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Nice ‘n’ Soft Sugar Cookies

My family’s all-time favorite Christmas cookie has had a million shapes over the years. Little ones have fun making their own icing designs. — Cathy Hall, Lyndhurst, Virginia
  • Total Time
    Prep: 45 min. + chilling Bake: 5 min./batch + cooling
  • Makes
    about 3 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • ICING:
  • 2-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 teaspoons meringue powder
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • Food coloring of choice
  • Colored sugar and sprinkles, optional

Directions

  • Cream butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy; beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour. Divide dough in half. Wrap each in plastic; refrigerate 2 hours or until firm enough to roll.
  • Preheat oven to 375°. On a floured surface, roll each portion of dough to 3/16-in. thickness. Cut with floured 3-in. cookie cutters. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake until set, 5-7 minutes. Cool on pans 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
  • Beat confectioners' sugar, water and meringue powder on low speed until blended; beat on high until soft peaks form, about 4 minutes. Add corn syrup; beat 1 minute.
  • Tint with food coloring as desired. (Always keep unused icing covered with a damp cloth; if necessary, beat again on high speed to restore texture.) Pipe or spread icing on cookies; decorate as desired. Let dry.
Editor’s Notes: As a substitute for 2-1/2 cups of self-rising flour, place 3-3/4 teaspoons baking powder and 1-1/4 teaspoons salt in a measuring cup. Add all-purpose flour to measure 1 cup; combine with an additional 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour. Meringue powder is available from Wilton Industries. Call 1-800/794-5866 or visit wilton.com.
Nutrition Facts
1 cookie: 138 calories, 5g fat (3g saturated fat), 19mg cholesterol, 150mg sodium, 22g carbohydrate (15g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links.

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Reviews

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Average Rating:
  • Pamela
    Dec 21, 2020

    The recipe worked well and my cutouts were great but the taste of these cookies by themselves is horrible. It’s like biting into a cookie with too much flour and salt. I’ve been baking for years and confection is my forte but these cookies did not make my list. I will ice one and see if it changes anything because plain my dog wouldn’t eat it.

  • Juli
    Oct 30, 2019

    I have been using this recipe since my kids were old enough to sit in their highchairs and decorate cookies. It is stable enough to not break and it is a delicious cookie. I follow the notes for making self rising flour. Also, I use the dipping method to measure flour, so it is fluffed up a bit. Have never had a problem with the dough being too dry and crumbly.

  • drmpurple
    Dec 16, 2018

    This is an awful sugar cookie recipe. I agree with other reviewers the dough is so dry and crumbly. Its missing something. Still tried to cook it but could only squeeze it in to a ball and it didnt taste like a sugar cookie. Will not make this again.

  • ojc0806
    Dec 17, 2016

    The best sugar cookies!!! I used the editor's note to get the flour so I didn't need to buy a whole thing of self raising flour. Otherwise everything was followed as written. A great frosting too that sets well! Will be making every year!

  • cookingram78
    Dec 8, 2015

    I've been using this recipe for years with wonderful results. I do, however, roll out my dough a bit thicker than the recipe suggests, as I find this produces a guaranteed soft and tender cookie. Dough is easy to handle and very forgiving, and the re-rolled scraps even make delicious cookies.

  • dkatie9
    Dec 15, 2014

    These cookies are delicious. Those people who didn't get a soft cookie did something wrong. I followed the recipe exactly. Yummy. Maybe you didn't soften the butter???

  • DMWinnie
    Dec 13, 2014

    These were not anything like they should be. Wasted a bunch of ingredients. Not sure why some of us had the same issues, and others liked it. It was almost like there was a binding ingredient missing. After a few failures I added some oil to get the consistency I need to do anything with them. Moving on to another one...this one is a no go.....

  • lmmanda
    Apr 7, 2014

    I love soft chewy cookies and these are the best sugar cookies I've ever had. They are a Christmas tradition in our house.

  • LBayne
    Jan 1, 2014

    Love these sugar cookies. This is my go to cugar cookie recipe! Everyone loves these with a little buttercream frosting on them.

  • daughterofacook
    Dec 21, 2013

    The first batch I made, burned; The second batch was only air and super crunchy......I have lost 15 cookies so far..... I just hope that this next one isn't another waste....EACH BATCH IS SIX COOKIES SINCE I AM USING A TOASTER OVEN.......