Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies Recipe from scratch in just over 30 minutes using 1 bowl and everyday baking staples! These soft, chewy, and delicious cookies are made without any chilling, rolling, or cutting out and turn out perfect every time!
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These effortless drop cookies are made with simple ingredients and straightforward instructions, and in the end, you’ll have a batch of freshly baked cookies with irresistible golden edges.
They’re soft, melt-in-your-mouth treats that are perfect for dunking in your coffee or nibbling with your tea. The kids love them with a cold glass of milk or a hot cup of cocoa. Although we’re getting back to basics with these cookies without the need for frosting or decorations, you can definitely jazz them up that way if you’d like!
Get the kids involved with this recipe for old fashioned sugar cookies and make it a fun winter activity! Just make sure to remind them to leave some out for Santa and his reindeer!
Ingredients Needed for Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies
- Softened butter: Bring the butter out to room temperature at least 30 minutes before starting. You want it soft enough to cream nicely with the sugar.
- Sugar: You can’t have sugar cookies without sugar!
- Baking soda & Cream of tartar: These two work together to give the cookies a fluffy, chewy texture without falling flat.
- Salt: Brings out the best in all the flavors of these sugar cookies.
- Eggs: Needed for binding the cookies.
- Vanilla extract: A warming flavor that makes them extra yummy. With a recipe for making sugar cookies old fashioned style, you want to use quality ingredients. Pure vanilla extract is the way to go.
- All-purpose flour: The base and structure of the cookie.
How to Make Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies
Step 1: Beat butter for 1 minute until creamy before adding the sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Continue beating everything together until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go.
Step 2: Add in the eggs and vanilla extract. Beat to combine. Finally, add the flour and mix until fully incorporated.
Step 3: Use a small cookie scoop to scoop out the dough and drop it onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Do this until all the dough has been used, leaving enough room between each one for the cookies to spread slightly.
Step 4: Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for 10-12 minutes. The bottoms will be a light golden color. Remove them from the oven and allow them to rest on the tray for a few minutes before you transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Room temperature ingredients. Since everything but the eggs is at room temperature it only makes sense to bring the eggs out early too. That way all of the ingredients start at the same temp and will bake more evenly.
- Do not over bake. Sugar cookies are not meant to be too brown. Just slightly golden. If they get too brown they start to take on a different flavor.
- Use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or a mixing bowl with an electric mixer. It’s up to you.
- Be sure to measure your flour correctly. It’s super important not to overdo it or you may end up with dense cookies! Use a kitchen scale or the spoon and level method for accurate measurements.
- Sugar cookies come out soft. Allowing them to rest on the tray ensures that they don’t crumble and fall apart while you move them.
These old fashioned sugar cookies are simply the best as they are. However, if you have kids (or kids at heart) sometimes it’s fun to add a little decoration! Here are some fun ideas to get you started:
- Add a sugar coating to the cookie dough before baking.
- Top with festive holiday sprinkles!
- Use sugar cookie icing or frosting to decorate.
- Dust with powdered sugar before serving.
- Add a layer of frosting or ice cream in between two cookies and make a sugar cookie sandwich!
Do I need to chill the cookie dough?
This recipe doesn’t require you to, but you can if you want or if you’re not quite ready to bake them yet. This can be a great way to solidify the butter again if you’re worried about the cookies spreading too much.
The cream of tartar helps to combat this, so chilling is really only optional!
What if I don’t have the cream of tartar?
You can substitute it with 2 tsp of vinegar or lemon juice. Cream of tartar can be found in most local grocery stores or specialty baking shops.
How many sugar cookies does this recipe make?
I use a small cookie scoop to make sure all of them are the same size and I get 50 small cookies in the end!
Storing & Freezing Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies
Any leftover cookies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. A little trick I’ve learned is that if you want to keep your cookies soft, you can place a piece of bread in the container along with them.
Separate the layers with parchment or wax paper so that they don’t stick together.
To freeze them, keep them in a freezer bag and store them for up to 2 months. Thaw them on the counter, and enjoy!
Our GO-TO Holiday Recipe Ideas:
Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies
- Preheat the oven to 375F and line baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat butter for 1 minute. Next add sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. Beat until everything is combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
- Next, beat in eggs and vanilla extract, until combined. Finally, beat in the flour.
- Now, using small cookie scooper, place a scoop onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the bottoms turn light golden color.
- Transfer onto a cooling rack and enjoy!
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