Dec 28

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Sugar Cookie Recipe

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decorated polar bear sugar cookie

What would you choose for dessert; a sugar cookie or a slice of chocolate cake?  If you’re anything like me and those two items were in your home, the sugar cookies would be hanging around long after the chocolate cake was polished off.

Don’t get me wrong, I do like sugar cookies, but love them… Not so much.  But trying to decorate chocolate cake to give as gifts - that wouldn’t work as well as sugar cookies do.  Which leads me to the reason why I’m writing this post today – I’ve come up with a sugar cookie recipe by playing around with some favorite recipes.  It’s definitely tasty, although it’s still not in the ‘chocolate cake’ category.  If you try it out I’d love to hear what you think in the comment section below.

Before I get to the recipe, let me share a little introduction to the ‘Polar Bear Parade’ cookies with you.

pretty Christmas ribbon

When I saw this ribbon months ago at Michael’s Craft Store I just knew I had to make a cookie version of it.  Pretty colors, a simple shape and such a cute little polar bear.

polar bear parade of cookies

These were finished before Christmas, but I wasn’t able to post them in time.  If you’d like to create these, you could make just the polar bear or substitute another object for the gift instead.  It’d be a nice winter-themed cookie I think.  The ribbon is probably on sale now too!

polar bear sugar cookie

I used the KopyKake drawing projector to help me draw the image (believe me – I need it!), but you might be able to freehand as it’s a fairly simple shape.

polar bear gingerbread cookie_edited-5

decorated polar bear gingerbread cookie

Some of these are made of a new gingerbread recipe I found on-line, but I wasn’t entirely happy with the results (taste).

polar bear decorated cookie

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been playing around with some of my ’go-to’ sugar cookie recipes – a few of the main ones being Peggy Porschen’sand the NFSC (No Fail Sugar Cookie) recipe (from cakecentral.com), to come up with my own combination.  The latter two are still favourites for me, but now I’ve got a third choice.  This is what I’ve come up with (please also see notes at the bottom of the recipe):

Sugar Cookie Recipe

Yield - Makes about 30-35 cookies, but it will also depend on the size of the cookie cutter and how thick you make your cookies.

Ingredients:

2  cups unsalted butter (at room temperature)

2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

seeds from 1 vanilla bean (or 3 tsp vanilla)

5 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder (*take this out if you don’t want your cookies to spread)

1 tsp salt

Instructions:

1. Cream the butter and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer on low to medium speed.  (Use the paddle attachment).  Mix until thoroughly incorporated – for about one minute.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a plastic spatula and mix again for a few seconds more.

Over mixing the butter and sugar in this step will cause too much air to be incorporated into the dough.  If you’d like a light and fluffy cookie, that’s ideal, however the dough will spread more during baking; not ideal if you’d like the cookie to hold its shape.

2. Add eggs slowly and mix.  Scrape down the bowl with your spatula at least once and mix again.

3. Cut open your vanilla bean and scrape the seeds out.  Add to mixing bowl.  Alternatively, add liquid vanilla extract.  Stir briefly.

4. Sift your dry ingredients together.  (Flour, baking powder and salt).

5. Add all of the flour mixture to the bowl.  Place a large tea towel or two small tea towels between the edge of the bowl and the electric mixer so that the flour won’t escape.  Mix on low speed for 3o seconds.  Remove the tea towels and observe the dough mixing; when it clumps around the paddle attachment it’s ready.  It’s also important at this stage not to over mix the dough (the glutens in the flour develop and the dough can become tough).

6. Roll the dough out between 2 large pieces of parchment paper.  Place on a baking sheet and into the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour.

7. Roll out the dough further if you need to, and cut out cookie shapes.  Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  Re-roll scraps and repeat.

8. Put cookie dough shapes back into the fridge for 10 minutes to 1 hour to chill again.  They will then hold their shape better when baked.

9. Preheat your oven to 350°F or 176°C.

10. Bake cookies for 8-12 minutes or until the edges become golden brown.  The baking time will depend on the size of your cookie.

11. Let cookies cool to room temperature and decorate!

polar bear sugar cookies on a cake stand

 

A few notes about the recipe:

 

*Butter – The butter needs to be soft, or room temperature.  I leave mine out the night before I do my baking.  If you forget, you can grate the butter on the largest hole of your box grater, so that the sugar and butter will mix together better.

*Amount of Butter - I’ve noticed some people who’ve tried the recipe who live in a warmer climate have trouble with 2.5 cups butter, and although the extra 1/2 cup butter taste is nice, to make the dough easier to work with in any climate, I edited the recipe to say only 2 cups of butter. The printable version is uneditable, so still says 2.5 cups of butter.

*Baking powder – I hardly use any baking powder in my recipe because the dough will spread and rise more during baking, thereby making the shape of the cookie less crisp. The only time I use it now, is if I’m just making round shortbread cookies and I don’t care about the cookies spreading.

*Chill your dough if it gets too soft work with. It’s a softer, sometimes sticky dough (depending on your environment as well), but in my humble opinion, makes up for it in taste.

*Read these tips here on stopping dough from spreading.

Click here for a Printer-Friendly Version of the Sugar Cookie Recipe

I’ll do an in-depth tutorial with pictures on making the sugar cookie dough in a future post.

Hope you enjoy this recipe!

xo,

Marian

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1,066 Comments

  1. Smita
    February 14, 2015 at 11:37 am | Permalink
    913

    Hi there,
    Just wanted to know if it is ok to make the dough ahead of time and freeze it. If so, How long would it stay in the freezer and what is the process to bring it back to room temperature and use it? I live in India so it is not cold, but currently not very hot either.
    thanks,
    Smita

    • marian
      February 16, 2015 at 12:53 pm | Permalink
      914

      Hi Smita,
      Yes you can freeze it. I would roll it between two sheets of parchment paper so it’s already flat (easier than trying to roll out a hard ball of dough later), and wrap in saran wrap. When ready to use, take it out of your freezer and leave at room temperature. How long it takes to thaw depends on your environment, so poke it every once in a while to feel if it’s softening. Once you’ve cut your cookie shapes out, chill them again before you bake.

  2. NextJenCakes
    February 21, 2015 at 12:33 pm | Permalink
    915

    Thank you for sharing this recipe, tried it today & they are perfect! Your tips were great too, they hold shape & the taste is melt in the mouth goodness! This will alway be my biscuit recipe from now on! Recommend people to try this recipe out, thank you once again for sharing NJC x

  3. Kellie Biggins
    February 24, 2015 at 12:09 am | Permalink
    916

    I used this sugar cookie last week to make snowflake shape cookies for a “Frozen” Birthday party. They kept their shape perfectly, the definition on the cookie edge was just brilliant. I’m going to have this recipe on high rotation.

    Thanks,

    Kellie

    • March 13, 2015 at 8:22 am | Permalink
      920

      Yay! Happy to hear it Kellie. Thanks for commenting!

    • Dawn K.
      March 17, 2015 at 6:30 pm | Permalink
      923

      Did you omit the baking powder to keep them from spreading? Or did they hold their shape well even with it? :)

    • Kellie Biggins
      March 29, 2015 at 8:52 pm | Permalink
      929

      Hi Dawn K,

      I left out the baking powder in mine. Worked a treat. Kellie

  4. Zulala
    March 1, 2015 at 9:43 pm | Permalink
    917

    Hi Marian

    Like smita I live in srilanaka… And the season here is pretty hot at the moment.
    My babies birthday is on the 30th of this month(March) and I need to make the dough ahead of time… Cz I have a party to put together… For how long can I keep this dough in the freezer?

  5. Kellie Biggins
    March 9, 2015 at 9:16 pm | Permalink
    918

    Hi,

    Just wondering would I simply add some cocoa to this recipe to make a chocolate sugar cookie?

  6. Sandra
    March 24, 2015 at 2:13 am | Permalink
    924

    I’m a home baker and I do some orders for my friends and some family members, next may I have an order for some confirmation cookies my question is how much in advance can I do the cookies and when it comes to royal icing how long do they dry bc they’re going to be the favors for the events and they will be in clear baggies.

  7. Angela
    March 26, 2015 at 9:25 pm | Permalink
    925

    Made these cookies the other day. rolled out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick and froze it. Took out the dough and let it warm up just a bit, enough to cut with a circle cutter. Refroze the circles completely and then baked them frozen. It took 22 minutes to bake them all the way through, with a golden brown edge but still soft in the middle. They taste a bit salty, so with my next batch I’ll cut the salt to 3/4 tsp, to see if that is better.

    Otherwise, a VERY nice cookie for decorating, or snacking on without icing. :) Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  8. Frustrated
    March 28, 2015 at 9:01 pm | Permalink
    926

    I followed this recipe exactly and I had the worst time making these cookies. I’m not sure if all of the other posters are friends of yours and are trying to be encouraging, but the dough was way too soft for me to do anything with. It stuck to the parchment paper even after 4 hours of refrigeration. My cookie cutters are covered in dough, my hands are covered in dough. I thought maybe I should add more flour but even that did not help. I will not be using this recipe again. I do not mean to be negative on your blog but if I have never had this issue baking before. A first time baker would not be successful with this recipe.

    • March 29, 2015 at 11:15 am | Permalink
      927

      Hi there,

      I’m sorry you had that experience. I don’t know 99% people who comment on my blog, so no, their comments are not made up that the recipe worked well for them. Perhaps the measurements you made were off? Adding flour to any dough, as you mentioned, should always help make a dough less sticky, so I’m wondering why that didn’t help yours. Were you working in a very warm environment?
      Also, please read the notes at the end of the blog post above.

    • Juan Corredor
      April 11, 2015 at 8:37 pm | Permalink
      931

      Mine worked perfectly…
      ps. im not his friend

  9. sara
    April 2, 2015 at 12:02 pm | Permalink
    930

    Hi,

    are these soft sugar cookies? i am not a fan of the hard crunchy ones :)

    • Melissa
      April 13, 2015 at 9:02 am | Permalink
      932

      Hi there, I’m wondering the same thing. Will be doing these for favours at a baby shower next month and I’m wondering if I leave the baking powder out does that leave me with a very hard cookie? Thanks! :)

    • marian
      April 13, 2015 at 9:05 am | Permalink
      933

      Hi Melissa,
      One would think so because it’s a leavening agent, and although the cookie is slightly less “fluffy”, the cookie is not hard if not over baked. The longer you bake the cookie the crispier/harder it will get. Have fun baking and let me know how it goes. :)

    • marian
      April 13, 2015 at 9:08 am | Permalink
      934

      Hi Sara,
      The longer you bake the cookie the crispier/harder it will get. These will be soft if you bake them juuuust until they get a light golden edge to them. Happy baking!

  10. Balbina
    April 15, 2015 at 10:38 pm | Permalink
    935

    Hello :)
    I am planning on making these for a baby shower and I waswwas wondering how much ahead of time should I make them? In other words, how long do they stay fresh and soft for? :)

  11. Natalia
    April 16, 2015 at 11:07 pm | Permalink
    936

    Could I use egg replacer for the eggs, I need a egg and nut free recipe?
    Any ideas
    Thanks

    • April 18, 2015 at 10:03 am | Permalink
      939

      I’m sorry, I’ve never tried this recipe with an egg replacer, so I can’t say for sure. xo

  12. Danyel
    April 17, 2015 at 4:12 pm | Permalink
    937

    is this all purpose or self rising flour?

  13. Kasie
    April 20, 2015 at 5:36 am | Permalink
    941

    I’m planning on making these for my sons birthday. Could I roll and cut the cookies before chilling? Or do they need to be in the fridge before cutting?

  14. Roger Newswanger
    April 23, 2015 at 12:06 pm | Permalink
    942

    Hello Marian, I search the net for sugar cookies all the time and give them a try if I find one that sounds good so when I came across your recipe I saved it to give it a try later, well this recipe gives very good results and will save to use for a change.
    I think that when you find a recipe thats new to you, try ahead of time so you have time to either use or to keep using your tried and true recipe. so keep that in mind. Thank you for sharing this recipe and I will use as a change up.
    Recipes don’t always work for others, so give it a try before you plan on using this for others.

  15. Allison Traylor
    May 6, 2015 at 12:24 pm | Permalink
    943

    Help! I just made this recipe and I’m pretty much 100 percent positive that I made it before but am now having a brain lapse. When mixing the dough and its crumbly looking (like baked cake mixed up). Its in the fridge I mixed it up more, and I’m pretty sure it will be okay but when i took it out of the bowl should it be crumbling at all? Did I mix too long or not long enough?

  16. Marjan
    May 7, 2015 at 10:54 am | Permalink
    944

    Hi ,
    I hope your recipe works fir me my buscuits arent flat so make trouble for decorating

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