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Sugar, cookies (Recipe: the world's best sugar cookie)


We interrupt our regular programming to celebrate Mothers' Day, which in my kitchen is synonymous with sugar cookies. Three hundred and fifty sugar cookies, decorated by friends in my kitchen, and donated here in Rhode Island to a shelter for homeless women, a residential program for pregnant and postpartum women with addiction issues, and six emergency shelters for women and children who are victims of domestic abuse.

Please share these cookies with someone you love, courtesy of Drop In & Decorate™ and The Perfect Pantry.




Happy Mothers' Day to all.

The world's best sugar cookie

Reprinted from the archives, our best, most delicious sugar cookie recipe. Makes 16-20 large (4-5 inch) sugar cookies.


3-1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/4 cups best quality unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 Tbsp milk
2-1/2 tsp best quality pure vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a couple of baking sheets with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt. In another large bowl or the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar, until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla, and continue to beat until well blended and smooth. Beat flour mixture into the butter mixture until smooth.

Divide dough in half. Place one half on a sheet of parchment paper or wax paper; cover with another sheet and roll to 1/4 inch. Repeat with second half of dough. [Note: this method ensures you will not add extra flour to the dough in the rolling-out process.]

Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes, or up to two days (or, if making far in advance, you can freeze at this point. Wrap sheets tightly in plastic wrap). Remove one sheet from the refrigerator; peel off the top wax paper, then replace paper and invert dough. Peel off and discard what is now the top sheet of paper, and cut out the cookies. (Cookies will spread, so do not place too close together on the baking sheet). Re-roll scraps, refrigerating if necessary to firm the dough.

Bake for 6-9 minutes, or until just lightly colored on top and slightly darker at the edges. Rotate sheets halfway through for even browning. Remove pans from oven and let cookies cool 2-3 minutes. Then remove cookies to a rack and let cool completely. (At this point, the cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks, in layers separated by parchment or wax paper.)

After the cookies are completely cooled, decorate with Royal Icing. Place the decorated cookies on a tray and leave out overnight, uncovered, to harden. The next morning, package in food-safe cellophane bags or cookie tins. 

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:

Aggression cookies 
Gwendolen's Scotch Shortbread 
Honey gingerbread cookies
Granola cookies
Chocolate spice cookies

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


Very cool :-)

Happy Mothers Day Lydia!
Fabulous cookies!

Those cookies are cute, adorable and creative- can't take my eyes off them!

Happy Mother's Day to you :)

I had so much fun helping decorate! Happy Mother's Day, and I'm so glad you could brighten the day of 350 other mothers!

The cookies are so adorable.
Such a noble way to celebrate Mother's Day. Great job!

I love the cookies! Is the top one supposed to be you? It did remind me of you except for the blonde streaks in the hair. What a great way to celebrate Mother's Day.

Happy Mother's Day and what a beautiful way to celebrate.

Awesome-looking cookies!

Happy Mother's Day to one and all!


350! Goodness me! I wonder if all 350 were treated with such creativity and care. What little masterpieces they are. What a wonderful idea for mother's day.

Happy Mom's day. What a wonderful gift to be able to give on a day honoring you. So... mothery.

The beautiful heart sugar cookie says it all - what a wonderful way to make a difference in the community and honor the spirit of moms everywhere!

Such pretty cookies and I'm so glad I was able to come and help decorate. It was to see so much spirit in the room with everyone concentrating so hard :)

Wow...350!!! WHERE did you put them all?!?

The ones you featured are adorable! Such a cool project!

Julia, Maris: so glad you could come for the decorating. It's always such fun!

Kalyn, it's not supposed to be me, though I think it's adorable. Mine would need grey hair -- not the prettiest color for a cookie!

Shannan, we take a lot of pride in our cookies and everyone who comes to decorate really puts care and creativity into each one.

Bridget, a few years ago I bought a baker's sheet pan rack at a restaurant supply store. It holds 20 full size sheet pans (the ones that are too large to fit into my home oven), and each pan holds 20 cookies. The rack has saved my life on more than one occasion -- I can't imagine how we could store the cookies overnight without it.

What fabulous decorating! You guys are awesome.

What an honorable cause for making cookies, and i must say they turned out wonderful. I'll be giving this recipe a try. I use Martha's sugar cookie recipe and we dont' love it. My son won't even eat them..but then again he is a picky little guy.

What an awesome way to celebrate!!!

Aimee, the secret to our sugar cookies is not to roll them out in flour, which makes them more dry. Use the parchment paper method described in the recipe; the cookies stay more buttery, which makes them irresistible.

What a special way to celebrate Mother's Day!

Lydia, I always admire how dedicated you are to this cause. Everyone should support Drop In and Decorate! If only we all had such great decorating skills as those who made the cookies above! :)

Hillary, believe me, everyone can decorate cookies like this! We have taught so many people to decorate beautiful cookies using the squeeze bottles. It's fun and easy, and you can do it!

Def going to need some milk for those cookies!

Wow! Those are adorable, and judging by the title, definitely worth a taste. And what a wonderful cause for baking them. I can't wait to give them a try, and hope that they turn out as beautiful as yours :)

I just tried them... they turned out really well! :)

I don't consider this recipe a sugar cookie recipe, but in fact a butter cookie or short bread cookie recipe, good recipe, not what I was looking for.

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