The Ultimate Sugar Cookie Recipe

I broke up with my sugar cookie recipe this week. It was totally one of those “it’s not you, it’s me” situations. When I first started decorating cookies I looked long and hard for a recipe that wouldn’t spread or rise. A cutout recipe that would provide the perfect canvas for projects like these painted tulip Easter eggs. I found one, the results were great but we just weren’t compatible. If you’ve tried my W+W Sugar Cookie recipe you know that it requires several rounds of cooling the dough to keep the edges crisp and straight. Doable? Sure. But totally high maintenance. Plus, I just couldn’t get the hang of putting my butter out ahead of time to soften. I’m not that organized. I had a good run with that recipe, but it was time for me to move on.

JUMP TO RECIPE

Painted Tulip Easter Cookies + The Ultimate Sugar Cookie Recipe

These days I’m crushing on a new cookie. And you know what? I think The Ultimate Sugar Cookie Recipe from Bon Appétit Magazine might just be my soul mate. This cookie and I were made for each other. The butter goes right from the fridge to the mixer and the dough keeps its shape perfectly with one brief chill before rolling. And they taste great! What’s not to love?Painted Tulip Easter Cookies + The Ultimate Sugar Cookie Recipe

So, the Ultimate Sugar Cookie now has the top spot in my core recipes section. [ UPDATE: I’ve been making adjustments to this recipe and instructions. I’ve renamed it Jes Best Cutout Cookies ] You can still find the w+w Sugar Cookies in the archives. We may not be an item anymore but we’re still friends.

Painted Tulip Easter Cookies + The Ultimate Sugar Cookie Recipe

With my new recipe these painted tulip Easter egg cookies came together in a snap. The painting part took a little longer though. I can cut in against the trim of a room and roll a wall like the pros, but tulips? That took some training. And practice. I’m loving the look of watercolor right now so that’s where I sought out inspiration. This tutorial from Jay Art gave me the basics for a simple tulip. Once I had a plan I could relax and have some fun. Before long I had pink and purple buds all over the kitchen counter. So pretty!

Painted Tulip Easter Cookies + The Ultimate Sugar Cookie Recipe

6 votes

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Jes Best Cutout Cookies

Prep

Cook

Inactive

Total

Yield 24 cookies

Makes 2-3 dozen cutout cookies (depending on size)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

+

  • 1 1/4 cups chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large free-range egg
  • 1 large free-range egg yolk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla or lemon extract

Instructions

  1. Sift 3 cups flour, baking powder and salt into a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
  2. Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on high speed until well combined (butter does not need to be fluffy), about 3 minutes.
  3. Add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla; beat just to combine. Reduce speed to low and gradually add dry ingredients. Mix until dough comes together.
  4. Separate dough in half and form two smooth discs for rolling.
  5. Roll each disc to desired thickness (1/8"-1/4") between two pieces of lightly floured parchment paper on a Silpat mat or flexible cutting mat. Continue to flour top of dough so parchment doesn't stick or crease.
  6. Transfer mat and rolled dough to refrigerator to chill for about 2 hours.
  7. When ready to cut shapes, flip chilled dough so floured side is down. This will help cookies "release" easily.
  8. Cut dough to desired shapes and place on baking sheet pans lined with parchment paper.
  9. Re-roll scraps only once to avoid tough cookies. If dough becomes soft and sticky, return to fridge to chill until shapes cut easily. Chill again until ready to bake. Ideally, 20-30 minutes.
  10. Preheat oven to 325º
  11. Bake until edges are slightly golden, about 12–16 minutes, depending on size. Rotate sheet pans half way through to avoid dark edges.
  12. Let cookies cool slightly on pans then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Notes

Do Ahead: Cookies can be baked (left undecorated) 2 weeks ahead; separate cookies with wax paper, place in air tight containers and freeze.

Courses Cookies

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 39g

Amount Per Serving

Calories 180

% Daily Value

Total Fat 10.1 g

16%

Saturated Fat 6.2 g

31%

Trans Fat 0.4 g

Cholesterol 41 mg

14%

Sodium 55 mg

2%

Total Carbohydrates 20 g

7%

Sugars 8 g

Protein 2 g

4%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

 

9 votes

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Jes Best Royal Icing

Prep

Total

Yield 24 servings

Makes enough to decorate 2-3 dozen cookies, depending on size

Ingredients

  • 970 g [2 lb bag] confectioners' sugar, no need to sift
  • 80g [or 8-10 tablespoons] meringue powder (CK or Henry & Henry)

+

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 tablespoons water

OPTIONAL

Instructions

  1. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix sugar, meringue powder and salt on low for just a bit to incorporate evenly.
  2. Slowly add 1/2 cup water while mixing at a low speed. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time until sugar is just wet.
  3. Scrape sides of the mixing bowl. Increase speed one notch (#2 on Kitchenaid stand mixer). Mix for five minutes. When finished icing should have a matte (not glossy) finish and hold it's shape on the paddle when pulled up/out of the bowl.
  4. Separate into clean, oil-free containers and tint with gel food coloring.
  5. This recipe yields "stiff" consistency for piping details. Add water as needed to achieve flooding consistency.
  6. Keep covered tightly and store for up to a week in a cool dry place or 10 days in the refrigerator. Mix well when ready to use.

Courses Icing

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 45g

Amount Per Serving

Calories 147

% Daily Value

Sodium 14 mg

1%

Total Carbohydrates 38 g

13%

Sugars 37 g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

* This post may contain affiliate links. I may be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links.

 

4 Comments

    1. Jes Lahay 2016-03-28 at 6:18 pm

      Haha. Charlotte, your comment cracks me up. I’m not a painter. I just gave it a go and got lucky. The copper cooling rack/placemat is awesome, right? I picked it up at CB2 last week. Go get one!

      Reply
  1. Robyn @ Simply Fresh Dinners 2016-03-30 at 3:02 pm

    i’M WITH CHARLOTTE – I CAN’T BAKE TO SAVE MY LIFE AND THAT RACK IS GORGEOUS! HAHA!
    i SAW YOUR BEAUTIFUL COOKIES ON RESEPIZ AND HAD TO COME SEE MORE. yOU ARE SERIOUSLY TALENTED, jES AND THESE WOULD MAKE A LOVELY TREAT FOR SOMEONE SPECIAL.
    gREAT TO FIND YOUR BEAUTIFUL BLOG!

    Reply
    1. Jes Lahay 2016-03-30 at 6:25 pm

      Thanks Robyn for the awesome compliment! I just started using Resepiz. I’m excited to have another way to connect with awesome foodie peeps like you! I’ll be heading over to simplyfreshdinners.com for some non-cookie culinary inspiration!

      Reply

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