Simple Soft Sugar Cookies

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Simple Soft Sugar Cookies! Soft and chewy, just like when we were kids. Serve them plain, with frosting, or sprinkled with colored sugars. They're ready for a birthday party, potluck, or bake sale!

Photography Credit: Irvin Lin

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.

Soft and Chewy Sugar Cookies

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.

Soft and Chewy Sugar Cookies

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.

Looking for a Different Kind of Sugar Cookie?

Soft and chewy not quite your aim today? Take a look at these other variations!

Updated April 11, 2019 : We spiffed up this post to make it sparkle! No changes to the recipe itself.

Simple Soft Sugar Cookies Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 12 minutes
  • Yield: 24 cookies

Leave these cookies plain, frost them after cooling, or dress them up with colored sparkling sugars sprinkled over top before baking.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (225 g, or 2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated white sugar
  • 1/4 cup (55 g) packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/4 cups (315 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

To finish:

  • 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated white sugar

Method

1 Preheat the oven: Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a baking sheet with a silicon baking mat or parchment paper.

2 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.

Soft and Chewy Sugar Cookies

3 Add the egg and beat to incorporate. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

4 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.

5 Chill the dough: Chill in the fridge for at least one hour or overnight.

Soft and Chewy Sugar Cookies

6 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.

Soft and Chewy Sugar Cookies

7 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

Soft and Chewy Sugar Cookies

8 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.

Soft and Chewy Sugar Cookies

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Soft Sugar Cookies on Mesh and Normal Baking Sheets

Irvin Lin

Irvin Lin is an IACP award-winning photographer, food writer and recipe developer, blue-ribbon baker, public speaker and occasional social media consultant. His blog is Eat the Loveand his first cookbook is Marbled, Swirled and Layered.

More from Irvin

18 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Rozan

    Can I use salted butter and just omit the salt?

    Show Replies (1)
  2. Bebe

    My late Mother always added a small amount (1/2 tsp) lemon extract along with the vanilla.

  3. Brenda

    Great!
    Chewy, soft, reminds me of when I was 16!!!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  4. rachael

    do I need to chill the dough?

    Show Replies (1)
  5. Jewelianne

    I made these but each time the dough ismore like batter than cookie dough. This is the only recipe giving me problems. The cookies come out dreamy good but go on sloppy and wet even with an added 1/2 cup of flour.

    Show Replies (1)
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Soft and Chewy Sugar Cookies on Mesh Baking sheetSimple Soft Sugar Cookies