This classic sugar cookie is soft and tender, and makes the perfect kid-friendly food craft for any holiday.
Why is it so hard to find a good sugar cookie recipe? Over the years I’ve tried nearly a dozen recipes that all say something like, “the perfect sugar cookie recipe,” “sugar cookies that hold their shape,” “the only sugar cookie recipe you need”… none of which have lived up to such bold statements.
My Ideal Sugar Cookie
Before I start telling you about this particular recipe, one that I deem pretty close to perfect, let me tell you what makes a the ideal sugar cookie in my mind because we all have different expectations when it comes to cookies, especially sugar cookies.
First and foremost, it needs to taste good (flavor always trumps presentation for me). I like a sugar cookie that isn’t overly sweet because once you add frosting, the sweetness is going to be overwhelming (you know, like the store-bought frosted sugar cookies. Those cookies basically encompass everything I don’t want in a sugar cookie). For me, I want a cookie that has a slight buttery taste and a little bit of texture. Nothing too crunchy, but also nothing too fluffy and airy. And, of course, I want a cookie that will hold most of it’s shape when baking.
So, after many, many sugar cookie tests, I actually decided my favorite is a tried and true recipe from my in-laws. Ryan’s parents make this recipe nearly every time we visit. My kids and I always look forward to this treat. During the summer, they make strawberry buttercream with homemade jam to top on the cookies. During the winter, they’ll make the same sugar cookies and top them with a chocolate buttercream. They’re just a classic.
A Little Something Special
Some sugar cookie recipes call for almond extract, but I prefer vanilla extract in my sugar cookies. I actually will sometimes add a little lemon extract to this recipe. Just a hint of lemon is a total game changer. Give it a try and let me know what you think!
I also like that these cookies are tender with the slightest crunch when you bite into them.
We had so much fun decorating our Halloween shaped cookies and can’t wait to do it again at Christmas.
We tried to save a few to give to our friends who have helped out so much while I was recovering after foot surgery… but I’ll be honest, it was hard not to eat them all before they made it to the plates.