Easy Sugar Cookies

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This Easy Sugar Cookie Recipe makes homemade cookies that are buttery, dense and chewy in the middle. Top these sugar cookies with a vanilla frosting, or roll them sprinkles.  Drop cookies are perfect when you don’t feel like going through all the hassle to make cut out cookies!

Sugar cookie decorated with a frosting pink rose.

Soft & Chewy Sugar Cookies

I love a good cut out cookies, but sometimes there just isn’t enough time to make them. That’s why I love these soft & chewy drop sugar cookies. These cookies are buttery, dense and chewy in the middle. The secret is to leave them slightly under baked in the middle while letting the edges get a little crispy.

This easy sugar cookie recipe has been a go-to of mine ever since I first tried it. It originally came from my husband’s family, but I’m not sure where they got it from. It started out as a Snickerdoodle cookie. But since then, I’ve made nearly a dozen variations of the recipe. 

Why I love this recipe

  • This cookie recipe is versatile and can also be made as sugar cookie bars.
  • It’s much quicker to prepare than cut out cookies. 
  • It can be topped with frosting or rolled in sugar or sprinkles. My favorite variation is to use the colored sanding sugar. You can make them festive for just about any holiday.
A vintage silver plate with drop sugar cookies on it

Recipe Ingredients

  • Unsalted butter: Using unsalted butter in when baking ensures you can control the taste. You absolutely can use salted butter, but if you do, there’s no need to add additional salt. 
  • Granulated sugar
  • Large eggs
  • Pure vanilla extract: These cookies are also great with almond extract. 
  • All-purpose flour & Baking soda
  • Cream of tartar: this gives the cookie a touch of tang and also helps keep them nice and chewy. If you don’t have it, you can still make this recipe, but the texture will be slightly different. 
  • Salt: this is optional. The original recipe did not call for salt, but some have commented that they prefer it with salt. 
Sugar cookies decorated with a pink rose and pretty sprinkles

How to make these Easy sugar cookies

  1. Allow the butter to soften for 30 minutes or soften the butter in the microwave for 10-12 seconds.
  2. Combine the butter with the sugar and beat on medium speed until well creamed together.
  3. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and until well beaten
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients: flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Slowly add into batter and beat on medium low speed until well combined and dough forms.
  5. Use a large cookie scoop and scoop cookie dough onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  6. Refrigerate the dough for a minimum of 1 hour.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Place the dough about 2 inches apart, and let the dough sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes prior to baking.
  8. Bake at 350° F for 10-12 minutes. Allow cookie to cool on the baking sheet for several minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely
Sugar cookie dough coming together in a mixing bowl.

Do I have to refrigerate the cookie dough?

Yes. This is necessary. Refrigerating the dough allows time for the butter to solidify again, which in turns, prevent the cookies from spreading flat. You need at least 60 minutes of chill time. 

If your dough has been in the refrigerator for longer than 2 hours, allow them to sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before baking.

tips for the best drop sugar cookies:

  • Pre-scoop the dough prior to refrigerating. Once the dough is cold it’s much harder to scoop.
  • Use a large cookie scoop (about 3 tablespoons). This will yield about 24 cookies per recipe. If you use a medium sized cookie scoop, you’ll get closer to 36 cookies.
  • Bake the cookies on a silicone baking sheet. This helps prevent the bottom from burning and the added layer also helps the cookies from spreading.
  • The secret is to leave them slightly under baked in the middle while letting the edges get a little crispy.
scoops of cookie dough on a baking sheet

can these cookies be made ahead? can i freeze the dough?

This is a great recipe for you to prepare in advance. 

  • Prepare the dough ahead of time and leave it in the refrigerator or freezer. If it’s more than 48 hours, I recommend freezing the dough in an airtight container. Thaw prior to baking.
  • Finished cookies can be frozen and stored in an airtight container.
A stack of sugar cookies and the cookie on top has a bite taken out it

3 Easy ways to decorate these cookies

  • Frosting: If you’d like to add frosting, you can make a batch of my perfect vanilla frosting. Or you can flavor the frosting with different extracts for fruit zest. A simple 1M piping tip can be used to make a rose, and then add some colorful sprinkles to really dress them up. 
  • Regular sugar: Roll them in granulated sugar for a simple but elegant cookie
  • Sanding sugar: Roll them in sanding sugar or sprinkles for a holiday look and feel 
A sugar cookie rolled in red sprinkles leaning up against a red berry basket.

More cookies recipes you can make with this basic dough

A cookie rolled in sugar with a bite taken out

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A gorgeous sugar cookie decorated with a 1M pink rose with gorgeous sprinkles

Easy Sugar Cookies

  • Author: Beyond Frosting
  • Prep Time: 75 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: 24 Cookies

Description

Everyone needs an Easy Sugar Cookie recipe. These are buttery, dense and chewy in the middle. Top these sugar cookies with a vanilla frosting, or roll them sprinkles.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups (380g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (420g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon (2g) baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon (2g) cream of tartar
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.2g) salt (optional- need notes)

Instructions

  1. Soften the butter in the microwave for 10-12 seconds. Combine the butter with the sugar and beat on medium speed until well creamed together.
  2. Add the eggs and vanilla extract. Mix into the butter and sugar until the eggs are well beaten.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Slowly add into batter and beat on medium low speed until well combined and dough forms.
  4. Use a large cookie scoop and scoop cookie dough onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Refrigerate the dough for a minimum of 1 hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Place the dough about 2 inches apart, and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes prior to baking.
  6. Bake at 350° F 10-12 minutes. Allow cookie to cool on the baking sheet for several minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely

Notes

  • Decorate these cookies: Rolled in granulated sugar, sanding sugar or sprinkles. Or top these with Perfect Vanilla Frosting
  • Do not skip the chill time, otherwise your cookies with be very flat
  • The original recipe did not call for salt, however some people think that a little bit of salt helps cut the sweetness, so it’s listed as optional. It’s not a required ingredient.
  • Make ahead and storage options:  Prepare the dough ahead of time and leave it in the refrigerator or freezer. If it’s more than 48 hours, I recommend freezing the dough in an airtight container. Thaw prior to baking .Finished cookies can be frozen and stored in an airtight container
Nutrition Information:
1 cookies
196
8.2g
57.9mg
8.2g
4.9g
28.7g
.4g
2.2g
35.8mg
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Sugar cookies, Easy Sugar Cookie Recipe, Chewy Sugar Cookies, Soft and Chewy Sugar Cookies, Easy Sugar Cookies

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3 Responses
  1. Ann

    It looks so beautiful and spectacular! Such a dessert on the table is like a cherry on the cake. Be sure to keep this post to make this easy sugar cookies right today. Thank you for the idea! I am a frequent guest on your blog and I always find something new and creative here. The list of other recipes for cookies is perfect too. And now I am also interested in bakung White Chocolate Cranberry Orange Cookies.

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