Sugar Cookies for Special Occasions

Sugar CookieYields: about 100 cookies of varying sizes*


For Cookies

  • ¾ cup butter, softened*
  • 2 cups white sugar*
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla essence
  • 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt*
  • Extra powdered sugar for dusting

For Icing

  • Border Icing
    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • 3 tbsp. milk*
    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
    • Food coloring (optional)
  • Flood Icing
    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • 4 tbsp. milk*
    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
    • Food coloring (optional)



  1. Beat butter and sugar with electric hand mixer until creamy and smooth.
  2. Add both eggs and vanilla extract and beat until smooth with mixer;
  3. Add sifted flour, baking powder and salt. Do not use an electric mixer, stir in by spatula and hand*;
  4. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill in fridge overnight or for 6-8 hours;
  5. Knead dough for 2-3 minutes before taking a quarter of it on a powdered sugar covered surface;
  6. Roll the dough out to ¼” thick. Make sure the surface is adequately covered with powdered sugar or the cookies will not easily pull up from the surface to put on the baking tray.(These cookies expand and rise when they are thick but tend to hold their shape when rolled out thinner. I experimented with both ½” and ¼” thick and found the latter a better cookie);
  7. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place parchment paper on cookie tray but leave it ungreased. Gently place cookies ½” to 1” apart depending on the size of the cookie. The bigger the cookie, the more space in between;
  8. Put cookies in oven for 6-8 minutes. The bigger cookies will take 7-8 minutes while smaller cookies are done at 6 minutes;
  9. Cool the cookies completely before applying icing;


  1. Use squeeze bottles for easier cleanup and easier application. You will need 1 for the border icing and 1 for each different color of the flood icing;
  2. Apply the border icing first to all of the cookies and then add the flood icing after all the borders are dry. By the time you finish icing all the cookies, the first ones are dry for you to fill with flood icing;
  3. The cookies need 12 hours to 24 hours to dry completely depending on the amount of icing on the cookie;
  4. Mix powdered sugar and milk till incorporated with a spoon or a fork. Add vanilla extract (if needed) and optional food coloring. The icing should be thick enough that it holds ribbons in the icing for a couple of second before melting back into the icing. It has to hold the flood icing, so make sure it is quite thick;
  5. Using a small funnel, put the border icing into the squeeze bottle and get piping. For me, I ended up having so much extra border icing that I went back to first cookies and started using it as the flood icing. Make sure to use the tip of the bottle to push icing into corners. It will gloss beautifully;
  6. After the border icing is completed, mix the powdered sugar and the milk once again, along with vanilla extract (if needed) and optional food coloring. The consistency should definitely be a little thinner than the border icing and should pour into the bottle much quicker than the border icing.;
  7. Pipe your flood icing where needed and simply make any designs you’d like with a toothpick. The one batch of flood icing proved little and only covered about 2/3 of my cookies. Feel free to make as many batches as needed to cover all your cookies;
  8. Leave the cookies to dry for at least 12 hours or more if needed.


  • 100 cookies of varying sizes: I made a variety of heart shaped cookies for Valentine’s Day with some hearts of 1-inch size to 4-5 inches. The size honestly changes depending on the size of the cookies and the thickness of what you roll it out to. It is also an approximate number because the family gulped down quite a bit before I got to count them all.
  • ¾ cup butter softened: I always forget to take out the butter beforehand, so if you ever have the butter in the fridge and not out, simply put it in the microwave for 15, 10 and then 5 second intervals, checking in between to make sure that it is simply softened and not melted. Go in small intervals, there’s no going back after it’s melted.
  • 2 cups white sugar: If you want less sweet, then go for 1 cup white sugar. However, 2 cups of sugar definitely taste heavenly for the sweet tooth.
  • ½ tsp. salt: If you’re like me and only have salted butter at home, don’t add the whole ½ tsp. salt, and simply add just a pinch for taste.
  • 3 tbsp. milk for Border Icing: Start with 3 tbsp. and keep adding until the desired consistency is achieved. I ended up using almost 4 tbsp. only for the border icing.
  • 4 tbsp. milk for Flood Icing: As I mentioned in the above note, more milk may be needed to achieve the consistency. I started with 3 tbsp., but I definitely ended up using close to 5 tbsp. Keep adding milk as needed but start at 4 tbsp. and keep adding as required.
  • Baking time: The cookies will be soft to the touch when fresh out of the oven, but the minute any of them begin to look brown, take them out of the oven. As well, when baking batches, bake like size cookies together, as they bake around the same time. I made that mistake once, never again.
  • If you use electric mixer, then the mix will be become more sticky

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