Perfect Sugar Cookies

Last weekend Fuzz and her friends asked if they could bake cookies. It was about an hour before dinner and not exactly the best time to start a baking session, but the girls were so enthusiastic and eager that I caved in. That, plus I suddenly had an excuse to make The Perfect Sugar Cookies from Fine Cooking Magazine!

sugar cookies

We didn’t make any changes to the recipe so I’ll link you directly to the article on the Science Behind the Perfect Sugar Cookie and the two recipe variations: Perfect Crunchy Sugar Cookies and Perfect Chewy Sugar Cookies.

What I will say is that the cookies lived up to their name. The recipe gives you the option to make them chewy or crispy, and while I would have preferred crispy, the girls chose chewy so we went with that. In the end, all parties were pleased. While the corn syrup addition did make them chewy, they were still nice and crunchy around the edges. And finally, the dough was very easy to work with — not too sticky, not too dry. The girls are just learning the importance of making cookies a similar size and thickness, so having an easy to work with dough was important. My only complaint is that I sent all the cookies home with the girls and didn’t save enough for us!

By the way, I’ve been meaning to mention this but just haven’t gotten around to it. Lately, I’ve found that different brands of flour really do work better for different types of baked good. For crispy or sturdy cookies with some chomp to them, I buy King Arthur Unbleached All Purpose. Louise mentioned it had more protein, therefore more gluten, which may be why cookies made with King Arthur seem a little sturdier — not tough, just well structured. Since King Arthur is a little more expensive, I call it my “cookie flour” and use it exclusively for cookies. For bread flour, my favorite it our store brand which is called “Baker’s Scoop”. Gold Medal also makes good bread flour, but I’ve noticed Baker’s Scoop gives me really good results with leavened bread — tight crumbed and soft like commercial bread (but better). For all-around use, I almost always buy Gold Medal Unbleached All Purpose and for cakes, I use either Pillsbury’s Best or Gold Medal Bleached, which yields a softer cake.

Okay, I guess I should have titled this post “Best Types of Flour” but then you might have missed out on the sugar cookies, so I’m glad I didn’t.

Making Fine Cooking sugar cookies

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  1. Louise says

    I’m still looking for the sugar cookie I remember from my childhood. Maybe this is it. Another one for me to try. 🙂

  2. says

    I love sugar cookies and these look great, but I didn’t see on the link where the option for chewy or crispy was. Thanks!

  3. says

    BB, I’d say the chewy are actually in the middle depending on how long you bake them. The girls made some of their cookies kind of small and thin so there’s were chewy but still kind of crunchy around the edges due to *slight* overbaking.

    Louise, I don’t know! Maybe the cookies from your childhood had some special flavoring…maybe a little lemon zest or extract that made them special? This is a good recipe to test. You can adjust the flavorings, of course.

    Ronda, thanks! I’ve fixed the link so that it goes to the article by Nicole Reese plus both recipes.

  4. says

    I love sugar cookies too. And thank you for the information about the flour (I am a gold medal unbleached “flour” child.)
    I use an old sugar cookie recipe my friend’s mom says she developed many years ago. In addition to the flour, butter, and egg she uses powdered sugar, vanilla, and a little bit of almond extract plus some cream of tartar and baking soda. They come out crispie because we always make them thin. The almond seems to add a little extra pizzazz.

  5. debzy says

    As much as I hate to admit it, because I honestly didn’t think it made a difference, pie crust made with King Arthur flour is DIVINE! Someone out there say “I told you so”…

    This cookie recipe is definitely worth trying and I shall 🙂


  6. says

    you know i love sugar cookies when they have a crispy edge and then chewy center.
    i only wish i could get my snickerdoodles to do exactly that too. you know?

  7. says

    Okay, but how do these compare to the “Secret Ingredient Sugar Cookies”? Because those are the best ones I’ve ever had. It’s like the best part of a sugar cookie meets the best part of a shortbread cookie.

  8. Jan says

    Anna; I saw the post for a honey cookie you got from Janet…the next it was gone. Can you repost it or send to me…thanks!

  9. says

    Adam, these are good for purists who don’t want the flavor of vanilla pudding mix anywhere near their cookies ;).

    Jan, the best way to find stuff that disappears like that is to use the search box. There’s a trick, though. Right now you have to use quotations. I need to fix that. Anyway, the link is here.

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