I love a good, soft, super-thick sugar cookie. This recipe is one of my favorites and comes from my high school friend, Annie, who once posted a picture of these on her instagram. I HAD to have the recipe and it has been my favorite ever since. They are so soft and have such a good flavor.
These cookies are lightly flavored with almond extract and are made extra delicious with the addition of sour cream. I wanted a fun way to decorate them for Easter without having to use royal icing(looks so pretty but I prefer to eat buttercream) so I frosted them with several shades of lavender buttercream using a super easy method. See below the recipe for a picture tutorial on how to get this look. Below, get my tips for getting super soft sugar cookies, every time!
SECRETS FOR SUPER-SOFT SUGAR COOKIES
- Do not over-mix the dough. Once the flour is added, mixing will start to develop the gluten which leads to tough cookies. Only mix your dry ingredients in until they are fully incorporated, but do not mix past that point.
- When rolling out your dough, keep it thick! It is awfully hard to get soft sugar cookies from thinly rolled dough.Thicker cookies will be harder to over cook and leave more room for error. If you roll your dough to about a 2/3″ thickness, they will likely still be soft even if they get a little brown. I find that a 1/2″ to 2/3″ thickness gives me the results I’m looking for.
- Do not over-cook! You will get the softest cookies by removing them from the oven when you almost think they may not be fully cooked yet. Take them out before they start browning at all on the top and have just started to develop a little hint of brown color on the bottom.
- This last trick is something that I apply to all cookies to get super-soft results. Place the cookies together in an airtight container immediately after removing from the oven. Once the cookies are sealed together while still hot, the steam coming from them will soften them and help them to stay soft for several days. Cooling on a wire rack will cause them to loose this moisture. Place a sheet of waxed paper between layers if you are worried about them sticking together.
- 1 C. Butter, softened
- 1 C. Sugar
- 1 Egg
- 1 teaspoon Almond Extract
- ⅓ C. Sour Cream
- 3 C. Flour
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1½ teaspoon Baking Powder
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Cream together until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg, almond extract and sour cream and mix together until smooth, scraping down the sides once.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder.
- Add to the wet ingredients and mix in until just combined.
- Place the dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper and roll out to a thickness of no less than ½".
- Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
- Remove dough from refrigerator and cut out desired shapes with cookie cutters.
- Place cookies 1" apart on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes. Do not let them brown! I prefer to cook mine for the shortest amount of time possible, so that they almost seem underdone. Once cooled, they will be so soft because of this. Just take care not too under-cook. Everyone's oven is a little different, so see what time works best to give you the results you want.
- Cool cookies on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.
Divide the frosting you will be using up evenly into three bowls. Choose the shade you want your frosting to be and color the first bowl of frosting the darkest version of that shade. Dye the second bowl a medium version of the shade, and dye the last bowl the lightest version of the shade. Scoop each shade of frosting into a piping bag fitted with a round tip.
Using the darkest shade of frosting, pipe one dot of frosting on the tip of the cookie.
Using the back tip of a fork or spoon, scrape the frosting down and towards the middle of the cookie. Wipe the frosting off of the spoon tip. Pipe three more dots in a row below the frosting dot that was scraped down.
Scrape each frosting dot down towards the center, wiping off your spoon tip after each dot. Pipe another row of frosting dots below the row that you just scraped down.
Continue this process all the way down the cookie. When you reach the center of the cookie, switch to the medium shade of frosting. At the bottom third of the cookie, switch to the lightest color of frosting. When you reach the last row of frosting dots, scrape them down just slightly towards the bottom center point.
Kate | Food Babbles says
These are stunning!! I love a thick, soft sugar cookie too and these are adorable. I love that frosting technique on cakes. How have I never thought to apply it elsewhere?? Must make these.
Thank you Kate! I was too lazy to pipe out some nice royal icing frosting, but I didn’t want to just spread on buttercream. This was the perfect compromise!
Karen @ The Food Charlatan says
These are awesome. My husband was looking over my shoulder when I pinned these and he’s like “those are cookies?? How??” And I was like well it’s a tutorial, let me show you…hahaha. Very nice Kayley!
Thanks Karen! I thought the frosting technique was pretty old news, so I’m glad someone finds it exciting, haha =)
Megan - The Emotional Baker says
These cookies are gorgeous! I can’t wait to give this icing technique a try 🙂
Thank you Megan!
Corina @ Wine Dine Daily says
These sugar cookies look absoultely gorgeous Kayley! Thank you for sharing your frosting technique, I looking forward to try it soon 🙂
Thank you so much Corina! You’re welcome and I hope you get to try it out!
Jessica Wilson says
How well do these hold up to royal icing designs? I’m making some for a bridal shower and want to be sure they don’t break apart as I’m decorating and handling them.
Hi Jessica! These are very sturdy cookies and should work very well with royal icing! Happy baking and thanks for stopping by!
Leigh-Anne Stover says
Do you use all purpose flour or self rising? Please say one of those because I have a ton. lol
I use all-purpose =)
Leigh-Anne Stover says
Alexandre Gagne says
This recipe seems really good ! Can’t wait to do it but can you give me the recipe of your frosting for this cookies ? 🙂
Beautiful! I was hoping for a recipe for the buttercream frosting on this post. Is it elsewhere on your blog? I must’ve missed it and the instructions for achieving the varying purple tones. It’s perfect for Valentine’s Day too! Can you send the link to the frosting portion of this post? 😀
Can’t wait to try these! Would you please share your buttercream icing? Thanks….
Samantha Diaz says
I made these cookies, Shamrock shape for St. Patrick’s Day and they were sooooooooo Good! The best Sugar cookie recipe I have made. I have been baking for a long time, helped my mom and grandma in the kitchen when I was little. Ive tried many sugar cookie recipes and this is a keeper for sure. Thank you so much for sharing 🙂
Susie C says
Hi! I am making these cookies today for my daughter’s preschool class. I found the the dough to be so so sticky. Any suggestions??? I am so excited to ice them tonight!!
The dough needs to be refrigerated before rolling out, that should take care of the sticky-ness. Also, make sure to roll out between sheets of waxed paper, and use a little flour, if needed.
Hi- thanks for the recipe. I just made this and it doesn’t look like a lot of dough. Roughly- how many cookies does this recipe make? I might have to double it 🙂 Thanks!!
Are these freezer friendly cookies? I would like to make them in advance. Thanks!
I’ve never tried freezing them, but would imagine they would be ok. Let me know how they are if you do!
Crystal Stagg says
What is the recipe for the frosting?
Would these work if I wanted to use for cookie bouquets – sticks in them or would they be too soft?
They may be a bit too soft…you could try baking them longer to help them stay, perhaps?
can you use cake & pastry flour instead of all purpose flour
Haven’t tried it so I couldn’t say.
These turned out perfect. I rolled mine thinner than the directions state but they’re still soft. The almond flavor is very distinct which I really enjoy! This recipe is a keeper, thank you for sharing.
So glad you liked!
Can I please have your butter cream recipe.
Does the icing set up or does it stay soft? I was wondering because I want to stack these and would also like to know how long do they last or do they have to be refrigerated? Thanks.
Hi Bonnie! It depends on the icing that you use. I would use a thick buttercream that will hold up. I wouldn’t stack them unless you use royal icing, however.
Hello! your cookies look amazing! hope to try them soon! also, do you mind sharing what frosting color/brand you used to tint the frosting? i’ve been looking for a way to achieve the perfect purple frosting; would love to know the color or combination you used! thanks! best wishes!
Seems every request for the buttercream recipe is ignored. Do you just not share that and if so, that’s okay–just let people know that so they don’t continue to ask. Your cookies are lovely and it’s very nice that you share your recipe.
I do not use a specific recipe for the frosting. Just butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. =)
When making these cookies I also found the dough to be very sticky, too much to be rolled out. I saw in a previous comment that the dough should be refrigerated before rolling the dough out but in the recipe, it says to roll them out then refrigerate them. Also, I was wondering if you use salted or unsalted butter?
I roll the out between two sheets of parchment paper, chill in the fridge, then remove the top layer of parchment paper to cut out shapes. I use salted butter, but unsalted would work too.
Debbie W says
These are so yummy, thick and I just love this cookie recipe! AND just gorgeous!
May I ask, what size round tip are you using to apply the frosting?
Thank you in advance!
I made these soft sugar cookies for one of our Palm House Senior Living Center in Fort Worth, Texas. I was inundated with requests for the recipe. We all loved them.??mmm! ?Hot when I finished.