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Homemade Sugar Cookies Recipe

Indulge in the delightful simplicity of homemade sugar cookies. These soft and chewy treats are perfect for any occasion, whether it's a festive holiday gathering or a cozy afternoon snack. The combination of butter, sugar, and a hint of almond extract creates a heavenly aroma and flavor that will have everyone reaching for seconds.

Homemade Sugar Cookies Recipe
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Photos of Homemade Sugar Cookies Recipe

When gathering ingredients for this recipe, make sure to pick up sour cream, which might not be a staple in every kitchen. Additionally, almond extract adds a unique flavor that distinguishes these cookies from the usual sugar cookies. These items can be found in the dairy section and baking aisle of most supermarkets.

Ingredients For Homemade Sugar Cookies Recipe

all purpose flour: The base of the cookie dough, providing structure and texture.

baking powder: Helps the cookies rise and become fluffy.

baking soda: Works with the baking powder to leaven the dough.

salt: Enhances the overall flavor of the cookies.

unsalted butter: Adds richness and flavor, while providing moisture.

granulated sugar: Sweetens the cookies and contributes to their texture.

eggs: Acts as a binding agent and adds moisture.

sour cream: Adds moisture and a slight tangy flavor, making the cookies tender.

pure vanilla extract: Adds a warm, sweet flavor to the cookies.

almond extract: Adds a unique and fragrant flavor to the cookies.

vanilla buttercream: Optional for decorating, adding sweetness and creaminess.

sprinkles: Optional for decorating, adding color and texture.

One reader, Boone Trombley says:

star icon star icon star icon star icon star icon

These homemade sugar cookies are absolutely delightful! The texture is perfect—soft and chewy with a slight crisp edge. The hint of almond extract adds a lovely touch. Decorating them with buttercream and sprinkles was so much fun. A must-try for any baking enthusiast!

Boone Trombley

Techniques Required for Making Homemade Sugar Cookies

How to whisk: Combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) by using a whisk to ensure they are evenly distributed. How to beat butter and sugar: Use a hand mixer or stand mixer to mix the butter and sugar until smooth and creamy. How to scrape down the bowl: Use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure all ingredients are evenly mixed. How to chill dough: Cover the dough with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for a specified time to firm up. How to preheat the oven: Set the oven to the desired temperature and allow it to reach that temperature before baking. How to line baking sheets: Place parchment paper or silicone baking mats on baking sheets to prevent cookies from sticking. How to measure cookie dough: Use a measuring spoon to portion out the dough into 1½ tablespoon-sized balls. How to bake cookies: Place the cookie dough on baking sheets and bake in the oven until done. How to cool cookies: Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack. How to frost cookies: Spread frosting on cooled cookies and add sprinkles if desired.

How To Make Homemade Sugar Cookies

These sweet sugar cookies are flavored with vanilla, topped with some almond, then finished off with buttercream frosting, for a decadent sweet treat!

Preparation: 1 hour 20 minutes
Cooking: 13 minutes
Cool Time: 7 minutes
Total: 1 hour 40 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

  • 3cupsall purpose flour,spoon and leveled
  • 1tspbaking powder
  • ½tspbaking soda
  • ½tspsalt
  • 1cupunsalted butter,softened to room temperature
  • cupsgranulated sugar
  • 2large eggs,room temperature
  • 1cupsour cream,full fat, room temperature
  • 2tsppure vanilla extract
  • ½tspalmond extract

For Decorating (Optional):

  • vanilla buttercream
  • sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.

  2. In a large bowl using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and granulated sugar together on high speed for about 2 minutes until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.

  3. Add the eggs, sour cream, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Beat on medium-high speed until combined. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed.

  4. With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients until combined.

  5. Cover dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour and up to 2 to 3 days.

  6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.

  7. Remove the cookie dough from the refrigerator. Measure the cookies to be 1½ tablespoons each. Arrange them 3 inches apart on the baking sheets.

  8. Bake for 13 to 14 minutes or until a cookie springs back when lightly poked with a finger.

  9. Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

  10. Spread the frosting onto each cooled cookie. Garnish with sprinkles, if desired.

  11. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Frosted cookies will stay fresh covered at room temperature for 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 121.16kcal
  • Fat: 6.07g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.67g
  • Trans Fat: 0.19g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 1.58g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.31g
  • Carbohydrates: 15.29g
  • Fiber: 0.25g
  • Sugar: 8.11g
  • Protein: 1.45g
  • Cholesterol: 24.49mg
  • Sodium: 61.06mg
  • Calcium: 19.10mg
  • Potassium: 23.70mg
  • Iron: 0.51mg
  • Vitamin A: 52.94µg
  • Vitamin C: 0.05mg

Crucial Technique Tip for Perfect Homemade Sugar Cookies

When creaming the butter and sugar together, make sure the butter is at room temperature. This ensures it will blend smoothly with the sugar, creating a light and fluffy mixture that will help your cookies rise properly and achieve a tender texture.

Time-Saving Tips for Making Sugar Cookies at Home

Prepare ingredients in advance: Measure and mix the dry ingredients the night before to save time on baking day.

Use a cookie scoop: A cookie scoop ensures uniform cookie dough portions, speeding up the process and ensuring even baking.

Chill dough efficiently: Divide the cookie dough into smaller portions before chilling to reduce the chilling time.

Preheat oven early: Start preheating your oven while you shape the cookies to save time.

Line baking sheets: Prepare your baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats in advance for quick and easy cleanup.

Substitute Ingredients For Homemade Sugar Cookies Recipe

  • all purpose flour - Substitute with whole wheat flour: Whole wheat flour adds a nutty flavor and more fiber, though it may make the cookies denser.

  • baking powder - Substitute with cream of tartar and baking soda: Use 1/4 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp cream of tartar for every 1 tsp of baking powder to achieve the same leavening effect.

  • baking soda - Substitute with baking powder: Use 3 times the amount of baking powder as baking soda, but be aware this may slightly alter the taste and texture.

  • salt - Substitute with sea salt: Sea salt can be used in the same quantity and offers a slightly different mineral content and flavor.

  • unsalted butter - Substitute with margarine: Margarine can be used in the same amount, though it may slightly change the flavor and texture.

  • granulated sugar - Substitute with coconut sugar: Coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index and adds a caramel-like flavor to the cookies.

  • large eggs - Substitute with flax eggs: Mix 1 tbsp ground flaxseed with 3 tbsp water for each egg to make a vegan alternative.

  • sour cream - Substitute with Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt provides a similar tangy flavor and creamy texture but with added protein.

  • pure vanilla extract - Substitute with vanilla bean paste: Vanilla bean paste offers a more intense vanilla flavor and can be used in the same quantity.

  • almond extract - Substitute with vanilla extract: Vanilla extract can be used if almond extract is unavailable, though it will change the flavor profile.

  • vanilla buttercream - Substitute with cream cheese frosting: Cream cheese frosting offers a tangy flavor and creamy texture, making it a good alternative for decorating.

  • sprinkles - Substitute with crushed nuts: Crushed nuts add a crunchy texture and nutty flavor, providing a healthier alternative to sprinkles.

Presenting Your Delicious Homemade Sugar Cookies

  1. Use a cookie cutter for uniform shapes: Ensure each sugar cookie is perfectly shaped by using a cookie cutter. This will give a professional and consistent look to your presentation.

  2. Create a color palette with frosting: Use vanilla buttercream in different pastel colors to frost the cookies. This adds a visually appealing and elegant touch.

  3. Add delicate sprinkles: Garnish each cookie with fine, delicate sprinkles to add a touch of sophistication and a pop of color.

  4. Plate on a minimalist white dish: Serve the cookies on a large, minimalist white platter to make the colors and details of the cookies stand out.

  5. Arrange cookies in a circular pattern: Place the cookies in a circular pattern on the platter, slightly overlapping each other to create an inviting and artistic display.

  6. Add edible flowers for garnish: Place a few edible flowers around the cookies on the platter to enhance the visual appeal and add a touch of elegance.

  7. Use a dusting of powdered sugar: Lightly dust the platter and cookies with a fine layer of powdered sugar for a delicate, snowy effect.

  8. Serve with a side of fresh berries: Accompany the cookies with a small bowl of fresh berries to add a burst of freshness and color contrast.

  9. Include a small card with flavor notes: Place a small, elegant card next to the platter describing the flavors and ingredients used in the cookies, adding a professional touch.

  10. Finish with a sprig of mint: Add a sprig of fresh mint to the platter for a final touch of color and freshness.

Essential Tools for Making Sugar Cookies at Home

  • Whisk: Used to combine the dry ingredients like flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

  • Large bowl: Essential for mixing the butter and sugar together until smooth and creamy.

  • Hand mixer: Useful for beating the butter and sugar together, as well as combining the wet ingredients.

  • Stand mixer: An alternative to the hand mixer, especially helpful when fitted with a paddle attachment for thorough mixing.

  • Rubber spatula: Handy for scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure all ingredients are well incorporated.

  • Aluminum foil: Used to cover the dough tightly for chilling in the refrigerator.

  • Plastic wrap: Another option for covering the dough tightly during chilling.

  • Oven: Preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for baking the cookies.

  • Baking sheets: Lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mats to bake the cookies on.

  • Parchment paper: Used to line the baking sheets to prevent the cookies from sticking.

  • Silicone baking mats: An alternative to parchment paper for lining the baking sheets.

  • Measuring spoons: Necessary for measuring out the vanilla extract, almond extract, and other small quantities of ingredients.

  • Measuring cups: Used to measure out the flour, sugar, and other larger quantities of ingredients.

  • Wire rack: Essential for cooling the cookies completely before frosting.

  • Frosting spatula: Used to spread the frosting onto each cooled cookie.

  • Sprinkles: Optional, for decorating the frosted cookies.

Storing and Freezing Your Homemade Sugar Cookies

  • Allow the sugar cookies to cool completely before storing. If you store them while they are still warm, condensation can build up and make the cookies soggy.

  • Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. Place a sheet of parchment paper or wax paper between each layer of cookies to prevent them from sticking together.

  • For longer storage, you can freeze the sugar cookies:

    • Place the cooled cookies in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid, about 1-2 hours.
    • Transfer the frozen cookies to a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag, separating each layer with parchment paper or wax paper.
    • Label the container or bag with the date and contents.
    • Freeze for up to 3 months.
  • To thaw frozen sugar cookies, remove them from the freezer and let them sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes to 1 hour, or until they reach your desired level of chewiness or crispness.

  • If you have decorated the cookies with buttercream frosting or other toppings, it's best to freeze the cookies and the frosting separately:

    • Freeze the unfrosted cookies as directed above.
    • Place the frosting in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.
    • When ready to use, thaw the frosting in the refrigerator overnight, then bring it to room temperature and mix well before spreading on the thawed cookies.

Interesting Fact About Sugar Cookies

A random fact about this recipe is that using sour cream in sugar cookies adds moisture and a slight tanginess, resulting in a softer and more flavorful cookie.

Is Making Sugar Cookies at Home Cost-Effective?

When considering the cost-effectiveness of this dessert, the ingredients are relatively affordable and commonly found in most households. The use of all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, and unsalted butter keeps costs low. The addition of sour cream and pure vanilla extract adds a touch of luxury without breaking the bank. Overall, this homemade sugar cookies recipe scores a solid 8 out of 10 for cost-effectiveness. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $10-$12 USD.

Are Homemade Sugar Cookies Healthy or Unhealthy?

This homemade sugar cookie recipe, while delicious, is not particularly healthy. The main ingredients contributing to its unhealthy nature are:

  • High sugar content (1½ cups granulated sugar)
  • Significant amount of butter (1 cup unsalted butter)
  • Refined all-purpose flour (3 cups)
  • Optional vanilla buttercream and sprinkles for decorating, which add more sugar and calories

The combination of these ingredients results in a treat that is high in calories, sugar, and saturated fat, while lacking essential nutrients like fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following modifications:

  • Reduce the amount of sugar by 1/4 to 1/2 cup, or replace some of the granulated sugar with a natural sweetener like honey or maple syrup
  • Use whole wheat pastry flour or a mix of whole wheat and all-purpose flour to increase the fiber content
  • Replace half of the butter with a healthier alternative like Greek yogurt, mashed avocado, or coconut oil
  • Decrease the amount of frosting used, or opt for a lighter frosting made with reduced-fat cream cheese
  • Instead of sprinkles, decorate the cookies with fresh fruit, nuts, or a light drizzle of dark chocolate

By incorporating these changes, you can create a more balanced and nutritious cookie that still satisfies your sweet tooth. Remember, moderation is key, and even with healthier modifications, sugar cookies should be enjoyed as an occasional treat rather than a daily indulgence.

Editor's Opinion on This Homemade Sugar Cookies Recipe

This sugar cookie recipe is a delightful blend of classic flavors with a touch of sophistication from the almond extract. The inclusion of sour cream ensures a tender, moist texture, while the chilling step helps in achieving a perfect shape and consistency. The detailed instructions are clear and easy to follow, making it suitable for both novice and experienced bakers. Decorating with vanilla buttercream and sprinkles adds a fun, customizable element. Overall, this recipe promises a delicious, melt-in-your-mouth experience that is sure to impress at any gathering.

Enhance Your Homemade Sugar Cookies Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Fruit Salad: Complement the delightful sweetness of your homemade sugar cookies with a refreshing fruit salad. The vibrant mix of berries, melon, and citrus will add a burst of color and a tangy contrast to your dessert spread.
Cheese Platter: Balance the sugary goodness with a sophisticated cheese platter. Include a variety of cheeses like brie, cheddar, and blue cheese, accompanied by crackers and grapes. This savory side will elevate your dessert experience.
Herb-Infused Lemonade: Quench your thirst with a refreshing herb-infused lemonade. The zesty lemon flavor combined with hints of mint or basil will perfectly complement the rich, buttery taste of your sugar cookies.
Roasted Nuts: Add a crunchy, savory element to your dessert table with a bowl of roasted nuts. The warm, toasty flavors of almonds, pecans, and cashews will provide a delightful contrast to the soft, sweet cookies.
Berry Compote: Enhance your sugar cookies with a luscious berry compote. The rich, syrupy mixture of strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries will add a burst of fruity flavor, making each bite even more indulgent.

Alternative Cookie Recipes to Try

Chocolate Chip Cookies: Indulge in the classic delight of chocolate chip cookies. These cookies are packed with gooey chocolate chips and have a perfect balance of crispy edges and chewy centers. Perfect for any occasion, they are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Snickerdoodle Cookies: Experience the warm, cinnamon-sugar goodness of snickerdoodle cookies. These soft and chewy cookies are rolled in a delightful cinnamon and sugar mixture before baking, creating a sweet and slightly tangy treat that's hard to resist.
Peanut Butter Cookies: Dive into the rich, nutty flavor of peanut butter cookies. These cookies are incredibly soft and packed with the creamy taste of peanut butter. Perfect for peanut butter lovers, they make a great snack or dessert.
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies: Enjoy the wholesome and hearty taste of oatmeal raisin cookies. These cookies are filled with chewy oats and sweet raisins, offering a comforting and satisfying bite. A perfect blend of spices makes them a timeless favorite.
Lemon Sugar Cookies: Brighten your day with the zesty flavor of lemon sugar cookies. These cookies are infused with fresh lemon zest and juice, giving them a refreshing citrus twist. Light, buttery, and slightly tangy, they are a delightful treat for any occasion.

Appetizers and Main Courses to Complement Sugar Cookies

Appetizers:
Stuffed Mushrooms: Elevate your appetizer game with these stuffed mushrooms. Imagine tender mushroom caps filled with a savory mixture of cream cheese, garlic, and herbs. The breadcrumbs on top add a delightful crunch, while the Parmesan cheese melts to golden perfection. These bite-sized delights are perfect for any gathering, offering a burst of flavor in every mouthful. Serve them warm and watch them disappear in no time.
Bruschetta: Transport your guests to Italy with this classic bruschetta. Start with slices of toasted baguette, rubbed with garlic for an aromatic base. Top them with a vibrant mix of diced tomatoes, fresh basil, and mozzarella, all drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar. The result is a refreshing and flavorful appetizer that pairs perfectly with a glass of wine. It's simple yet sophisticated, making it an ideal choice for any occasion.
Main Courses:
Grilled Lemon Herb Chicken: Elevate your dinner with Grilled Lemon Herb Chicken. This dish features succulent chicken breasts marinated in a zesty blend of lemon juice, garlic, and a medley of fresh herbs. The marinade infuses the chicken with a burst of citrusy flavor, while the herbs add a fragrant touch. Grill the chicken to perfection, ensuring a juicy and tender bite every time. Serve with a side of roasted vegetables or a fresh garden salad for a complete meal that’s both healthy and delicious.
Stuffed Bell Peppers: Delight your taste buds with Stuffed Bell Peppers. These vibrant bell peppers are filled with a savory mixture of ground beef, rice, and tomato sauce, seasoned with a blend of spices that bring out the rich flavors. The peppers are baked until tender, allowing the filling to meld together beautifully. Top with melted cheese for an extra layer of indulgence. Pair with a side of garlic bread or a simple green salad to round out this hearty and satisfying meal.

Why trust this Homemade Sugar Cookies Recipe:

This homemade sugar cookies recipe is a trusted favorite, perfected through countless batches. The combination of unsalted butter and granulated sugar creates a rich, creamy base, while the sour cream adds a unique tang and moist texture. The blend of pure vanilla extract and almond extract gives these cookies a delightful, aromatic flavor. Chilling the dough ensures perfect consistency, and baking at 350 degrees F guarantees a golden finish. Decorate with vanilla buttercream and sprinkles for a festive touch. Trust this recipe for consistently delicious results.

Share your thoughts on this delightful Homemade Sugar Cookies Recipe in the Baking and Desserts forum section and let's discuss your baking experiences!
FAQ:
How long do I need to chill the dough?
You need to chill the dough for at least 1 hour, but you can leave it in the fridge for up to 2 to 3 days if you want to prepare ahead.
Can I skip the almond extract?
Yes, you can skip the almond extract if you prefer. The cookies will still taste great with just the vanilla extract.
Do I need to use a stand mixer, or can I mix by hand?
While a stand mixer or hand mixer makes the process easier and faster, you can mix by hand if you don't have one. Just make sure to cream the butter and sugar well.
Can I freeze the cookie dough?
Absolutely! You can freeze the cookie dough for up to 3 months. Just thaw it in the refrigerator before baking.
How do I know when the cookies are done baking?
The cookies are done when they spring back slightly when lightly poked with a finger. They should be lightly golden around the edges.

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