Basic Sugar Cookie Recipe

Simplify your cookie decorating this year by transforming this basic sugar cookie dough recipe into a variety of Christmas goodies.

By Meaghan Mountford from


  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ teaspoons almond extract (optional)
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt

    How to make it 

  • 1

    Cream butter and sugar with a hand mixer or a standing mixer fitted with a flat beater. Add egg and blend well.

  • 2

    Add extract(s) and blend. Mix flour and salt in a separate bowl and gradually add to wet mixture, blending on low speed to combine.

  • 3

    Cover and chill dough in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Briefly knead and roll out dough on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick.

  • 4

    Cut out cookies with a cookie cutter and bake on parchment paper-lined baking trays for 14-16 minutes until edges are golden. Smaler cookies may take fewer minutes and larger cookies up to 18 minutes.)

  • Yields: 8-10 large cookies, 20-25 smaller cookies.

Also, see 8 Decorated Christmas Cookies.

Recipes and photos by Meaghan Mountford, author of Cookie Sensations and editor of Craft Gossip.