What Makes a Great Sugar Cookie

It is about that time of year again. As soon as November hits –  it is sugar cookie season . Normally I try to send out packages of baked goods to family and friends, but this means I need extra room in my freezer, a lot of butter, and some patience.

I love making sugar cookies, but I have to admit, about half way through decorating them, I’m kinda over it. It’s a lot of work and it’s quite messy. But I still love it.

When I was a kid, I looked forward to decorating sugar cookies every year! I helped my mom cut out all the shapes and roll the dough. My brother and I would wait patiently for her to make all the frosting colors and then we would sit down and decorate them together.

1: Cold Butter is Your Friend

If your butter is too soft, then your dough will be softer and you will have to refrigerate the dough for longer. I like to take my butter out of the refrigerator and soften it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds max. It takes longer to soften in the mixer, but once you mix it with the sugar, it will be good to go.


#2: Do Not Over Mix!

You aren’t making a frosting that needs to be whipped to perfection. Beat your dough at a low-speed until the flour is incorporated. This is a common tip for any baked good. Don’t try to mix in the dry flour at the bottom of the bowl. You don’t need it! Since you will be handling the dough as you roll it out, you don’t want it overworked from the start. It will result it tougher or drier cookies.

#3: Measure out dry ingredients if possible

One of the reasons your cookies are too dry or crisp may be because you added too much flour to your dough. I have an inexpensive scale that I use to measure out my flour and my sugar by weight. If you can sift your flour, that’s even better.

#4: Don’t skip on the flour!

I always use a silicone baking mat or a large piece of parchment paper (and I tape down the corners). I use a handful of flour on top of the parchment paper, because as your roll out the dough, it will absorb the flour and prevent the dough from sticking to the parchment paper. BUT, after I cut the shapes out and transfer them to a baking sheet, I use a pastry brush to brush away any excess flour. I bake my cookies on a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.