- 4½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1½ cups salted butter, room temperature
- 1½ cups white granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1½ cups butter or margarine, room temperature
- 1½ cups vegetable shortening, room temperature
- 3 pounds (about 10½ cups) confectioners' sugar
- 1 tablespoon clear vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- Food coloring (optional)
At Jenny Cookies Bake Shop, my destination bakery in Lake Stevens, Washington, our signature sugar cookies are our top seller. In 13 years of making this sugar cookie recipe, I've never found anyone who doesn't like it!
Washington is known for their apples, with over 125 million boxes distributed each year. One fall, I turned our love for apple pie into a little apple pie sugar cookie, along with other fall flavors to round out the collection. They are always a huge hit in the bakeshop.
Special equipment: Electric mixer with paddle attachment
Technique tip: Clear vanilla can be found in most cake-decorating supply stores and local craft stores.
Swap option: The cookie dough welcomes flavor mix-ins! To make pumpkin spice cookies, add 2 tablespoons each cinnamon and allspice and 1 tablespoon nutmeg. For chocolate cookies, add 1 cup cocoa powder. Chopped candy, such as candy canes, is a fun add-in around the holidays.
For gluten-free cookies, replace all-purpose flour with equal amounts of gluten-free flour.
For the cookies:1.
Whisk the flour and baking powder together in a medium bowl.2.
Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl with an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed until smooth or about 2½ minutes. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until fluffy, about 1 minute. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.3.
Turn the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture approximately a quarter at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition. The dough will form a ball around the paddle attachment and feel soft but not sticky.4.
Wrap the dough ball in a piece of plastic wrap and press down to form a 1-inch-thick disk. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes, or store for up to 7 days tightly wrapped.5.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.6.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured flat work surface to about 1/4-inch thickness, using additional flour as necessary to prevent sticking. Use cookie cutters to create the shapes you want and carefully transfer them with a metal spatula to a nonstick baking sheet, placing the cookies about 3/4 inch apart.7.
Bake one sheet at a time on the middle rack, about 7 to 8 minutes, until puffy. Let the cookies rest for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.8.
Repeat steps 6 and 7 with the gathered scraps until all the dough has been used.
For the icing:1.
Combine the butter and shortening in the bowl of an electric mixer.2.
Using the paddle attachment, beat on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.3.
Add half of the confectioners’ sugar and continue beating on. Low speed for an additional 2 minutes, or until the mixture is creamy, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the remaining confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and heavy cream, and beat until the frosting is creamy and fluffy, about 2 minutes more. Add any food coloring, if using, and beat on low speed until light and fluffy, about 30 seconds or until the color is incorporated.4.
Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to one month.
Reprinted from: "Cookie Class: 120 Irresistible Decorating Ideas for Any Occasion" by Jenny Keller; Harper Design (October 29, 2019).