I am pretty particular about my sugar cookies, and I only enjoy them thick, soft, chewy, and frosted! This recipe is the BEST!
You’ll notice I use shortening instead of butter in my sugar cookies, and that is because I’ve tested them both ways and found that shortening yields a much softer cookie, that doesn’t get hard after cooling and storing. They last longer and freeze beautifully. You can substitute butter if you want, but the results will not be quite the same.
How to make Sugar Cookies:
- In a mixing bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar. Add eggs, milk, and vanilla and mix.
- In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients–(flour, baking powder, and salt). Slowly mix dry ingredients into the wet mixture until you form a large dough ball. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
- Lightly flour your counter top. Roll dough ball out to ½ inch to ¾ inch thick. Cut the dough into shapes with cookie cutters (or use a round drinking cup).
- Place cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for about 8-11 minutes. Cookies will be very light colored and just set (not shiny on top), when you take them out. They will harden as they cool, so don’t over bake them.
Roll the cookies out thick– at least ½ inch.
Don’t over-bake them.
Use buttercream frosting or cream cheese frosting and color the frosting different colors with food coloring. Use different cookie cutters and colored sprinkles to decorate for holidays like Christmas or Valentine’s Day.
Make Ahead and Freezing Instructions:
Sugar cookies will last for 3-5 days stored in an air-tight container at room temperature unfrosted, or refrigerate if frosted.
You can freeze sugar cookies with or without frosting for up to 3 months. If frosted, flash freeze them for 30 minutes and then add them to an airtight container, with parchment paper between the stacked layers and return to freezer.
Sugar cookie dough can also be frozen for up to 3 months. When ready to bake the cookies, remove the dough from the freezer about 2 hours ahead of time to allow it to soften enough to roll out.
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Super Soft Sugar Cookies
- 2/3 cup vegetable shortening (or use half butter, half shortening)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional, but makes a great flavor )
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 ounces cream cheese , softened
- 1/2 cup butter , softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3-4 cups powdered sugar
- In a mixing bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar.
- Add eggs, milk, and vanilla and mix.
- In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients--(flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly mix dry ingredients into the wet mixture until you form a large dough ball. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
- Lightly flour your counter top. Roll dough ball out until ½ inch to ¾ inch thick. Cut the dough into shapes with cookie cutters (or use a round drinking cup)
- Place cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 7-10 minutes. Cookies will be very light colored and just set, when you take them out. They will harden as they cool, so don't over bake them.
For the frosting:
- Add the butter and cream cheese to a mixing bowl and beat well until smooth and creamy.
- Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Add more powdered sugar, as needed, until the frosting is smooth and thick and tastes perfect.
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I originally shared this recipe March 2013. Updated December 2020.
I loved these! My 3-year-old granddaughter loves to bake, so we made these for Valentine’s Day. Easy to make and a great consistency for rolling and for cookie cutters. I didn’t try the frosting (just used store bought white icing colored with food coloring), but I will next time! I think this recipe is a keeper.
I hate leaving bad ratings but I have to say this was actually awful. The cookie has no flavor and the consistency is like a biscuit. The reason for the 2 stars is because the frosting tastes good. Food is really expensive. I paid $8 for a container of shortening that is just for this recipe and no one is going to eat theses cookies.
It’s possible that the instructions weren’t clear enough? Sometimes baking instructions aren’t clear enough for myself. Maybe you can give the cookies another try with the left over shortening!!
Syrena, they do make a butter flavored shortening. It works great when baking all kinds of cookies.
I do have a question. Can you replace eggs with applesauce, mashed banana or perhaps another egg substitute? My son is allergic to eggs and I’m always looking for new recipes.
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