinkles for some crunch. But this year I went ahead and made royal icing and used a technique called flooding.

Flooding is just a way to fill in the color of icing on a cookie. Using royal icing is the best for this technique. Simply outline the cookie with stiff royal icing and create any pattern that you want on the cookie. Then put a little bit of water in a separate bowl of royal icing with some color, and fill in the colored icing between the lines of royal icing that are already there. With enough patience, this can add a great look to the cookies.

Some other key tricks that I’ve found when making sugar cookies is to not roll them too thin. Rolling the cookie dough to about a ¼ inch thick is enough so that the cookies aren’t burnt and not too soft. I also found that chilling the dough is very important so that the cookies keep their shape of the cut-outs. The last thing is to always remember to not over handle the cookie dough, or else the cookies themselves will become tough.

These cookies are fun to make and decorate with family and friends. I hope that these become a Christmas tradition of your own.

Recipe from Rosemary Alwine, a lifelong family friend


1 cup of butter

1 cup of sugar

2 eggs

½ teaspoon vanilla

3 ½ cup of flour

½ teaspoon of salt

1 ½ teaspoon baking powder

1 ½ teaspoon baking soda


  1. Cream together butter and sugar

  2. Add vanilla and eggs until well combined.

  3. Add flour baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

  4. Form dough into a ball then split evenly. Let chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take out one half of the dough and roll out and cut out cookies.

  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

  7. Repeat with the other half of the dough.

  8. Decorate cookies once completely cool. Eat. Enjoy.

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