Smooth Sailing Sugar Cookies Recipe
Smooth Sailing Sugar Cookies Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Smooth Sailing Sugar Cookies Recipe

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With a fresh breeze, my longtime-favorite sugar cookie recipe got under way on a new track. I cut out sailboats and frisky fish, frosting them brightly for the nautical gathering. My guests ate their limit! -Martha Conaway, Pataskala, Ohio
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. + chilling Bake: 5 min./batch + cooling
MAKES:24 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. + chilling Bake: 5 min./batch + cooling
MAKES: 24 servings


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk
  • Food coloring, optional

Nutritional Facts

2 each: 172 calories, 8g fat (5g saturated fat), 30mg cholesterol, 172mg sodium, 23g carbohydrate (11g sugars, 0 fiber), 2g protein.


  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg, milk and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with cookie cutters of your choice. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 5-8 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, extract, salt and enough milk to achieve spreading consistency. Add food coloring if desired. Frost cookies; decorate as desired. Yield: about 4 dozen.
Originally published as Smooth Sailing Sugar Cookies in Taste of Home August/September 1999 , p37

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ms062521 User ID: 7531197 20895
Reviewed Dec. 10, 2013

"This is my go to recipe for sugar cookies. Sugar cookies can be fussy in hot and humid areas of the country. This one worked fabulously in Florida and now in south central Texas. Pus it tastes great!"

tracimom2 User ID: 5722083 29899
Reviewed Jun. 19, 2012

"I make these cookies multiple times every year they are my go to sugar cookies for every occasion sometimes I use a buttercream icing, but other than that or a little almond flavoring also I don't change a thing! You can also make them a little thicker than the recipie suggests. Everyone loves these cookies!"

amyngus User ID: 1033952 20886
Reviewed Oct. 17, 2010

"Just the right sweetness!! Very easy to work with- easier than other recipes I have used."

cmott User ID: 2961071 27320
Reviewed Feb. 14, 2009

"I tried this for Christmas this year and it is the best tasting rolled sugar cookie I have tried. The texture is great and the dough is so easy to work with. The icing is really fantastic. I have been trying for years to get an icing that is not a royal icing to set up as well as this does."

dbbeachbaby User ID: 1512925 203237
Reviewed Jan. 3, 2009

"This is my all-time favorite sugar cookie recipe. I make it every Christmas, and any other time I have an excuse to make sugar cookies. I find the cookie itself to be very light - not sugary at all. The icing is what really makes the cookie. I always use almond extract instead of vanilla and I think the almond gives the cookie that extra touch. I also love the dough - it's very easy to work with. You can't go wrong with this recipe. I always get requests for the recipe. 5 stars from me!"

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