Rolling this cookie dough in my hands makes me so happy. I’m immediately thrust back to grade school, making cookies with my mom and my friends.
I love biting into the soft, chewy cookie and having those vanilla notes hit my tongue. It’s a little bite of nostalgic satisfaction that you can’t get anywhere else.
Ordinary Ingredients, Extraordinary Cookie
Sugar cookies come in all sorts of textures and sizes, but my favorite are the kind that are soft and chewy. This is the type of cookie that you roll into balls between your hands and then press flat with a glass before baking.
It’s one the most basic of cookies, with all the standard ingredients you'd expect: butter, sugar, flour, eggs and vanilla. Combined, they make the perfect sugar cookie.
Ways to Decorate These Cookies
For a basic, everyday sugar cookie, just roll them in sugar before baking. If you'd like something extra-special, try rolling them in colored sugars or topping them with a layer of frosting.
How to Store or Freeze These Cookies
Store these cookies in an airtight container on the counter for about three days. After that, they'll still be tasty, but will start to get a little dry and crumbly.
The cookies can also be frozen, either baked or unbaked:
- To freeze the unbaked cookies, roll and flatten the cookies on the baking sheet, then transfer to the freezer. It's fine to crowd the pan with as many cookies as you can. Once frozen, the cookies can be transferred to an airtight freezer container or bag for up to a month. Bake as normal (no need to thaw), but add an extra minute or two onto the cooking time.
- To freeze the baked cookies, cool completely, then wrap them well with foil and transfer to a freezer bag. Freeze for up to a month and thaw at room temperature.
These cookies are so great for the holidays, but here are a whole bunch more that you may like, too!
Looking for a Different Kind of Sugar Cookie?
Soft and chewy not quite your aim today? Take a look at these other variations!
- Lofthouse-Style Frosted Sugar Cookies -- Super soft! With fluffy frosting!
- Simple Cut-Out Sugar Cookies -- Thin and tender
- Holiday Sugar Cookies -- Tender, a little crisp, and sturdy enough for frosting
Simple Soft Sugar Cookies
Leave these cookies plain, frost them after cooling, or dress them up with colored sparkling sugars sprinkled over the top before baking.
- 1 cup (225g or 2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) granulated white sugar
- 1/4 cup (55g) packed light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 2 1/4 cups (315g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- To finish:
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated white sugar
Beat the butter and sugar:
Place butter, both sugars and vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat the ingredients together until the butter is light, fluffy and clings to the side of the bowl.
Add the egg and beat to incorporate:
Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
Add the flour, baking powder and salt:
Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are mostly absorbed, then increase the speed until fully incorporated.
Chill the dough:
Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour or overnight.
Preheat the oven:
Half an hour before baking the cookies, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a baking sheet with a silicon baking mat or parchment paper.
Shape the cookies:
Pinch off a lump of dough. Roll it between the palms of your hands to form a ball roughly 1 1/2 inches in diameter, about the size of a pingpong ball. Roll the dough in the granulated white sugar and place on the baking sheet. Repeat, spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart.
Press the cookies into disks:
Use the flat bottom of a glass to press down and form thick disks about 2 inches wide. Sprinkle some extra sugar on each disk
Bake the cookies:
Bake at 375°F (190°C) 11 to 13 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are starting to turn golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet before moving cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature.