I’m sharing the only sugar cookies recipe that I use, it’s my favorite and my go-to recipe for elegant-looking cookies. These cookies melt in your mouth; they are not all sugar and no flavor cookies like those sold in the stores. Instead, you get to taste the butter, vanilla, chocolate, and the sweetness is not overwhelming.
What makes these cookies amazing is how long you can store them. You can make a big batch and freeze them for up to 3 months and still enjoy the fantastic flavor and texture.
Please watch the video guide in this post to learn how to make different shapes and add flavors to these beautiful-looking cookies. These cookies make the best gift on special occasions, so let’s make some!
Sugar Cookies Recipe
I was impressed with the different shapes and beautiful icing decoration the store sugar cookies had but was disappointed when I tasted all the sugar and found no other taste to relate to. Don’t get me wrong, I love dessert and cookies, and I get very creative when making them, like my best orange cake, marble pound cake, chocolate candy canes cookies, and orange pudding. There are countless dessert recipes on my blog, and I have learned never to compromise when it comes to flavor. If the dessert looks good, I make sure that it tastes even better!
I stopped buying sugar cookies; instead, I have tweaked few recipes to come up with something I can enjoy with my family and friends. In this post, I will teach you how to make vanilla, chocolate, and marble sugar cookies from one dough, you can also call them sugar cookie sandwiches! I have a feeling that this will be one of your favorite recipes too.
Ingredients in Sugar Cookies
Zero complication! This recipe is straightforward, and all the ingredients are simple and available in everyone’s kitchen.
All purpose-flour – In some recipes, they suggest adding cornstarch. I am not against it, but I feel these cookies are perfect without it, and they hold the shape and texture well. You can use cake flour, but the texture might come out crumbly.
Egg white – I wanted these cookies to rise a little; adding baking powder will make them bigger, but egg white gives that even rise, making those cookies look good with a smooth surface. I have used large egg white.
Confectioner’s sugar – It is also called icing sugar or powdered sugar. Powdered sugar is one of the reasons why I don’t add cornstarch to this recipe because powdered sugar almost always has cornstarch in it, so adding some more to the recipe won’t give that melt in your mouth effect.
Butter – I always ask my readers to buy quality butter when making buttercream frosting and when baking cookies, and I do so for two reasons. Quality butter has less moisture, so when you use it in baking, there are fewer air pockets in the cookies and cakes, and you get smooth, tender crumbs. The second reason is that it has excellent flavor.
Cocoa powder – Unsweetened cocoa powder, and I always go for Hershey’s or Hintz.
Hot water – I use hot water because it helps the cocoa powder to have more depth of flavor.
How to make sugar cookies
We are going to make three different-looking cookies with the same basic dough. A vanilla-flavored dough, chocolate dough, and marble dough which is a combination of the previous two doughs. I had fun making these cookies, and the dough is easy to work with. There is no mess. More details on how to make sugar cookies are in the recipe card below with notes!
- In a mixing bowl, or you can use a stand mixer instead. Add the butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and mix well until lighter in color.
- Add the flour and salt. Mix until combined.
- Now, add the egg white and mix well for a few seconds.
- Cut the dough in half. Take out one half and keep it aside. It’s going to be our vanilla sugar cookie dough.
- In a small bowl, mix the cocoa powder with hot water.
- To the remaining half in the mixing bowl or standing mixer, add the unsweetened cocoa powder mixed with hot water and mix well. Add the sugar and flour and mix until there are no visible white streaks.
- Take a quarter from the vanilla dough and the same amount from the chocolate dough and keep aside, this will make our marble cookies.
- Roll out the vanilla dough while placing it between parchment paper, and then chill for 20 minutes. Do the same with the chocolate dough.
- You can make the marble cookies by taking two equal parts from the vanilla and the chocolate dough. Form a ball from the vanilla dough and another ball from the chocolate dough. Place them on top of each other and then press them down with your hands.
- Cut the dough in half and place one half over the other, making sure to place the vanilla dough over the chocolate to get the marble effect.
- Form a ball, roll it out, and cut it into the shape you prefer using a cookie cutter.
- Cut the vanilla dough, chocolate, and marble dough using your favorite shape cookie cutter.
- Arrange the cookies on a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper and bake for 11 to 12 minutes on the middle shelf.
- Add jam between two cookies and press gently.
- You can add jam on the sides of the cookies and roll them on crushed pistachio to give them beautiful designs. You can also use sprinkles or other crushed nuts. More in the video!
Chocolate sugar cookies
With one dough, you get to make three different cookies, and one of them is chocolate sugar cookies. I love chocolate, so I was excited to make the cookies, but I had to add more sugar since the unsweetened cocoa powder is a bit on the bitter side.
I added flour because of the addition of the liquid (hot water). Adding more flour made the dough more manageable and easier to roll out; it also gave that crunchy yet melt-in-your-mouth texture all sugar cookies are known for.
I made sure that the cookies are fudgy, so I didn’t use melted chocolate to glue the two cookies, thinking it would be too chocolaty. The strawberry jam worked great, but if you are a chocoholic, feel free to use melted chocolate between the cookies and drizzle some on top!
Why this is the best sugar cookies recipe?
- The dough comes together in no time.
- You get to make three different cookies from one dough.
- The sugar cookies look elegant and are great to gift.
- You can get the kids to help you in the kitchen.
- The dough is so forgiving, and you can make it ahead of time.
- These sugar cookies can be refrigerated, and they will still taste amazing.
- They melt in your mouth.
How to store sugar cookies?
Tips for the best cookies
- Do not overwork the dough, or the cookies will come out dry.
- Dust the cookie cutter before pressing it over the dough.
- Do not skip chilling the dough after rolling it out.
- Use good quality chocolate and do not use the cocoa powder made for hot chocolate, it usually has milk and sugar, and the flavor of the cocoa is mild.
- Preheat the oven 20 minutes before using it and use the middle shelf of the oven.
- If you are using jam, beat it first, then use it on the cookies. It will make it smoother and easy to work with.
- Use cold egg whites straight from the fridge.
- Do not skip mixing cocoa powder with hot water. The hot water wakes up the cocoa powder and makes it a little stronger without making it bitter.
What icing to use?
- Use royal icing.
- Melted chocolate.
- Your favorite jam, but I feel that strawberry is the best with these cookies.
Other cookies you will enjoy
Best Sugar Cookies Ever
- 400 gm all-purpose flour 3 cups +5 tablespoons
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 300 gm unsalted soft butter 1 cup +6 tablespoons
- 1 egg white
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 120 gm powdered sugar 1 cup +2 tablespoons
FOR THE CHOCOLATE DOUGH
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ cup hot water
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and vanilla together on high speed until lighter in color and creamy in texture. You can use a hand mixer but if you are using a stand mixer beat with the paddle attachment. Add the egg white and beat on high speed until combined, for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl and beat again for a few seconds.
- Add the flour and salt, mix on low until combined. The dough will be soft.
- Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Add the cocoa powder, one tablespoon powdered sugar, and one tablespoon flour to one half and beat until combined.
- Now you have a vanilla-flavored dough and a chocolate dough. To prepare the marble cookies, take quarter from the vanilla dough and a quarter from the chocolate dough.
- Place the vanilla-flavored dough on parchment paper. Spread the dough with your hand to prepare it for rolling. Place another parchment paper on the dough and roll it out to ¼ inch thickness. Place the dough while covered with parchment paper in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
- Repeat the step above with the chocolate dough and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- For the Marble dough. Place the vanilla dough over the chocolate and press down gently. Cut the dough in half and place one half over the other; make sure the vanilla half is on the chocolate.
- Form a ball and place it on parchment paper. Spread the dough with your hand to prepare it for rolling. Place another parchment paper on the dough and roll it out to ¼ inch thickness. Place the dough while covered with parchment paper in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper.
- After 20 minutes. Dust the cookie cutter with flour. Cut all the rolled-out doughs into different shapes. Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting. If possible, keep the raw cut out cookies in a cool place or cover and refrigerate until you are done baking the previous batch.
- Arrange cookies on baking sheets 2 inches apart.
- Bake the cookies for 11-12 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To decorate the cookies. Add a quarter teaspoon of jam between 2 cookies. Gently press cookies together. Spread the jam on the edges of the cookie and then roll cookie edges in crushed nuts or sprinkles. Please watch the video to learn about other ways to decorate these cookies.
- If the dough is sticky, the butter must have softened. Place the dough in the fridge for a few minutes.
- These cookies freeze well, with or without jam. Please read the post to know how to freeze sugar cookies.
- You can add more flavors to this cookie dough, like lemon, orange, mint, or rose.
Although I prefer strawberry jam, you can use melted chocolate, other jam flavors, or royal icing.
- You can refrigerate the cookies for two days but freezing is the best method if you plan to store them longer.
- You can skip the chocolate and make the whole dough into a vanilla sugar cookie.