Vanilla Sugar Cookies

Vanilla Sugar Cookies


  • 21/2 cups all-purpose white flour, sifted after measuring
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tbsp sugar, for topping


  1. In a large bowl, stir together flour and baking powder.
  2. In another large bowl, beat together butter and sugar until well blended.
  3. Beat in egg yolks, then the salt and vanilla, until evenly incorporated.
  4. Gradually beat or stir in the flour mixture to form a smooth dough.
  5. Divide the dough in half.
  6. Place each portion between large sheets of wax paper.
  7. Roll out each portion 1/8 inch thick; check the underside of the dough and smooth out any wrinkles that form.
  8. Stack the rolled portions (paper still attached) on a baking sheet.
  9. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes, or until cold and firm, or freeze for about 15 minutes to speed the chilling.
  10. Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
  11. Grease several baking sheets or coat with nonstick spray.
  12. Working with one portion at a time and leaving the remaining dough chilled, gently peel away, then pat one sheet of wax paper back into place.
  13. Flip the dough over, then peel off and discard the second sheet.
  14. Using assorted 2 1/2-to-3-inch cutters, cut out the cookies.
  15. Transfer the cookies to the baking sheets, spacing about 1 1/4 inches apart.
  16. Sprinkle the cookies with the sugar or colored sugar.
  17. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, in the upper third of the oven for 8
    to 11 minutes, or until lightly colored on top and slightly darker at the edges.
  18. Reverse the sheet from front to back halfway through baking to ensure even browning.
  19. Let stand until completely cooled.

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