Recipes :

Signature Sugar Cookie Dough

Last week we shared Julia M. Usher’s recipe for royal icing and you may have been wondering, “What should I use it on?”  The answer is easy…Julia’s Signature Sugar Cookie Dough Recipe.  With this recipe you can create your own shapes and designs for parties, gifts, or just a Friday night at home. 

signature sugar cookie recipe

Signature Sugar Cookie Dough
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Create amazing sugar cookie creations with this dough that bakes flat for easy decorating.
Recipe type: Cookies, Dessert
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 6 TB. unsalted butter, softened
  • ⅓ cup shortening
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 TB. whole milk
  • ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract or other flavoring
  1. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl; set aside for Step 4.
  2. Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and shortening on medium speed until cream. Gradually add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Do not over-beat, or cookies will dome with baking, making them more difficult to decorate later.
  3. Whisk egg, milk, and chosen flavoring together in another bowl. Add additional flavorings to taste. Slowly blend into the butter mixture, mixing thoroughly on low to medium speed until smooth. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed to ensure even mixing.
  4. Turn mixer to low speed and gradually add reserved dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated. Flatten dough into a disk, wrap tightly in plastic, and refrigerate for about 3 hours, or until firm enough to roll without sticking.
  5. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper (or silicone baking mats); set aside.
  6. Roll dough on a lightly floured surface to a ⅛ – 3/16-inch thickness. (Note: It’s best to roll cookies no thicker that 3/16-inch in order to keep them flat for decorating.) Cut out assorted shapes with chosen cookie cutters. Carefully transfer cookies to prepared cookie sheets with an offset spatula, leaving no less than ¾ inch between each.
  7. Baking time will vary considerably with cookie size and thickness. Make until cookies are lightly browned around edges, about 8-10 minutes for 2½-inch round cookies. Allow particularly long or delicately shaped cookies to cool 1-2 minutes on cookie sheets before transferring to wire racks. Otherwise, immediately transfer to racks and cool completely before frosting and/or assembling with royal icing, and storing.


sugar cookies decorated

How do you like to decorate your sugar cookies?

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