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Posted on Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 11 a.m.

Celebrate National Sugar Cookie Day with this classic recipe

By Mary Bilyeu


Mary Bilyeu | Contributor

It's hard to go wrong with simple, sweet sugar cookies - they're perfect for any occasion, from a picnic to a party, and everyone loves them.  They can be decorated for any festivity, so these are ideal for baby showers or holidays.

Really, what more can I say?  Bake a batch of cookies!  They'll make you happy.  And don't we all need a little bit more of that?

Sugar Cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons half-and-half, plus extra for brushing
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • sprinkling sugar, colored or plain

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together butter and sugars; stir in half-and-half, vanilla extract, and egg.  Add flour, salt, and baking powder; mix well.

Turn mixture out onto a lightly floured countertop and knead just until dough holds together.  Roll out to about 1/3-inch thickness, then use a 2-1/2-inch cookie cutter to cut out rounds; place onto an ungreased cookie sheet, spacing cookies 2 inches apart.  Brush lightly with half-and-half, then sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for 10 minutes until edges of cookies are just turning golden.  Remove to a rack and cool completely.

Makes 20 cookies.

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Mary Bilyeu writes about her adventures in the kitchen - making dinner, celebrating holidays, entering cooking contests ... whatever strikes her fancy. She is also on a mission to find great deals for her Frugal Floozie Friday posts, seeking fabulous food at restaurants on the limited budget of only $5 per person. Feel free to email her with questions or comments or suggestions:

You should visit Mary's blog — Food Floozie — on which she enthuses and effuses over all things food-related.  And be sure to look for her monthly articles about holiday foods and traditions in the Washtenaw Jewish News. Find her on Facebook and Twitter, too.

The phrase "You Should Only Be Happy" (written in Hebrew on the stone pictured in this post) comes from Deuteronomy 16:15 and is a wish for all her readers - when you come to visit here, may you always be happy.



Tue, Jul 10, 2012 : 6:48 p.m.

I was once handed a sugar cookie recipe that had blueberries in it. To keep the berries from becoming blue you gently stir them in at the very end before baking. Wow, what a cookie. I also add a few teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon. Now I am hungry.

Mary Bilyeu

Tue, Jul 10, 2012 : 7:34 p.m.

Oh, those sound so, so good! You're making ME hungry, too! :)


Tue, Jul 10, 2012 : 12:09 p.m.

A balanced diet is a cookie, sugar or otherwise, in each hand.


Tue, Jul 10, 2012 : 6:47 p.m.

Ah yes, the four food groups. Two hands and two cookies in each. Guess I am making cookies tonight.

Mary Bilyeu

Tue, Jul 10, 2012 : 1:21 p.m.

A kindred spirit ... :)


Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 7:49 p.m.

If you don't like sugar use agave nectar or stevia or some other sugar free option. You guys are talking about how the dia beat us and big sugar and what not, lighten up it's just a simple sugar cookie recipe not the key to everlasting life :P

Mary Bilyeu

Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 10:50 p.m.

You've gotta be able to have a little fun, eat a cookie now and then, right??? :)


Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 5:51 p.m.

Do the cookies keep their shape during baking? I once had a recipe of which the cookies baked and kept the shape of the cookie cutter so well. I rarely make them so the recipe got lost. The last time I made Christmas cut out cookies they didn't look very good after baking.

Mary Bilyeu

Tue, Jul 10, 2012 : 2:24 p.m.

I found this recipe didn't need refrigerating, but it certainly doesn't hurt. And another kindred cooking-loving spirit ... :)


Tue, Jul 10, 2012 : 1:54 p.m.

I find with sugar cookies it's very important to keep the dough chilled and not to overwork it so that the cookies keep their shape. Refrigerate any dough that you're currently not rolling out or cutting, and chilling the cutouts for about 15 minutes before putting in the oven also helps them keep their shape. Good luck! I love sugar cookies. :) You'll never see me complain about an article like this - celebrate food! Everything in moderation.

Mary Bilyeu

Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 6:07 p.m.

The cookies keep their shape beautifully - I used a scalloped cutter, and you can see the results. I've also had the problem where cookies go on a mission to seek other parts of the baking sheet instead of staying put, but these were very cooperative and obedient ... :)


Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 3:40 p.m.

Big Sugar is pushing another "holiday" on us Americans when many of us are just a Snicker's pie away from losing our foot to the diabeetus.


Tue, Jul 10, 2012 : 6:44 p.m.

They also have food month too. The Farmers Almanac said last month was Strawberries and this month is peaches. Next month is blueberry, September is apple and pumpkin for the following. List goes on and on.

Mary Bilyeu

Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 10:52 p.m.

There are food holidays for every single day of the year, and many days celebrate multiple items. Everything from carrots to doughnuts has its own occasion; but celebrating doesn't necessarily mean there has to be excess ....

Wolf's Bane

Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 2:59 p.m.

Sounds like an excuse to get fat.


Tue, Jul 10, 2012 : 6:43 p.m.

Or just eat em, then go for a walk. Bike ride does wonders. Enjoy.

Mary Bilyeu

Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 10:51 p.m.

Only if you eat the entire batch. One or two won't hurt you, especially if you take advantage of the beautiful weather to get some exercise, too ....