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Vanilla-Butter Sugar Cookies Recipe

Vanilla-Butter Sugar Cookies Recipe

While I usually bake these cookies for Christmas, I'll also make them at Valentine's Day (in the shape of hearts, with messages written in frosting), at Thanksgiving (shaped like turkeys), at Halloween (pumpkins), etc. Children like to help out with the decorating. —Cynthia Ettel, Hutchinson, Minnesota
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 35 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling YIELD:42 servings


  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Food coloring, optional
  • Colored sugar


  • 1. In a bowl, combine sugar and butter; beat until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Stir together dry ingredients; gradually add to creamed mixture until completely blended. Chill for 30 minutes.
  • 2. Preheat oven to 350°. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to a 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with holiday cutters dipped in flour. Using a floured spatula, transfer cookies to ungreased baking sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes. Cool on wire racks.
  • 3. For frosting, combine sugar, butter, vanilla and milk; beat until creamy. Thin with additional milk to desired spreading consistency if necessary. Add a few drops of food coloring if desired. Spread frosting over cookies and decorate with colored sugar.
    Freeze option: Freeze undecorated cookies, layered between waxed paper, in freezer containers. To use, thaw and decorate as desired. Yield: 7 dozen (2-1/2-in. cookies).

Nutritional Facts

2 cookies equals 158 calories, 8 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 30 mg cholesterol, 164 mg sodium, 21 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 2 g protein.

Wine Pairings

Sweet White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a sweet white wine such as Moscato or a sweet Riesling.