Blank canvas: The perfect sugar cookie recipe.

In a culture that values praise above all else, it is sometimes hard to distinguish real success from mere politeness. There have been times when someone has complimented a shirt I’m wearing only to be bombarded with irrelevant details about it until their eyes have long glazed over. Once, after waxing eloquent over my new shoes and what a deal I’d gotten on them I realized that the question wasn’t even about them. Awkward.

The point is, since I’ve been making my decorated cookies I’ve only received exceedingly positive reviews about them. My real-life friends have been extremely appreciative, almost reverent, of my “creativity”, and I’m so grateful for that. Their encouragement has kept me going, even when making yet another batch of dough has induced tears of boredom.

The real measure of success is when someone asks for my recipe because they liked the cookie so much. This has happened a few times lately and each time is a source of exhilaration for me. So, for all my friends out there, here is my go-to, self-tweaked sugar cookie recipe. Each batch of dough makes about 2 dozen 3″ round cookies — more smaller shapes, or fewer large cut-outs. My cookies tend to be on the crispier end with minimal spreading, making them ideal for precise decorative shapes.


2 sticks salted butter at room temperature
3/4 cup confectioners sugar plus 1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tbsp pure vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
2.5 cups all-purpose flour
*Note: Substitute brown sugar for granulated and 1/2 cup cocoa powder (2 cups flour plus 1/2 c cocoa) for chocolate cookies.

  • Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
  • Add egg, followed by vanilla, baking powder and flour until dough comes together in a loose ball. When the dough is soft but no longer sticky is when you know it’s ready.
  • Let the dough rest for a few minutes before rolling out on a lightly floured surface. No need to refrigerate.

Easy peasy. This recipe has yet to fail me and I hope it works for you too! Enjoy decorating your flawless blank canvases.


2 thoughts on “Blank canvas: The perfect sugar cookie recipe.

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