The Ultimate Sugar Cookie
Updated: Jul 11, 2022
Something that is important to know about me is that I love dessert, but I am not a fan of baking. This is probably a good thing in that I don't feel the urge to whip up sweets at any hour of the day. I find baking too tedious. I love the fluidity and flexibility of cooking. It's a lot harder to "wing it" with baking, which stresses me out and makes it less fun. At least to me.
HOWEVER, there are times when baking is necessary. Like when you get a major craving for cookies and just need them now. And obviously nothing beats homemade baked goods, so even I succumb to the pressure from time to time and make a batch of cookies or a tray of brownies. And that's where these cookies come in to play.
I love sugar cookies, but always found it annoying that sugar cookie recipes require refrigeration of the dough before you can bake. So that impromptu need for cookies ends up turning into a 2+ hour affair and by the end, the lust is gone. These sugar cookies require no refrigeration and even better, you don't have to worry about having softened butter! (Another peeve of mine with baking). They come together easily and bake into these perfectly soft on the inside, crunchy on the outside delights that will have you coming back for more and more.
I enjoy making these to give away as gifts, especially during the holiday season. They are so simple but they will blow your mind. I use much more brown sugar than white sugar which adds a depth of flavor that I think many sugar cookies are missing. If you make these, I warn you that a.) your friends and family will beg you to make them time and time again; and b.) you will probably eat way more of your stash than you expected to. Even my husband who is not too big on sweets absolutely loves these and cannot help himself from eating several. They are THAT good. And I know you'll love them too!
The Ultimate Sugar Cookie ~ Makes 36 cookies Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook time: 9-10 minutes
Click below to download and print the recipe
I recommend reading the recipe all the way through, including the recipe notes at the bottom, before you start cooking.
1 C. (2 sticks) butter – partially melted*
1 C. brown sugar
½ C. granulated sugar
3 tsp. vanilla extract
2 ¾ C. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. kosher salt (a small pinch if all you have is table salt)
~ ½ C. turbinado or other course sugar (granulated white is fine too)
Preheat oven to 375°
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or an electric hand mixer), cream together butter and both sugars until combined and light brown in color and the volume has increased. Add in egg and vanilla. Beat until combined – about 1 minute on medium speed. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
On low speed, gradually mix in all of the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt). Once the dry ingredients are mostly incorporated, turn up mixer and beat for about a minute to make sure it’s fully combined. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then mix again for another 20 seconds on medium-high.
Pour the turbinado sugar onto a small plate or into a bowl.
Using a 1.5” ice cream scoop (or a tablespoon if you don’t have one), scoop dough and gently roll into a ball with your hands**. Roll the dough ball in the turbinado sugar to coat and place on a baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the dough, making sure to leave about 1 1/2” between each cookie.
Using your index and middle fingers, gently press down on the top of each cookie to flatten it slightly (so there is no longer a rounded top). See photo above. These do not spread much, so you’ll want to flatten them to about ½” thickness.
Bake at 375° for 9-10 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. They will be very soft when removed from the oven. You’ll know they’re done when the edges of the cookies have turned slightly golden brown.
Allow to cool for a few minutes then carefully transfer the cookies to a cooling rack or parchment paper on the counter to cool completely. Keep in airtight container for several days.
*Recipe notes + Variations*
*See photo above for what “partially melted” butter looks like.
**Add just a little water to the palms of your hands when rolling the dough. This will help it not stick to your hands but will also help adhere the sugar to the dough.
You can make the dough ahead of time and freeze it (or freeze part of it if you don’t need 36 cookies at one). Either freeze it in a large dough ball wrapped in plastic and placed in a ziptop bag. Or roll the individual cookies as stated in the recipe, including the turbinado sugar, then place the dough balls on a sheet tray and freeze them until hard. Put them in a ziptop bag and save for when you need them. Allow the dough to come to room temperature then press the cookies down with your fingers as stated in the recipe. Bake according to the above directions.
These can be frosted with your favorite buttercream frosting (and I highly recommend it!) But I suggest not rolling the dough in the turbinado sugar if you plan to frost them.