The Best Warm Sugar Cookie Recipe

As you might’ve noticed, I’ve been MIA lately. Part of it was just a summer slow-down, but for the past two weeks I’ve been on vacation. I spent the first week camping in Colorado with my husband, and my brother joined us for a few days too. It was a blast.

The second week ended up being a staycation, which wasn’t the plan, but we made it fun. We went to the Fort Worth Zoo, visited the Dallas Arboretum, had several Netfix marathons, and just enjoyed not working. For me, this obviously includes baking cookies.

sugar cookies [Can’t wait? Click here to skip to the recipe.]

On Tuesday I posted the photo above on my Facebook (You can like my public page here or follow my personal profile here!) and my friends pretty much demanded that I share the recipe. So after a little sleuthing online to make sure recipes aren’t copyright (the wording is but the actual recipe is not), I decided to oblige. But first, a few things to know.

What do I look for in a cookie? A soft, chewy texture. Cakey or crumbly is as far as it goes; crunchy and crispy cookies have no place in my repertoire. (Why would you blemish a perfectly good cookie with nuts? At least raisins make a cookie chewy and chocolate chips make it melty. Nuts are expendable in my kitchen.) I tend toward simple, satisfying flavors over the experimental. I don’t need “unusual” combinations and I don’t want to go buy ingredients I haven’t heard of just to try a new recipe. Every once in a while I’ll try something a little iffy, but for the most part, for me, cookies are a comfort food. I want fail-proof palate pleasers that I’ll make again and again. The sugar cookie recipe I found in this 2013 Better Homes and Gardens Holiday magazine fits the bill; I know I’ll make them again.

best cookies

My husband ate six of the cookies before I could even get him a plate. That’s how good they are fresh from the oven. (I ate three.) However, the leftover cookies have sat on my counter for five days now and still aren’t all gone, which means the cooled cookies aren’t anything to brag about as far as “the cookie jar” goes. (Other cookies have gone much faster at my house.) But I’ve been hunting for years now for the perfect fresh-from-the-oven classic sugar cookie recipe, and this is it. They’re simple, sweet, soft, and absolutely to die for with a cold glass of milk. The recipe is hard to halve because it has an odd number of eggs, so in the future I’ll probably either keep the dough in the fridge and make one sheet at a time for optimal freshness or just save them for when a bigger group of people is over.

Here’s the recipe for what I’m now calling:

The Best Warm Sugar Cookies

½ cup butter, softened
½ cup shortening
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 egg yolks
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

Preheat your oven to 300°F. Beat the butter and shortening together with the paddle attachment of an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt, mixing until combined. Beat in the egg yolks and vanilla, followed by the flour.

Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and place about an inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. (I love using parchment paper.) The recipe doesn’t call for a sugar coating, but I like my sugar cookies sprinkled with sugar for that nice crystalized layer.

Bake for 12-14 minutes, until edges are set but not browned. Leave on the cookie sheet to cool for 2 minutes (this helps achieve a nice chewy texture), then move to cooling racks to cool completely. Or, you know, shovel them directly into your mouth. Wash down with cold milk and send me thank you presents. If you can’t eat all you’ve made, they can be stored in an airtight container for several days and are still pretty good.

You can also view this recipe on the BH&G website. These warm cookies are lovely crowd-pleasers. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did! Please let me know if you like having cookie recipes here on the blog. (If I get a good response I might share some of my favorites in the future.)

Happy baking!

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  • Julia Munroe Martin

    Sounds like you had a great couple of weeks off, and I’m so glad you shared the cookie recipe. THANK YOU 🙂 And yes please do share more!!

    • I did! 🙂 You’re welcome. Let me know how they turn out if you make them!

  • Peggy

    Yummy!!!
    What, you’re not throwing the extra dough away? You might get fat…

  • Regina Richards

    I’m not usually a cookie monster – more of a lasagna monster – but these look delicious. Glad you had a great vacation + staycation.

  • Cynthia Robertson

    Yum! Just the photo makes my mouth water.
    Camping in Colorado is what I’d like to be doing right now – lucky you!

    • 🙂 Yes, we had a wonderful time! We climbed high enough to get some relief from this Texas summer.

  • Kalli

    I’d love all the yummy cookie recipes you want to share! I still have your other recipe in a very safe keeping place, so I’ll make these too since you speak so highly of them! 🙂 I vote more!

    • Thanks, lady! 🙂 These are a totally different type of sugar cookie. I hope you like them!

  • Oh my yum. So pinnable too. 😉

  • Traci Kenworth

    Thanks for the recipe, Annie!!