The Only Sugar Cookie Recipe You Need

by Cate on November 3, 2009

Sugar Cookies

Shortening.  I virtually never use it.  The last time I did was about two years ago.  But in the past week, I’ve used it twice.

Sugar Cookies.  I virtually never eat them.  They just don’t do anything for me.  I’m much more of a salty girl myself, with barely a sweet tooth to begin with, so perhaps they are just too, well, plain.

Until now.

When we made the Cowardly Lion Cookies on Sunday night, the original recipe called for using store-bought peanut butter cookie dough.  Because I was sending in a tray of them to Madeline‘s class, although it’s not a peanut-free school, I know there are a few kids with allergies there, so thought it better to swap it out.  Instead of going the store-bought peanut butter cookie dough route, I searched online for a simple sugar cookie dough recipe.  One that doesn’t need lots of chilling.  Or fiddling.  Or crazy ingredients.  Just something simple.

I found just what I needed on AllRecipes and Nick went to work.  Once he had all the Cowardly Lion Cookies made, there was a little bit of dough leftover, so I grabbed some sparkly pink sprinkles and just made some basic cookies at the end.  When they came out and cooled off, I couldn’t resist a bite.  Quality control and all that.

Slightly thin, slightly crispy, slightly sweet and more than slightly goodThis is the sugar cookie recipe to stop your search.  Easy to make, using basic ingredients you have on hand, quick with no chilling time and it makes a nice quantity.  What more do you need in a sugar cookie recipe?  Given it’s nearly sugar cookie season, the timing couldn’t be more perfect.

For those that asked about the Cowardly Lion Cookies via email and here, they’re super simple to make.  I used the below sugar cookie recipe for the actual cookie.  The mane?  You’ll never guess.  Chow Mein noodles.  You can easily find a bag of them at your local grocery store for two or three bucks.  And since the bag is way more than you need for the cookies, they’re perfect for a 20-month-old whirling dervish to snack on while racing in and out of the kitchen.  Madeline loved munching on them.  The eyes and nose are Mini M&Ms that I swiped from Nick’s trick-or-treating stash.  Super simple.  My kind of recipe.

Sugar Cookies
Recipe courtesy of Helen Wallis on AllRecipes

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
additional sugar

In a mixing bowl, cream butter, shortening and sugar. Add egg and vanilla; mix well. Combine flour, baking powder and baking soda; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Shape into 1-in. balls. Roll in sugar. Place on greased baking sheet; flatten with a glass. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes. 

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Claire November 4, 2009 at 12:16 am

I like using shortening (though I don’t much) in combo with butter if I HAVE to use butter because I don’t like the spread that butter gives to cookies. I love a GOOD sugar cookie, too…guess the simplicity is pleasing to my palate. I thought the mane was pretzels but chow mein noodles it was, huh? That works, too!


Starnesfam November 4, 2009 at 12:17 am

I’m glad to have this on hand for the next time I need it!

Can’t remember if I told you, but we made your mac n cheese dog casserole and devoured it! Love your recipes!


Joanne November 4, 2009 at 7:15 am

I feel like having a go-to sugar cookie recipe is right up there with having a go-to tomato sauce or meatloaf recipe. It’s just one of those things that you should have up your sleeve. Just in case. Thanks for this one! You saved me a long and intense Google search.


Nirvana November 4, 2009 at 9:19 am

These cookies are so pretty!!! :)


Ramona November 4, 2009 at 10:11 am

With my “no fat” diet phase, I’ve been right there with you on “no shortening”.

But recently my brother made biscuits with Crisco and they were sooooo good.

I love sugar cookies and will definitely have to give these a try.


Debbie November 4, 2009 at 10:51 am

This is my kind of cookie. I love sugar cookies and could eat them year round. I will try this one for the holidays!


grace November 4, 2009 at 12:55 pm

yep, there are a few things for which i’ll break out the shortening, pie crusts and biscuits to name two. i’ve not tried it in sugar cookies, but these look like they’d absolutely melt in your mouth. love the sparkles too. :)


Natasha - 5 Star Foodie November 4, 2009 at 3:28 pm

Perfect! My mom was just looking for a good sugar cookie recipe, will forward it to her!


mandy November 4, 2009 at 8:56 pm

I’m not good at sugar cookies. The rolling and cutting out always get me. Maybe I’ll revisit sugar cookies with this recipe.


Steph November 4, 2009 at 11:21 pm

I’m not a sugar cookie fan either, mostly becuse there is no brown sugar. I find it so difficult to find a recipe I like. Maybe I’ll try this.. I’m sure I can let go of my shortening aversion if this is ‘the’ recipe.


SnoWhite November 6, 2009 at 1:00 pm

these look wonderful!


carrie November 10, 2009 at 4:57 pm

I love sugar cookies and nothing tops my mom’s recipe for sugar cookies that you roll and cut out. However, because this gal has less time for baking, I’m trying these as we speak, with some fun decorative sugar leaves on top for fall…..


tova November 18, 2009 at 10:35 pm

can these cookies be rolled and cut for christmas cookies? thanks


Muscle Force Max December 3, 2009 at 3:31 pm

how adorable! and simple!! simplicity is key when you have kids and try to get stuff done! I love how almost everything is already in the pantry :)


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