I am the soft cookie’s biggest fan. I love soft, chewy cookies. I prefer soft cookies far more often than crunchy cookies. There is just something about biting into a soft cookie and having it melt in your mouth. I have already posted about some other cookies this month, but there is one classic cookie recipe that I have not yet shared. Just in time for the holiday baking season: the best soft sugar cookies.
This cookie recipe rocks. It’s very easy to mix together and doesn’t require anything weird. It also makes a ton of cookies. Depending on what size cookie cutter you use, or if you choose to do a drop sugar cookie, it makes over 2 dozen. So while this isn’t completely a low calorie cookie, it makes so many that the cookies themselves tend to be lower calorie. These are delicious unfrosted, so if frosting isn’t your thing, you will still love these. I have a favorite go-to vanilla sugar cookie frosting that I will link here. These are seriously the best sugar cookies and the frosting is dynamite, so I highly recommend giving both a go.
First step in making the dough is to cream the softened butter with confectioner’s sugar. I let my butter sit out in a warm kitchen for a few hours. You could also gently microwave the butter to soften it up. You don’t want the butter melted, so keep an extremely close eye on it if you choose to microwave it. I use a stand mixer to beat the butter and confectioner’s sugar until it is smooth and fluffy. Next, beat in the egg, vanilla extract, almond extract, and baking soda until smooth.
Once that is combined, add in the flour one cup at a time. I mix the dough completely after each cup of flour until the dough is smooth. When all the flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth, transfer the dough to a floured surface. Knead the dough until it becomes a solid ball. It should not be sticky at this point. If the dough is sticky, add additional flour to it. Cover the dough and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours. Refrigerating the dough helps keep the dough from spreading out during baking. If you are doing a drop cookie, or rolling the dough into a ball and baking it on the sheet, you can skip this step. The cookies will spread out more, which isn’t really ideal for cut out shapes.
After the dough is chilled, roll out the dough on a floured surface. I cut my dough ball into quarters, and then I roll one quarter out at a time so all of my dough does not get soft. You want to keep these cookies thicker when you roll them out so they remain soft. The thinner you roll your dough, the crispier the cookie will be. You will just want to stay under ½ inch thick. Cut the cookies out with whatever cutter you like. I used a pumpkin cutter because these were for Thanksgiving. Transfer the cut out cookies to a parchment lined baking sheet. You could also use a silicone baking liner or nonstick spray on the baking sheet. Leave a couple inches between the cookies to allow them to spread out slightly. Don’t over bake these. You want the edges to be barely golden in color. They may look doughy, but they will firm up and remain soft.
I could go on and on about how delicious these cookies are. They seriously are the best soft sugar cookie. There is a warm vanilla flavor and just a touch of almond. The almond extract really takes these cookies over the top. The vanilla alone would make these very tasty. It’s the almond that is the unsuspecting hero in this cookie. I use my vanilla sugar cookie frosting on this cookie to maximize the deliciousness. Both of these combined equals the best sugar cookie I have ever had. These cookies have received rave reviews, and I can’t imagine ever trying another sugar cookie recipe!
The Best Soft Sugar Cookies
Total calories: 3,510
Servings: 2 dozen+ cookies (depending on your cookie cutter size)
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (not melted)
- 1 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp almond extract
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Cream the butter and confectioner’s sugar together with a hand mixer or stand mixer until fluffy. Beat in the egg, vanilla extract, almond extract, and baking soda. Once combined, add in the flour one cup at a time. When the flour disappears, transfer the dough to a floured surface. Knead the dough until it forms a solid ball. Add additional flour if the dough is sticky. Cover the dough and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
- On a floured surface, roll your dough out to 3/8 inch to ½ inch thickness with a rolling pin. The thinner you go, the faster the cookies will bake. You will have a crispier cookie the thinner you roll. The thicker the cookie the softer it will be. Use whatever cookie cutter you’d like to cut the cookies out.
- Transfer the cut out cookies to the prepared cookie sheet. Leave a couple inches between each cookie to allow them to spread. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. Do not worry if they looked under baked. They will continue to firm up. Transfer to a cooling rack.
- Frost or enjoy plain! Looking for the best sugar cookie frosting? This is the best sugar cookie frosting ever! This frosting firms up slightly so you can stack the cookies but remains soft and creamy.
Almond extract really takes this sugar cookie over the top. It adds a warm, just slightly nutty flavor. It is perfect in this cookie, and I strongly recommend giving it a try. I am not usually an almond or almond extract fan, and I can’t imagine this cookie without it!
I like to roll my cookies out thicker (less than ½ inch though) and bake them for 8 minutes. I love soft cookies, so I try to only let the edges get very lightly browned.