The touch of brown sugar gives this sugar cookie a deeper, richer taste than the traditional recipe. These star cookies are soft and delicious and this recipe, while ideal for a holiday cookie swap, is perfect year-round. You can color the royal icing and choose colored candy sprinkles to match your event (think blue or pink icing for a baby shower!) The cookie dough needs to chill, so you can make it in advance and bake the cookies when the occasion arises. Use your favorite cookie cutter with this recipe, whether you are making stars, Christmas trees, holiday bells, or wreaths. If you don't have time to spread the Royal Icing and decorate the cookies, you can easily and quickly dip the cookies in the icing, using it as a glaze. Give a box of these cookies as a food gift or add them to a lineup of other favorite Christmas cookies and package them in decorative cookie tins.


Credit: Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe Summary

35 mins
1 hr
1 hr 15 mins
About 4 dozen


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Beat butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until just incorporated; beat in vanilla on low speed. 

  • Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating on low speed until just blended, about 1 minute. 

  • Divide dough into 4 equal portions, and flatten each into a 1/2-inch-thick disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap, and chill 30 minutes. 

  • Working with 1 disk at a time, place on a lightly floured work surface; roll to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with assorted sizes of star-shaped cookie cutters. Arrange 1 inch apart on 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Chill 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F. 

  • Working in 2 batches, bake in preheated oven until cookie edges begin to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on baking sheets 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks, and cool completely, 20 to 30 minutes. Decorate with Royal Icing and sprinkles.