classic sugar cookies

are you looking for a traditional sugar cookie that’s easy to make with the kids? these cookies are easy to bake, and the perfect palette for your decorating magic!

yesterday, i visited a nearby sur la table store, which thankfully for my pocketbook, isn’t too nearby! i love everything this store sells, but i am especially drawn to their regularly-scheduled cooking and baking classes. if you have one of these stores nearby, i urge you to take a look at their class schedule and sign up for one. you will not be disappointed.

well, yesterday’s workshop was all about decorating holiday cookies. chef marianna was a whiz at giving us all the ins-and-outs of royal icing, which, up til yesterday, truly evaded me. my baking skills are pretty darn good, but my decorating skills? they leave a bit to be desired. but after three speedy hours in the kitchen with chef marianna and my fellow bakers, i am feeling optimistic about this year’s decorated sugar cookies!

for today, let’s bake up some sugar cookies. and then break out the royal icing (or the store-bought stuff) – this is all about having some fun!

and special thanks to chef marianna and sur la table for this great recipe – and for an awesome class!

classic sugar cookies


3 cups all-purpose flour, plus a bit more for rolling

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste


  1. in the bowl of your stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
  2. add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until well blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  3. Add vanilla bean paste and mix for 30 seconds.
  4. turn machine off and add the flour, baking powder and salt. on very low speed, beat the dough, continuing to scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
  5. divide dough into two circles and wrap in plastic wrap, refrigerating until chilled and firm, at least one hour.
  6. when you’re ready to bake the cookies, preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
  7. roll the dough on a lightly floured surface. the dough should be approximately 1/4″ thick. cut out shapes with your cookie cutters. carefully transfer the cookies onto your baking sheets, leaving about 1″ between each cookie (i will sometimes use an offset spatula to help me move the cookies from cutting surface to baking sheet.)
  8. bake approximately 8-10 minutes, rotating the baking sheets midway through. remove the baking sheets from the oven when the cookies are pale, but set. transfer cookies to a wire rack for cooling.
  9. cool completely before decorating. (cookies can be stored in airtight containers for up to one week.)
  10. enjoy!

<yield: approximately 36 cookies>


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