Baking with Brilliance

The Best Sugar Cookies


Mary Przybycien, Contributing Writer

This classic cookie can be turned into a treat for any time of the year. While some desserts are only seasonal and are only typically served during certain holidays, sugar cookies never fail to be the best versatile cookie to take to events. The reasoning behind this is that their flavor is simple and can complement any desserts that are served with them; and because you can cut them into any shape you want! Whether this is a ghost for Halloween or a heart for valentines day, sugar cookies can always make it to those parties and events.

Behind the flavoring of sugar cookies is vanilla and, in some cases, almond, which gives a nice subtle flavor to make you want more. This past week I experimented with recipes to figure out a favorite among my classmates at Pingree. I had one of my recipes be only with vanilla flavoring and the other recipe has a touch of almond extract. In my surveys, I found that the majority of the testers enjoyed the cookie that had a light taste of almond. 

To further make the perfect cookie I tested a variety of ways of chilling the cookies to see which held its form best to help with decorating and keeping crisp edges like the cookies at the grocery store. One of these ways included chilling the dough for an hour before rolling out the dough, cutting the shapes, and placing it in the oven. With this method, I found that the cookies would still spread so that the shape was enlarged with very vague lines to what the cut out was. I found better success with having a well-shaped cookie when I rolled and cut the shapes before refrigerating and then freezing for ten minutes before baking. With this procedure before baking the cookies, I found it helped the cookie keep its shape.

         After experimenting with sugar cookies, I’ve determined the best recipe out of the ones I’d created.

Sugar Cookie Recipe:



  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon of baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup butter
  • 1 egg (or flaxseed egg)
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon of almond extract


  • one stick of butter
  • two cups of powdered sugar (more or less depending on how you want the consistency to be)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • food coloring (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of milk


Recipe steps:

  1. Place your butter and sugar in a bowl and cream. If needed, make your flaxseed egg now.
  2. Once your butter and sugar are creamed together, pour in your vanilla and almond extract with your egg, and mix until fully combined.
  3. Slowly incorporate your dry ingredients into the mixture and mix until it forms a dough. 
  4. When the dough is formed, roll it out on a flat surface, and cut out the shapes that you want. 
  5. Then place the cutouts into the fridge to chill for an hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 350℉
  7. Before baking the cookies put them in the freezer for ten minutes
  8. Bake for 11-12 minutes depending on the size of your cookies
  9. Allow the cookies to cool.
  10. While the cookies cool, make the frosting by, creaming the butter and then adding the vanilla and milk to it. Mix.
  11. Slowly incorporate the powdered sugar until desired consistency, add food coloring if desired. 
  12. Frost and decorate with whatever you want (I personally chose a variety of sprinkles)
  13. Enjoy!


Article and recipe created by: Mary Przybycien