My Favorite Sugar Cookies

Be honest here: in a lineup of a classic chocolate chip cookie, an oatmeal cookie, a double chocolate cookie, a peanut butter cookie or a sugar cookie, which cookie, if you could only pick one, would you choose to eat every day for the rest of your life?

Seriously, I want to know. Because, as much as I have droned on and on about my favorite cookies, I would choose a sugar cookie hands down to win out against any other kind of cookie. Every day. Every time. I cannot resist a good sugar cookie. I simply can’t resist. And I have the thighs to prove it.

Because I am a self-professed sugar cookie lover, and I mean LOVER, I am particular about my sugar cookies, baby. I like them soft and really thick while still holding their shape while baking. They need exceptional flavor; something different to set them apart from the rest of the sugar cookie pack. And don’t even get me started on the frosting. The frosting will make or break even the best sugar cookie. Let’s be real: sugar cookies are a lot of work. I want to know after all the mess and rolling and vying for Mother of the Year award for letting my kids help in the first place that the finished sugar cookie is going to blow my mind in deliciousness.

My Favorite Sugar Cookies

I have tried more sugar cookie recipes than I care to count and I will honestly say there are only two recipes that I ever make – and I’ve been making both for years now. The first recipe I posted a while ago (a phenomenal, creamy, unique sugar cookie). I adore them. But I like to have options and the recipe I am posting today is undeniably one of the best sugar cookie recipes on the planet. The powdered sugar in the buttery dough creates a light, melt-in-your-mouth quality as the subtle lemon and almond flavors tickle your palate. These cookies take sugar cookie devotion to new levels. They are unbelievably delicious.

The keys to sugar cookie success: the right recipe (I’ve got your back on this one), don’t overbake (we’re talking eight minutes max here, probably more like seven), roll them thick (at least 1/4-inch if not slightly thicker), and fantastic frosting.

I refuse to top my beloved sugar cookies with anything but my favorite frosting, which I included below the recipe. Light, decadent, creamy and beyond compare, this frosting is the icing on the cake. Or the cookie, so to speak.

So as you contemplate the land of sugar cookies and my apparent snobbery when it comes to them, don’t forget to enlighten me on which lineup cookie you would choose.

My Favorite Sugar Cookies

One Year Ago: Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
Two Years Ago: Creamy Chicken Fettuccine

My Favorite Sugar Cookies

Yield: Makes 2-3 dozen sugar cookies (about 2-3 inch size)

My Favorite Sugar Cookies

Note: the baking temperature for this recipe may seem high but I believe it is one of the keys to success. The cookies still remain soft and light because they bake for such a short time (and they keep their shape really well!).

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened to cool room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (from about 1 lemon)
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla extract, almond extract and lemon zest; mix. Add two cups flour, baking powder and salt. Mix. Add remaining flour and mix just until flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth and soft.
  3. The dough can be wrapped in plastic wrap and kept in the refrigerator for up to a week or it can be rolled out right away. Dust a counter with powdered sugar or flour and roll the dough to desired thickness (I prefer my cookies on the thick side so I roll my dough out to about 1/4-inch, maybe even slightly thicker than that). Cut the dough into shapes. Place the cookies on a lined or lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 7-8 minutes. The cookies won’t appear browned on top (or on bottom) when they are done baking so don’t let them overbake! I find 7 1/2 minutes is about perfect but if they are even lightly browned on bottom, I decrease the time by 30 seconds. I like them super soft with not even a hint of browned edges or bottom. This way they literally melt in my mouth.
  4. Cool the cookies completely on a wire rack before frosting. The baked cookies (unfrosted) can be stored in a tupperware or ziploc bag in the freezer for up to a month. I also often freeze 1/2 of the sugar cookie dough when I don’t have time or don’t want to roll it out and cut shapes. I wrap the dough in plastic wrap and then stick it in a freezer-safe ziploc bag and freeze it for up to a month. I take it out the night before I want to roll it out and store it in the refrigerator to thaw (for about 12-15 hours). About 30 minutes before I want to use it, I let it sit on the counter to soften a bit and then I roll it out and cut out the cookies.
http://www.melskitchencafe.com/my-favorite-sugar-cookies/

Recipe Source: method adapted slightly from Good Things Catered

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting


*Note: the key to success here is using really soft cream cheese and beating it with the powdered sugar until no lumps remain.

*Makes about 4 cups of frosting

1 (8 oz.) block cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

In a large bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, salt and vanilla. Mix until very smooth and light and no lumps remain. In a separate bowl, beat the cream to stiff peaks. Add the whipped cream to the cream cheese mixture. Mix until well combined and smooth. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Recipe Source: My Kitchen Cafe

206 Responses to Sugar Cookies {My Favorite Recipe!}

  1. I love a good sugar cookie. I don’t think I’ve ever baked one that high, so I’d love to give it a try.

  2. Kim in MD says:

    If I only had to pick one cookie to eat for the rest of my life, I would choose chocolate chip cookies. Not just any chocolate chip cookie- it would have to be soft on the inside and chewy on the outside, like your sugar cookies! I feel the same way about sugar cookies as you do. Too often they look pretty but are dry and flavorless! I will give your recipe a try…who knows? Maybe I will come back and change my cookie answer! Thanks for sharing, Melanie! :-)

  3. Jolyn says:

    ok, you have my mouth watering at 6:45 am! If I had some in my house right now I’d have it for breakfast (good thing I don’t!) Can I sample next weekend :)?

  4. nikki says:

    My fave would have to be a double chocolate, chocolate chip cookie. Not too soft and not crispy, I like them chewy.

  5. Pick one cookie for the rest of my life??? That’s way to much committment! Picking a husband…nooooo problem, but only one cookie for the rest of my life makes my head spin. I would choose the sugar cookie as my mate. However, I would be having a little chocolate chip cookie on the side ;-). I love them both!

  6. Annie Jones says:

    I’ve bookmarked this recipe to try soon.

    If I could only eat one cookie for the rest of my life, I’d have to pick a classic oatmeal cookie made with real butter, without raisins and just a little soft and chewy instead of hard and crunchy.

  7. Liz @ Blog is the New Black says:

    Cute cookies! I need a good SC recipe. :)

  8. Kristen S. says:

    Snickerdoodles!!! Not one of your options, but it is my all time favorite!

  9. Those cookies are beautiful and tasty looking too!

  10. Melanie_S says:

    We are from the same mold, I swear! My must-have sugar cookie is exactly as you have described!!! I will definitely have to try this recipe…when I have a few moments :)

    The one cookie I can NEVER resist? No bakes!!

  11. Petra says:

    If I HAD to choose, it would be chocolate chip. But not the thin, crispy ones…No, no no! They have to be soft and chewy.
    To be honest, that is why I never got into sugar cookies. Most people make them so thin and crispy. Ashamed to admit, I like the storebought kind because they are soft and thick. But seeing that you have a recipe to remedy that, I will start making my own!

  12. Stephanie B says:

    I would pick peanut butter cookies. I love peanut butter and honestly think I could never get sick of it.

  13. Kensi says:

    Those look so yummy! I will be trying them once the Christmas season rolls around! My favorite cookie is oatmeal raisin!

    Oh and I love the new logo you have on your pictures!

  14. Joyce says:

    I love how this recipe includes both lemon and almond! I love both!! In the past I tend to avoid making sugar cookies because they’re too thin and crispy and the flavor is dull. But these I WILL be making. Just curious, where did you get your frosting colors from? Did you just mix the traditional red and blue together? The green looks so vibrant…. I’m always looking for colors other than red, blue, yellow, green, but have had no luck… is there such a thing?

    • Mel says:

      Joyce – I usually use the Wilton gel colors for my frosting, mostly so the frosting doesn’t get thinned out by the liquid food coloring. It’s the same coloring I use when I decorate cakes – I just use it for my sugar cookie frosting, too (they can be found at any big box craft store like Michaels, Hobby Lobby, and I think even Walmart carries a few colors).

  15. Jan says:

    Chocolate thumbprint with caramel inside. I am a sucker for all things chocolate, nutty, and caramely.

  16. Sara says:

    Mmmm, sugar cookies are my favorite! But you’re right, they are a lot of work…I always get so excited when I’m about to make them, but halfway through the process I’m over it. :)

  17. Julie says:

    Hands down, Sugar Cookies! They are my true weakness! I can only bake them occasionally because I generally eat 75% of them! Maybe an exaggeration, but maybe not:) Can’t wait to try this one, I’ve been through many looking for the perfect, soft, flavorful sugar cookie!

  18. Denissa says:

    I totally agree w/ you on the sugar cookies! I’ve never tried them w/ the powdered sugar in them or the lemon. I’ll definitely be trying this recipe!! I did leave a question about the pumpkin bread, wondering if I used all white flour instaed of both white and wheat, if you think that would work?
    Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Denissa – I didn’t see your comment on the pumpkin bread…sorry for the delay in answering. Yes, you could definitely use all white flour with great results. The wheat flour adds a hint of depthness and nuttiness without being overpowering but it would be just fine without it.

  19. Molly says:

    This is perfect! I was going to make halloween shaped sugar cookies with my kids this weekend…so I will have to try this recipe. And as for me, I could live on chocolate chip cookies.

  20. Ashley Wood says:

    Definitely a sugar cookie for me too!! I am a snob when it comes to sugar cookies, but because of that, I have found good recipes, and know where in town to get a good one!! This recipe looks like a good one, can’t wait to make them. I just might even make them tonight…. we need some good Halloween cookies around!

  21. Tammy says:

    I’ll be honest, I almost never cook anything that calls for almond extract because I don’t like it at all. I’d definitely choose a nice soft oatmeal chocolate chip cookie as my favorite.

  22. these look yummy! and If I could only have 1 cookie for the rest of my life, it would be plain ol’ chocolate chip. I can’t live without them!

  23. Jessica Z says:

    This post is just one day too late! Drat! I made sugar cookies yesterday. And I’m totally wishing I would have made your frosting. As for the line-up…chocolate chip all the way! (And in case you’re wondering, I’m making them today.)

  24. I’m so excited to see this post! I ordered a megaphone cookie cutter a while back and have been wanting to make cookies for my daughter’s high school cheerleading squad. I thought it would be cute to write each of their names on the megaphones and use their school colors. Sugar Cookies kind of freak me out and that’s why I’ve been putting it off. You have given me motivation ~ thanks!!

  25. jane says:

    Thanks! I agree with you, I am a LOVER of sugar cookies too. I am excited to try your favorite.

  26. A Little Coffee says:

    Chewy chocolate chip cookies! But I have no beef with sugar cookies. I will totally make these.

  27. Stacie D. says:

    In a line-up, I would choose chocolate chip everyday. But I am particular–they must be soft and a little chewy. I have my favorite recipe…and I eat them nearly everyday! :) I also love sugar cookies, especially around any holiday. I have a favorite sugar cookie recipe, but I will definitely try yours because you never let me down. Who knows what I am missing?!

  28. Denise McEntee says:

    THank you for posting this. I have been looking for a good recipe for ages. Same criteria. Sounds perfect. And the frosting looks wonderful! Does it harden a little on the outside when sitting out like a royal icing? Wondering if you can stack them once decorated kinda thing…

    And I”d have to go with a standard choc chip recipe if i had to pick one simple/standard cookie. But this recipe might change my mind! Will have to give it a try!

    • Mel says:

      Denise, no, this frosting doesn’t harden. It is super soft and creamy. So that is the one downfall – you can’t stack these babies once they are frosted. However, I just line them out on my large baking sheets and transport them that way. I haven’t been able to ever convert to loving the taste of royal icing so the inconvenience of easily-smudged cookies is worth the value in taste factor!

  29. Julianne says:

    My “you-must-eat-one-every-day-or-else” cookie choice would have to be a warm, soft oatmeal chocolate chip cookie, preferably my mom’s recipe (which is reeeeeally similar to one you have posted).

    These cookies look good. Like…good enough that you may have just spoiled my “don’t eat naughty food today” resolve. Thanks alot.

  30. Jennifer says:

    I would have to choose the oatmeal raisin cookie. Whenever I need a warm, comforting, sugar rush that’s what I always make. There is something so homey about them. I’ve always loved the Quaker “Vanishing Oatmeal Cookie” recipe but I’ve recently discovered Alton Brown’s “Oatiest Oatmeal Cookie” from a recent episode of Good Eats that almost leaves it in the dust. Almost.

    However, this sugar cookie recipe looks like it just might make me change my mind….

  31. Yum, you made these sound so good and I don’t even like sugar cookies! But the powdered sugar and almond extract got me :) I will give these a try for the- melt- in- your- mouth comment.

  32. Oh- I forgot….your Double Chocolate M&M cookies. That and my Choc Chip, Oat, Pecan Huge cookies. Too close to call. But man those M&M one’s. Love those!

  33. Kat says:

    My favorite cookie has got to be oatmeal raisin (the soft, chewy kind). I made them last week with Craisins instead. heaven. These sugar cookies look great too, and you can’t go wrong with cream cheese frosting!

  34. Amy Neal says:

    While I do appreciate a GOOD sugar cookie and will be trying these next week, I could never give up chocolate chip cookies. Ever.

  35. Brianna says:

    how do you frost your cookies? With pastry bags? Thanks!

  36. Barbi says:

    I am so trying these. I made a sugar cookie recipe that my family didnt love last weekend… while on a search for a new recipe, I noticed a few of the other blogs I check ALL had the same recipe! I was so excited to see yours was different. :)

  37. Mandy says:

    I am a faithful follower of your blog & I have loved every recipe I’ve tried. Thank you so much! I just baked these cookies & they proved, once again, that I am sugar cookie impaired. I cannot seem to make a batch that doesn’t spread! I’m making them for my Activity Day girls & last year no one wanted to decorate mine because they were nearly unrecognizable. This recipe was better but still spread out much more than yours. Help! What am I doing wrong??

    P.S. Your cousin Camille is one of my best friends from High School. I just love her.

    • Mel says:

      Mandy – I’m so sorry that you had bad luck with this recipe! I want you to love these – but I’m not sure why they would have spread so much. Did you refrigerate the dough after you made them or roll it out right away? Was your butter overly soft when you made the dough or more like a cool room temperature? What was the consistency/feel of the dough when you rolled them out? Stiff, soft or really soft? Sorry for all the questions. I just want to make sure I can help you figure this out because I’m all about helping a girl out when it comes to sugar cookies. I know that sometimes different doughs can be affected by altitude and humidity. If this dough was overly soft and super sticky, you might try adding an extra 1/4 cup flour and see if that helps stabilize it or refrigerate it before rolling out (even though the recipe says you don’t have to – maybe it will help your cookies keep their shape). Let me know…

  38. Katie S. says:

    Mel- I’m with you.. sugar cookies all the way (of course the must be cut into cute shapes and frosted)! I have yet to master rolling the dough to the right thickness… but it helps to know that you roll it thick. Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  39. Megan H. says:

    Mel….youre my hero :) I cook with your recipes 80% of the time. There is a group of us here that are some of your “greatest fans.” wow, that sounds super lame, groupie-ish… But your recipes are awesomely delicious, every time, all of them! It is pretty amazing that there has not been one dud yet. I have made most of your recipes and they are all sooo good. Cant wait to try these! If you HAD to choose which sugar cookie out of the 2 would you choose?

    (oh and the pumpkin bread was THE best! And it has to be “healthy” because of the wheat flour?? right?)

  40. Veronica says:

    Chocolate chip for me but it can’t be any chocolate chip. It has to be the Nestle recipe or similar–nothing too cakey or crispy or anything but soft & chewy with crispy edges made with REAL butter. If it doesn’t have all that going on, I’d rather not have it at all! I refuse to eat them if they aren’t homemade. Forget the store-bought ones, even if they’re from the bakery! Yup, I understand being a cookie snob–lol. I will def try this recipe and I love the frosting. I’ve been meaning to try whipped cream cheese frosting and totally forgot until now!

  41. Veronica says:

    Question–do you need to keep the cookies in the fridge after frosting them? The frosting seems like it might melt if left at room temp?

    • Mel says:

      Veronica – the frosting doesn’t melt at room temperature but it definitely stays soft. Because there are a lot of dairy ingredients in the frosting, I would recommend refrigerating them after they have been frosted if you have the room in your refrigerator.

  42. Susan says:

    Can’t wait to try these! We are a nut-free house so that rules out peanut butter cookies for me…so I’d say that chocolate chip is my fave. I will have to omit the almond extract but I read above that it shouldn’t be a problem. Thanks for another great recipe!

  43. Elena says:

    These look amazing. So timely. I will have to make some cute ones for Halloween.

    Hands down I’m a chocolate chip cookie girl. I love your best chocolate chip cookies!!

  44. I love my sugar cookies exactly the same way – soft, thick and tender. I’ll have to give your frosting a try. They look scrumptious.

  45. grace says:

    confession: i’m simply too lazy to make and decorate sugar cookies. isn’t that terrible?!?! we used to do it as a family every christmas, and lemme tell ya–once a year is plenty. :) i love your frosting colors though–lovely!

  46. These are SO pretty, they look melt in your mouth perfect! I love the whipped frosting :)

  47. Sarah says:

    at what point in making the frosting do you add the color? By the way, I love this site. It is my go to for everything!!!

    • Mel says:

      Sarah – I add the coloring after the frosting is all mixed together. I separate it into the number of bowls I need and gently mix in the colors with a small whisk or spoon.

  48. Brye says:

    When you say mix the whipped cream and cream cheese together do you mean like hand mix with a wooden spoon type or beat with a mixer? I don’t want to over beat my whip cream.

    • Mel says:

      Brye – I mix it together with a hand mixer just until it is combined. You could also mix it by hand, but I haven’t had any problems whipping it really quickly for a short minute or so with a mixer.

  49. Tracey says:

    I’m not going to lie. A sugar cookie would NEVER top my list of favorite cookies. I’m a chocolate chip cookie gal for sure! However, after reviewing your recipe for these sugar cookies and frosting, I am quite tempted to give it a try:)

  50. Mandy says:

    Melanie, thanks for your reply! I did refrigerate the dough but my butter may have been a little too warm initially. The dough was very soft so I’m going to try adding a little more flour as well. This recipe is so delicious, I’m determined to get it right!

  51. Nicole says:

    I have a tried and true “grandma” recipe that we always use for sugar cookies, but I just had to try yours. SO we have a batch of each in the fridge waiting to be baked. I will let you know the kids’ verdict. :-)

    One question. My dough for your recipe was very sticky and runny. I ended up adding about 1 1/2 cups more flour. I hope they still turn out yummy. I will admit, I have snitched some dough and grandma better watch out….if those cookies are half as good as the dough she is in trouble!!

    • Mel says:

      Nicole – let me know the verdict. I love side-by-side comparisons. As for the dough, I’m kind of surprised the dough was so sticky and runny! I even went back to the recipe and double checked I didn’t have a typo in the amount of flour since when I make this, the dough is definitely soft but still firm and rollable. Anyway, let me know how they turn out!

  52. Jennifer says:

    I made these cookies yesterday and frosted them today. They are AWESOME!!! The timing for the cooking was spot on! Thanks so much for this great recipe. I don’t think I can make any other kind of sugar cookie again, or with any other kind of frosting. Thanks!

  53. Lindy says:

    I have to say, I’ve tried many sugar cookie recipes over the years, and these are the best yet. Yesterday I had a taste test between this recipe and a Cook’s Illustrated sugar cookie. Yours won hands down! I love how easy the dough is to work with! They have great flavor and hold their shape really well. I rolled mine a little thicker that 1/4 inch and they were perfect. I’m so excited to have this recipe – thanks!!

    • Mel says:

      Lindy – whew! I’m so glad to hear this. I mean, here I claimed they were “the best” and all, and I really needed to hear someone agree with me. I love you forever.

  54. Cammee says:

    I am the biggest cookie snob around. It is one thing I never buy because I am the self professed “cookie queen” and none of those bakery cookies can compare. I know, I know, I sound snobby, but I’ve got the goods to back it up! Last week my daughter’s friend told her his pumpkin cookie recipe was better than ours. She told him to bring it on because we are the cookie family and made cookies better than anyone. We made him a batch and his mom called us begging for the recipe :). Needless to say, I get the cookie snobbery thing. ESPECIALLY sugar cookies! I have my favorite recipe and my favorite frosting, but I’m excited to give this one a shot…after all, you got me to toss aside my favorite cinnamon roll recipe!

  55. Rebekah says:

    I am so glad you posted this in time for us all to try it before we take them to all the classroom Halloween parties! They are so so great! However if I had to choose one cookie for the rest of my life it would be martian cookies. It has a combination of zucchini, semi-sweet chocolate, butterscotch morsels and pecans in a chewy cookie that has and always will be my favorite cookie!

  56. Lucy says:

    I have never been a sugar cookie lover until now. I enjoy making them a couple of times a year and decorating them with the kids, but I didn’t love eating them until I made this recipe. Both the frosting and the cookies were amazing. Flavorful, soft, delicious. I didn’t know a sugar cookie could be this good!

    • Mel says:

      Lucy – well, I’m glad that this recipe helped convert you into a sugar cookie lover. More people in my camp! Yay! Thanks for letting me know you liked this recipe.

  57. Camille says:

    Mel- is there a huge difference between imitation and pure almond extract?

    • Mel says:

      Camille – well, I don’t know the scientific properties and answer but it’s kind of like vanilla to me – I prefer pure vanilla extract for it’s, well, pure taste and the same goes for almond. I think pure almond extract is always the better option (but definitely use imitation if that is all you have). A lot boils down to what you personal preference is!

  58. […] and icing can both be found on Mel’s blog at mykitchencafe.com these were fantastic…. and i’m not a sugar cookie fan… steve and his family […]

  59. leslie says:

    mel! do you have any tips for baking at high altitudes (8000 feet)? these cookies did not turn out for me. it could be because i am a horrid baker and dont even like cookes…but it could be because of the altitude. the dough was too soft to work with so i added 1/2 cup more flour but then the dough was really stiff and the cookies tasted really dense. i didnt know that you could put the dough in the fridge…maybe i will have to try that next time because i just know these cookies will be delish. My husband does love cookies so i would like to get this right! if you happen to know any tips i would love to hear them!

    • Mel says:

      Leslie – baking at high altitudes can be tricky! The highest altitude I’ve lived and baked at was about 6400 feet. I’m sorry that these cookies did not turn out for you! I know that sometimes extra flour has to be used but I’m not sure of the exact measurements. Here is a website from King Arthur Flour (a company I completely trust!) with some recommendations on high altitude baking:
      http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe/high-altitude-baking.html

  60. Amy M says:

    I don’t know what kind of magic you’re practicing in your kitchen but I like it! Because I was entertaining kids the day before Halloween I decided that decorating sugar cookies would be fun… I don’t know why I somehow thought this would be fun because EVERY time I make sugar cookies I’ve find the dough so hard to work with that I swear them off forever. Beyond the amazing bakery quality flavor this dough has it was a dream to work with. It didn’t stick to my very large cookie cutters, was easy to move from the counter to the baking tray and they didn’t spread in the oven desorting the shapes like other sugar recipes can. I’m so impressed! I did find slight spreading in some of the dough but it was the scrap dough leftover that I had re-rolled and had gotten warmer than the rest that did this. Once I chilled it again it was perfect. With this recipe I would feel confident to try more complicated docorated cookies for Christmas…like using royal icing and the “flooding” technique.

    This frosting was good but I think I like more of an icing on sugar cookies. I will say that it is super important to beat the cream stiff. I didn’t get mine stiff enough and the resulting frosting was a little too soft.

    Thanks for a great recipe!!!

    • Mel says:

      Amy M – speaking of magic, it takes just that to make sugar cookies WITH your children. That’s a feat of super-human mommy/chef strength. They are so much work! Having said that, I’m so happy this recipe came through for you and that you loved it. I’ve only experimented a couple times with royal icing and always end up going back to traditional frostings because they taste better…but you are right, these cookies would be fantastic for fancier decorations. Thanks for checking in!

  61. Nancy says:

    I’ve been testing out sugar cookie recipes on my blog trying to find that prefect, best ever sugar cookie recipe that I so want to devour. This might be the winner… if I ever get around to baking them in my holiday treat craziness. I still have Halloween treats I haven’t gotten to yet…

  62. Michelle says:

    Oh Mel,
    You’ve done it again. I’m going to be making these for my daughter’s cooking bday party on Monday along with your overnight pizza dough. I’m stoked.

    Have you ever used Almond Immulsion (sure I’m spelling it wrong). It’s a thick almond paste that I use instead of extract that is to die for. We only have one place out here in UT that I can find it at. I could bootleg you some if you wanted to try it.

    Also, for the frosting, do you use your Bosh to whip the cream cheese? I know you can’t resist using that thing. Take care!

    • Mel says:

      Michelle – I’ve never used Almond Immulsion. In fact, I’m ashamed to admit I’ve never even heard of it! I’ll have to look into it or take you up on your offer to “bootleg” me some (loved that phrase in your comment). And yes, I usually do use my Bosch to whip up this frosting but I have a handy-dandy hand mixer that I use a lot, too. Either works great.

  63. Emily says:

    These are amazing! Seriously the best sugar cookies I’ve ever had! My husband’s not a big sugar cookie guy, but they converted even him! Thanks for sharing your great recipes!

  64. Lorraine says:

    Hi
    I followed your recipe and ended up with the most delicious sugar cookies ever! Thank you.

  65. Anissa says:

    Hi Mel – Have you ever tried using this dough, at room temp, in a cookie gun? I’m needing to make mass quantities of cookies for holiday gifts and think I might pass out if I have to roll and cut each cookie individually. The cookie gun is super fast and cute…
    Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Anissa – I’ve never used a cookie gun in my whole life, I must confess. So I have no idea how this dough would fare! I’m sorry I can’t help you because I’d love to help you find a good solution. I suppose it is always worth a try…although you may have good luck searching for a cookie-gun-recipe online. Good luck!

  66. Anissa says:

    Just finished making these cookies with a cookie press!

    A few tips if you want to use a cookie gun/press:
    – The lemon zest can get a little clogged in the press, so you may want to sub lemon extract. I did the zest and was able to work through it, but probably would use extract next time.
    – Bake the cookies for 4 1/2 minutes ONLY. 5 min was too long.
    – This recipe will produce close to 220 cookies with the cookie gun. Perfect for mass producing cookies for gifts.
    – Sprinkle the cookies with colored sugar BEFORE they go in the oven. That way the sugar comes out baked onto the cookie and doesn’t fall off when moving it.

    Cookie presses/guns are VERY FUN! I highly recommend people get one and give it a try. Mine is a manual one, and it worked great. No need to spend a ton of money on an electric one. :)

  67. Charlotte says:

    For the frosting do I need to fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture or can I just add it to the mixer and combine that way?

    • Mel says:

      Charlotte, I’ve tried gently folding the cream into the cream cheese and then just scooping it in and mixing with a mixer and the latter option works just fine. I just whip it all together until it is smooth.

  68. Tricia says:

    I made these over the weekend and love them. But what’s the best way for storing them once they’re frosted? Since the frosting doesn’t set up, do you have a hint for stacking them? I don’t have enough containers to just keep putting them in one layer…

    • Mel says:

      Tricia – if you want to stack these cookies, you’ll probably want to look for a frosting that sets up a bit firmer than the whipped cream frosting I include in the recipe. Whenever I make them, I am always stuck laying all of them out flat on my baking trays.

  69. Tricia says:

    Ok, thanks! I ended up leaving some unfrosted and brought the cookies and frosting and some sprinkles to work for people to decorate their own :o) This is a great recipe– thank you for sharing!

  70. Kensi says:

    We made these for Santa, and oh my! I am just in love with them, even without frosting! I couldn’t get enough of them, they had such a soft texture and just the right amount of sweetness. So yummy! These could possibly be my new favorite cookie! Santa ate them up too! Thank you Mel!!!!! :-D

  71. Melissa says:

    How long does it take for the whip cream in the frosting to become “stiff peaks?” I want to make sure I know when I’m there, the description sounds right but I want to know when to really look for it.

    • Mel says:

      Melissa – it depends on the speed of your mixer but I would say anywhere from three to six minutes. Take care not to overbeat or the cream will curdle and lose it’s smooth texture. Good luck!

  72. Kathy F says:

    Mel – The frosting doesn’t harden does it? How do you keep the cookies separated (at least for 1-2 days)?

    • Mel says:

      Kathy F – yes, you are right, the frosting doesn’t harden so I usually have to make sure the frosted cookies are stored in a single layer (like on large baking sheets). If you don’t have that much storing space you may want to frost with royal icing since it hardens (although I haven’t found a great royal icing recipe that tastes very good, to be honest).

  73. Haley says:

    So I will be honest – I have a sugar cookie recipe I adore (which I’d be happy to share if you’d like), but I had to try these to see how they compared…. the verdict – I liked the cookie -they were soft and moist but I’m not sure what I thought about having a lemon taste in my sugar cookie. Overall I did enjoy it… the icing however I could do without. It wasn’t sugary enough for me :) I whipped up my icing for my sugar cookie recipe and finished icing them with it. My first round of cookies I rolled out lost their shape pretty easily as I was transferring them from the counter to the cookie sheet, but after I kneaded in a little more flour they kept their shape better! I think next time I try my recipe I’m going to try baking them at 400 for the 7-8 minutes to see how they turn out. It was fun to try though so thanks for sharing!

  74. Mayme says:

    This was seriously the best sugar cookie recipe I have ever tried! I’ve never been able to find a recipe where the cookie would hold it’s shape – and this was perfect!

    The frosting, though…. I dunno, it just seemed really weird on a sugar cookie… it wasn’t even the cream cheese as much as the whipped cream. I think it would be awesome though on a soft gingerbread cookie!

  75. Heather Miller says:

    I don’t know if you will get this by tomorrow but I just made a batch of these cookies for a baby shower that I am throwing tomorrow night. I had a recipe that I was going to use for the frosting but then I saw yours and it looks fabulous! I do have a question though…I am making these into fruit pizzas and I was wondering if (in your expert opinion) you think your recipe would be good as a fruit pizza base? I am putting mandarin oranges, kiwis and strawberries on them? It sounds good but as I have never tried it and you have amazing taste in food, I thought you might be able to give me your opinion?!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Heather – I think the cookies and frosting would be divine as a fruit pizza! If you haven’t already whipped up the frosting, I would add some freshly grated lemon zest or juice to the frosting to give it that quintessential sweet tanginess that is usually in a fruit pizza frosting. But if you don’t have the lemon zest/juice, I still think it would be fantastic. Let me know how it turns out. I love the idea of making mini fruit pizzas on the cookies!

  76. Danielle says:

    I was SO excited to try these, for the coming Halloween parties I’ll be baking for. However, using Calphalon non-stick baking sheets does NOT work. I even sprayed them, which only made the cookies darker on the bottom. I’m a seasoned baker, but these certainly look nothing like the picture above. :( I’m trying them at a lower heat, and on different baking sheets to see if that makes a difference.

    • Mel says:

      Danielle – I use the average, dime-a-dozen rimmed baking sheets (11X17-inch) that don’t have a nonstick coating (I use either parchment paper or a silpat liner on the sheets). Sorry they didn’t work out on the darker baking sheets, I suspect the high baking temperature doesn’t work well with the dark pans.

  77. Lisa says:

    Hi Mel,

    Just found your site and can’t wait to try some of your “best” recipes like the chocolate cake and sugar cookies. I also am always on the hunt for the best sugar cookie so this one, I will try! As for all of the comments about the frosting not drying hard. I have found one on Allrecipes.com that is fantastic. It dries hard and shiny and is beautiful on sugar cookies…tastes good too! You can find it here: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/sugar-cookie-icing/detail.aspx . I’m sure yours is delish but I usually like to put them in a nice wrapping and give them as gifts or to my son’s class so I need to stack and store. Will be following you now!

  78. Lindsay says:

    Mel, would you recommend the frosting in this post for piping frosting on cookies? Like writing words or doing designs? Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Lindsay – while this frosting is absolutely delicious, I think it is a bit too soft and luxurious for piping or writing words. I’d recommend something like the quick vanilla buttercream – that would be delicious with the cookies and easier to pipe with.

  79. brooke says:

    the elusive sugar cookie…..i don’t know what happens to me while i make them…they NEVER turn out and i was so sure these would.
    the dough was just really, really soft and sticky. my butter was coldish, i beat it to a fluff and tried rolling right after, impossible. then i refridgerated for about 20 min…still sticky…
    what altitude are you at? i want to avoid too much flour because i don’t want the cookie to be dry!.
    are some people sugar cookie impaired?

  80. Mel says:

    Brooke – I’m so sorry these didn’t work out for you! I live right around sea level. I don’t think you are sugar cookie impaired! It sounds to me like refrigerating the dough for an hour or more may help. Also, if you are measuring the flour with a light hand (spooning it into the cup and leveling versus dipping and sweeping) then you may need to add an extra 1/2 cup flour.

  81. […] Best Sugar Cookies @ Mel’s Kitchen Cafe […]

  82. You amaze me! I cannot wait to try SO many of your recipes. This one topping the list with Christmas cookie baking around the corner! Love you, love your blog!

  83. Lorrie says:

    Made these for our new family tradition. Decorating cookies after Thanksgiving dinner dishes are done. I made three batches the weekend before and froze them. They are awesome and are now my go to recipe for sugar cookies.
    Thanks
    Lorrie

  84. Rachel Russell says:

    Fab!! My husband’s fav cookie is the sugar cookie and we will now never need another ‘google’ search for ‘best sugar cookie’ as we have FOUND IT!! THANK YOU!!!

  85. […] Recipe from melskitchencafe.com  […]

  86. Rebekah says:

    I’m not sure what I did wrong but my cookies didnt hold their shape at all! Let me say that I have never made sugar cookies before so that could be part of it :) Also I used soft white wheat flour instead (freshly milled) of all purpose flour and I halved the recipe. So I know its probably something I did, just wanted your imput as to which one it was :) Thanks for all the great recipes, i really love your site!!!

  87. Mel says:

    Rebekah – the main reason these cookies wouldn’t hold their shape would be not enough flour or if the dough is too warm and not “set up” enough. Was your freshly milled flour warm at all? When I grind fresh wheat flour it has a bit of warmth to it and that could definitely play into the cookies not holding their shape. Also, freshly milled flour has much more air and is less compact that storebought flour from a bag so I always add at least 1/2 cup more flour to recipes where I’m using freshly ground flour. Hope that helps a little and I hope you have better luck if you try them again!

  88. Heather says:

    I just made these cookies for Christmas Cookie Decorating day in our house and they were AMAZING!!! Perfect consistency, super moist. LOVE THEM! They will become a staple in this house. Also that frosting is DIVINE, although a little depressing knowing how fattening it is…..Still doesn’t stop me from eating it though. ;) Also for those of you that have cookies that the bottoms burn, I would suggest using aluminum baking sheets. They are cheap and nothing out there does as good a job with cookies. My cookie bottoms never ever burn!!! Dark pans always burn cookie bottoms, at least in my past experience.

  89. jillmc says:

    Made these again today-turned out better than last year, because I rolled them thicker, (I glued 2 paint sticks together-two sets of them-and rolled the dough between parchment paper, using the sticks as a guide for the rolling pin-perfect!) and took them out of the oven before they browned at all. YUMMO! Your frosting is delish, as well! Merry Christmas!

  90. Casey says:

    I made the dough for these last night, and made just a few of them for practice. They are wonderful!! This is going to be what we use for Santa cookies this year. I did not make the icing… I love anything with cream cheese, but I’m thinking I will make one that gets hard so I can stack them. My dough was really sticky, so some of my shapes were a little distorted… do you have any suggestions to help this problem? Thank you for such a wonderful recipe!!

  91. Mel says:

    Casey – it sounds like you may need to add another 1/4 cup flour (doing so gradually) until the dough has a slightly stiffer consistency. Also, chilling the dough will help, if you have the time – that way the shapes don’t spread. Good luck!

  92. Cindy says:

    These look amazing I am giving them a whirl tomorrow :-)

  93. Kelly says:

    So….I too have been on the hunt for a unique sugar cookie recipe. I carefully read all of the reviews especially for the frosting, and was prepared for it to be soft. When I whipped it up yesterday, though, I was surprised at how soft it was. Mine was the consistency of mayonaise. So I refrigerated it, hoping for the best. Not so much. Then I went a rechecked the recipe think I surely had mistaken the 1.5 cups of powdered sugar for 1.5 pounds, LOL. In a last ditch effort, I added more powdered sugar….about 2 cups more. I was nervous about this since I had already folded in the heavy whipping cream. To my surprise it came out wonderful, and gave me the added stability I was seeking. If I had it to do over again, I of course, would add the extra powdered sugar at the beginning. But for those who liked that taste but couldn’t handle the texture, hope this helps.

  94. J says:

    First time making sugar cookies and this recipe gets a big thumbs up from me. While mixing the dough, I found the almond extract a bit too strong for my liking but the cookies turned out really good. This batch made around 80 odd cookies, which I frosted using a simple sugar icing. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  95. Terri says:

    First, my fave cookie if I had to choose…oatmeal loaded with raisins and walnuts…Now, that being said, these cookies ARE delicious!! And the frosting…WOW!! So light and fluffy! Truly a great cookie!
    And since it’s New Years Day, I made them in the shape of a bell, to ring in the New Year….Ha, what a way to start…devouring these little babies!!
    Mel, I have to say, your blog is VERY dangerous to my waistline! So far everything I have made from this blog…my family has loved!
    And another little secret….just between the two of us…I’m a Field Editor for Taste of Home magazine, and ALWAYS go to the TOH website when I need a new recipe…Now…I come HERE!! Shhhhh…..let’s keep this between us, OK?? :D

  96. Dallas says:

    Dearest of the Mel-Hearts… I just JUST tried your cookies last night. And guess what? You WIN! :) I think this recipe takes the cake, so-to-speak. I’m making my own cookie cutters and tried these out and together they make beautiful music! Thank you very much, honey! Pause & Rejoice – Dallas

  97. Sonja Villalobos says:

    I love this recipe!!! It is my go to recipe for sugar cookies. Thank you for posting it on here and sharing it with us!!!

  98. Oh Melanie! You never let me down. I too am a sugar cookie snob…and I don’t make sugar cookies often because they’re just not worth it when they taste like flour! I’ve been making a recipe that tastes pretty good, but they are a PAIN to make. These…I love these. The dough was easy to work with, just a few minutes out of the fridge and a dusting of flour. I love the little bit of almond (some recipes just have too much!) and the lemon! They held their shape for the most part and your baking instructions were perfect! I will add these to my cookie file as my go-to sugar cookie! Thanks for yet another great recipe!

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