best-ever sugar cookies with easy creamy icing.

I’m really picky about my sugar cookies.

Most sugar cookie recipes are made with granulated sugar, which I have done many times in the past.

But I have ultimately settled on my mom’s classic recipe from none other than Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book, which is made with powdered sugar and a little bit of almond extract (both of which are MUY IMPORTANTE).

I don’t think I’ll ever go back to using granulated sugar again.

Really, I don’t think there is one bad recipe in the Betty Crocker book. They don’t mess around.

All the recipes are online now of course, but I love looking through the original version published in 1963, which is complete with hilarious full-color photographs and how-to illustrations.

To this day, decorating sugar cookies remains one of my all-time favorite holiday traditions from my childhood.

So I thought I’d recreate the experience for a small gal pal get-together I was having on Monday.

Nostalgia, anyone?

Cookie decor courtesy of the gal pals!

What are some of your favorite holiday baking traditions?

peaches & cake

Best-Ever Sugar Cookies with Easy Creamy Icing
Recipe from Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book

Printer-friendly version

For cookies:

  • 1 ½ cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter (Land O’ Lakes is best), brought to room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • wax paper (for refrigerating and decorating)
  • parchment paper (for baking)
  • cookie cutters
  1.  Take butter out of fridge and let come to room temperature.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar together in a medium bowl. Combine powdered sugar, butter, vanilla extract, and almond extract together in a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Add egg and beat until incorporated. Gradually add in the flour/soda/tartar mixture.
  3. Separate dough into two rounds, cover with wax paper, and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
  4. Heat oven to 375ºF. Line several cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Take dough out of fridge and let sit and soften a bit before rolling.
  6. Roll dough 3/16-inch thick on a floured surface. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Gently place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. *Tip: You can prevent cookie dough from sticking to the cookie cutter by dipping the cutter in flour between uses.
  7. Bake 9-10 minutes or until edges are light brown, rotating sheet once in the oven during baking.
  8. Remove from cookie sheet and cool on a wire rack completely before icing.

For Easy Creamy Icing:

  • 4 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla or lemon extract
  • 4 ½ tablespoons heavy cream or half-and-half (you may use water if you don’t have cream on hand)
  • extra water
  • food coloring
  • butter knives and/or piping bags fit with couplers and decorating tips
  • decorating sugar
  1. Blend powdered sugar, salt, flavoring, and cream with a mixer. Add water in 1-tablespoon increments as needed until smooth to make easy to spread.
  2. Separate icing into 3-4 bowls and dye with food coloring.
  3. Working quickly, spread icing on cookies with a butter knife or transfer to piping bags fit with couplers and decorating tips. Add decorating sugar if desired. Let icing harden completely before packaging up.

One response to “best-ever sugar cookies with easy creamy icing.

  1. Pingback: fruit pizza. « peaches & cake


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