Carlina Teteris/Getty Images
Active Time
15 Mins
Total
1-3 hours
Yield
About 2 dozen cookies

Homemade sugar cookies deliver a personal touch that no store-bought dough can replicate. Luckily, making this dough is just as quick and easy as driving to the grocery store to pick up a package of slice-n’-bakes. Make this sugar cookie dough ahead of time and store a disk in your freezer for a quick cookie swap solution or last-minute bake sale treat.

It’s important to chill your dough before rolling out and before baking to ensure that the cookies will keep their shape. You’ll also want to ensure that, when you roll out the dough, the thickness is even all around (we recommend rolling to 1/4-inch thickness—don’t be afraid to use a ruler). If your dough’s thickness is uneven, the cookies’ bake times will vary and the surfaces will slope, causing difficulty in piping decorations. Additionally, you’ll want to ensure that your cookies have time to cool completely before decorating.

These sugar cookies provide the ideal canvas for decorating with Royal Icing; just cut the cookies into festive shapes and decorate as you please. From stunning Christmas cookies to spooky Halloween cookies, the possibilities are endless.

How to Make It

Step 1

In a medium-sized bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Step 2

Using an electric stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, vanilla extract, and almond extract; beat until combined. Reduce mixer speed and gradually spoon flour mixture in with butter mixture, beating on low speed until dough is smooth and well-blended.

Step 3

Turn dough out on work surface. Cut dough in half and shape each portion into a compact disk. Wrap separately in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Step 4

Preheat oven to 375°F. Unwrap 1 dough disk and roll on lightly-floured work surface to 1/4-inch thickness (lightly coat rolling pin with flour to prevent sticking). Cut into chosen shapes and place cookies 2 inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate cookies on baking sheets for 5 to 10 minutes to help them keep their shape when baked.

Step 5

Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until cookies just start to turn golden around the edges, rotating halfway through baking. Cool cookies completely on wire racks, about 20 minutes. Repeat process with remaining dough.