First and foremost, I do not claim that any of these are original recipes. They're my favorites, with modifications that I preferred, but certainly not an original creation.
These are the ones that I’ve tried and gotten good results with, but I certainly didn’t create these recipes. Admittedly, these have a few minor modifications from the original sources, but you might want to just go to those sources and work from them, if these don’t work out for you.
Best Sugar Cookies EVAR
This one is my favorite. I love these cookies, and so long as you actually follow the recipe and have all the ingredients, they turn out wonderful. If you don’t have the yogurt, use a different recipe – this one won’t work without it. But with it, the cookies turn out FANTASTIC.
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (don’t use fat free - I use plain flavor, but try different flavored yogurts if you like.)
- 3 1/2 cups flour - I usually start with 3 cups, beat dough, add a bit more if it's too sticky still, beat dough, add more if necessary until the dough feels like a good consistency.)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda (the original recipe calls for 1tsp of baking powder as well. I leave that out – the cookies don’t rise as much and retain more of their shape without it.)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg, vanilla, and Greek yogurt. Blend in dry ingredients.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Roll dough to desired thickness (I prefer 1/2 inch).
Cut into shapes. Place cookies on un-greased cookie sheet, lined with either parchment paper or a Silpat.
This recipe yields approximately 20-25 medium cookies.
Bake approximately 10-12 minutes, depending on cookie size.
NOTE: You can bake two cookie sheets at a time, but switch the cookie sheet positions (move bottom one to top and vice versa) after 10 minutes. Continue baking for the remaining time.
This one comes from Karen’s Cookies. It results in very nice looking cookies, so long as you don’t screw up any one of the many delicate steps of cutting the cookies and moving them onto the cookie sheet. I thought that this dough was very very sticky, and very soft, so it was difficult to move the cookies onto the sheet without getting distortions or just having them fall apart entirely. To counter this, I would recommend using a bit more flour than Karen’s version suggested.
I don’t like this one as much also because I have to leave the dough in the fridge for at least a whole day before I can even hope to work with it. I definitely prefer the recipe above, over this one, but when I don’t have any greek yogurt on hand, this is the one I fall back on.
Karen’s Cookies Sugar Cookie Recipe
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup superfine sugar, or granulated sugar, processed in blender or food processor for 30 seconds
- ½ tsp. Salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 tsp. Vanilla extract
- ½ tsp. Almond extract or emulsion, optional
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour. (This is the part I changed – original recipe calls for only 2 ½ cups)
Cream butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes with mixer set at medium speed. Add yolk, beat well. Add whole egg, vanilla and optional almond extract and beat until well-incorporated. Add flour; beat at low speed just until flour is mixed in; do not overmix. Divide dough in halves or thirds and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, at least one hour and up to 2 days.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Dust work surface and rolling pin with flour. Roll dough to 1/4″ thick, sprinkling with additional flour as needed to prevent sticking. Cut into desired shapes and place on parchment or silicone-lined pans. Bake in preheated oven until cookies appear dry on the surface and are light golden brown on the edges, about 10 minutes (very large cookies may take up to 12 or 13 minutes). Remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks and cool completely before decorating.
Karen’s Cream Cheese Sugar Cookie Recipe
This is another one I got from Karen’s cookies. I LOVE these cookies. Seriously, they’re delicious. Again, I added more flour than Karen’s recipe called for, and the cookie dough was a lot easier to work with. It’s still stickier than the first recipe listed above that uses greek yogurt, and you’ll still need to leave this dough in the fridge for a bit before working with it, but I only had to refrigerate it for about 2 hours before it was good to go (where as the 1st Sugar Cookie recipe from Karen’s site had to be refrigerated for nearly two days).
- 1 cup butter
- 1 8-oz package cream cheese
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ tsp. almond extract (I leave this out because my husband is allergic to nuts)
- 4 cups flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
Beat butter and cream cheese until well combined. Add sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, vanilla and almond extract; beat well. In a small bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to cream cheese mixture; beat until well mixed. Divide dough in half. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours.Preheat oven to 375°. Roll dough to ¼ inch thickness. Into desired shapes and place on parchment lined cookie sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned. (very large cookies may take longer to bake)
Karen’s Cookies has a whole lot of tutorials with pictures and guides, so I recommend checking it out.
Royal Icing 'Glue'
Flood-Filling with Royal icing is a staple in cookie decorating, but Royal Icing can also be used to 'cement/glue' cookies together, when mixed to the proper consistency. Basically, if you're making a Ginger-bread House, and want to 'glue' the walls together, this is the sort of thing you'd want to use.In my case, I’ve made some cookie-cubes (I've made a Portal cube, and a Mario block.) and used this icing to put them together. Cookie Cubes that are made up of 6 Square cookies and iced together to form a box. This is the sort of Icing that I’d recommend using. It dries very solid and will hold the pieces together very firmly.
- 1 lb. powdered sugar
- 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
- 3 egg whites (room temp.), unbeaten
Add all ingredients to mixing bowl. Beat on low speed until well blended and stiff peaks form. If it's too fluidic, add more powdered sugar until the consistency feels thicker. Put icing in a pastry bag or plastic bag with a hole cut in the bottom corner to act as a pastry bag.