September 17, 2021
Are you tired of your sugar cookies coming out of the oven looking like flat, cartoonish clouds? Or perhaps you’re a rookie, and you’d like to try your hand at baking some, but you want them to turn out right the first time. Fret not. Even some of the most experienced home chefs have made a batch that flattened out and puffed up simultaneously, losing their shape completely. While sometimes it’s entertaining, it’s not so fun when you want them to be perfect for a special event like a bake sale or holiday.
If you’re looking for a recipe that details how to make cut-out sugar cookies that keep their shape, read on.
Why you’ll love them
This sugar cookie recipe is simple to make. The cookies keep their shape in the oven, and cooling time is minimal compared to other recipes. Cutting shapes is a breeze despite the dough’s reduced time in the fridge, making these cookies perfect for decorating. Their buttery vanilla flavor and neutral color make them a fantastic blank canvas for various flavors, decorations, and pops of color.
Easy sugar cookie recipe
This recipe makes 24 cookies and takes 15 minutes to prepare, with 12 minutes of baking time.
4 cups of flour
1/3 cup of corn starch*
3/4 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 cup of granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*Note: Corn starch helps the cookies keep their shape but does create a slightly denser consistency than recipes without it. If that’s no trouble and you want a cookie with extremely sharp edges, use 1/2 cup of corn starch. This sugar cookie recipe is chewy, but for softer cookies, use 1/4 cup. The lesser amount of starch will result in some shape loss.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, corn starch, and salt.
- Cream the butter and sugar together in a separate bowl or the one on your standing mixer.
- Add the eggs and mix until combined.
- Pour in the vanilla.
- Add the dry ingredients into the bowl and mix until combine, but avoid overmixing.
- Chill the dough in your fridge until firm. Create a flatter shape before putting it in rather than a ball. If the dough is tough after chilling, let it rest on the counter for five minutes.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment, a silicone baking mat, or set out a non-stick one.
- Preheat the oven to 375℉.
- On a surface lightly dusted with flour, lightly flour and roll out the dough until it’s a quarter-inch in thickness. Moving it around will prevent it from sticking to the counter, table, or rolling mat.
- Cut the dough using circular or other shaped cookie cutters.
- Once your cookies are on your baking sheet, reroll the scraps to cut more.
- Place them in the oven for 12 minutes.
Per one 28 gram serving:
Carbohydrates: 27 grams
Protein: 3 grams
Fat: 8 grams
Saturated fat: 5 grams
Cholesterol: 34 milligrams
Sodium: 80 milligrams
Fiber: 1 gram
Sugar: 8 grams
Sugar cookies FAQ
What can I do for my cookies to maintain their shape in the oven?
Leavening agents, which are substances that expand batters and dough, make cookies spread out and puff up. The finished product maintains its shape since this sugar cookie recipe goes without baking soda or baking powder. That’s why shortbread cookies are so square. They’re essentially a three-ingredient sugar cookie, typically composed of butter, flour, and sugar, which causes them to harden in the oven, developing minimal puff.
With classic sugar cookie recipes that include leavening agents, it’s essential to follow the directions regarding chill time, line your baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat instead of grease to give the cookie grip, and ensure your flour measurements are accurate. When they turn out extremely flat, the butter was likely too soft or melted, or the cookies sat on a hot baking sheet before going in the oven. To avoid this, soften your butter at room temperature and bake in smaller batches. Or, keep your dough in the fridge and allow your sheets to cool between uses.
What food or drink can I pair with my sugar cookies?
Sugar cookies go beautifully with tea, coffee, or a tall glass of milk. If you’re serving them at an event or gathering, put them out with a dessert that will create some contrast, such as brownies, bars, or cakes. Sugar cookies also make an excellent dessert served with ice cream or fruit salad.
Is it really important to use unsalted butter?
While it may seem silly that a recipe calls for unsalted butter and salt, the chef did this with a purpose. Using unsalted butter gives you more control over how much butter goes into your recipe since the quantity of salt in butter varies with different brands. This way, no matter where someone shops or lives, they can use the same recipe.
What type of icing is best for sugar cookies?
If you want to decorate your cookie with some detail, royal icing is the way to go. However, if you want an icing that’s easier to make, you can go with a glaze. Buttercream is a simple yet tasty option as well. Additionally, you can get creative with your toppings and add color, sprinkles, and sugars to the icing. And if you want to try something different, you can also dip your sugar cookies in chocolate.
What’s the difference between butter cookies and sugar cookies?
While these cookies can sometimes look similar, butter cookies call for more – you guessed it – butter, resulting in a softer dough. It’s so soft that bakers typically pipe these cookies onto a baking sheet while sugar cookie dough is rolled thin and made into shapes using cookie cutters. Butter cookies hold their shape while baking and are served with one half dipped in chocolate.
Do I need cookie cutters to make sugar cookies?
You can make sugar cookies without a cookie cutter. If you want them to be round, you can use a drinking glass with a floured rim. If you’d like square, diamond, or triangle cookies, you can use a pizza cutter or the edge of a ruler to make your shapes. Additionally, you can roll your dough into a log and slice off cookies with a knife.
The quickest sugar cookie recipe
Nestle Tollhouse offers refrigerated dough when an event or craving sneaks up on you, but you still want the baking and decorating experience. All you have to do is cut out the cookies, break the dough, and bake according to the directions on the package.
This fuss-free sugar cookie recipe makes an excellent Christmas treat, and they’re enjoyable year-round without needing an occasion. Everyone will wonder what your secret is for achieving such perfectly shaped cookies.