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Basic Cookie Dough Recipe

In Payson, Utah, Gloria McBride turns everyday ingredients into a versatile dough that's the basis for five sensational sweets. "You can bake some cookies right away, then pop the extra dough in the freezer for later," she notes.
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 15 min. YIELD:96 servings


  • 2-1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 7-1/2 to 8 cups (30 to 32 oz.) all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • 1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, milk and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk 7-1/2 cups flour, baking powder and salt; gradually beat into creamed mixture, adding additional flour if necessary. Divide dough into four 2-cup portions. Refrigerate, covered, until needed.
  • 2. Basic Cookie Dough may be used to prepare the following recipes: Crumb-Topped Date Bars, Cherry Surprise Cookies, Chocolate Mallow Cookies or Jelly Sandwich Cookies. Yield: 8 cups.

Nutritional Facts

4 teaspoons dough: 98 calories, 5g fat (3g saturated fat), 17mg cholesterol, 91mg sodium, 12g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.

Reviews for Basic Cookie Dough

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Pamela User ID: 9220469 269573
Reviewed Jul. 16, 2017

"I got lost at refrigerate?? Am I reading right.. Refrigerate or bake?? I don't get it"

Margherita User ID: 9191013 267822
Reviewed Jun. 9, 2017

"Worst recipe ever!!! Don't waste your time and food with this."

maika User ID: 9095365 261932
Reviewed Feb. 28, 2017

"I've been looking for a great cookie recipe, and they always turn out wrong. this recipe was perfect- its the basic cookie dough recipe so i did what i usually do when im baking cakes- adjusted as I went along. I also split it up and mixed half of it with cocoa. I made a test batch - which i edited and they came out great- soft etc. I haven't added anything else to them just yet, but I'm sure it will turn out great. I think the key is to adjust it to your specs before you do anything else. In my case i used a a 50/50 sugar mixture [ confectioners sugar and white sugar] - i did the same with the butter [half whipped butter and half canola oil]. I used about 6 cups of flour at first - it ended up being around 8/ 8 and a half once i split my mixture in half. I may have used more milk as well- but i warmed it up... I made enough cookie dough to make a batch of cookies for a friend and still have enough left over.

I read some complaints about the amount of flour used- the amount recommended isn't a lot- check out some of the recipes for making A LOAF [ yes 1 loaf], of Challah bread- they ask for about 6 cups.
This dough works for me because I can tweak it anyway I want from the get go- actual recipes for regular cookies have not worked so great so far!!"

NanaHenderson User ID: 8002803 259048
Reviewed Jan. 2, 2017

"This is a wonderful sugar cookie recipe. I did follow the suggestions that were made by some by increasing to 4 large eggs and I used extra vanilla (I love vanilla) so I did have to adjust the flour some, but it is a silky soft dough. I froze the dough for about 2 weeks before I was able to bake with and make the jelly sandwich cookies. The texture of the dough was moist after I thawed it out, watery even so I just added extra four to my area and kneaded it back into the dough. The texture returned back to a silky smooth dough very pliable and easy to work with, I did have to use extra flour for rolling out the dough, it is a thirsty dough that likes to stick to the work area. I rolled the cookies about 1/4" for the sandwich cookie, double the recomended, so thicker is better with this dough. The baked cookie is so tender and good. I will try adding lemon or orange zest into some of it next I make this wonder cookie. It isn't a difficult dough to make or work with. I loved it and so did everyone else. It made the cookie trays beautiful."

peanutsnona76 User ID: 8027573 257732
Reviewed Dec. 5, 2016

"Our family has been enjoying this recipe from the first time we tried it back in '02. Have made most of the variations listed. Good, workable dough with delicate flavor. If you are looking for a super-sugary sweet cookie, you will find it too subtly flavored for your liking. Subbing 1 tsp. of lemon, orange, or peppermint extract for 1 tsp. of the vanilla works nicely too!"

lvarner User ID: 35803 257585
Reviewed Dec. 2, 2016

"This is a nice, basic sugar cookie dough to use for making cookies at holiday time. I love that there are so many variations! I used the dough to make the Jelly sandwich Cookies and they were tasty and very pretty. I look forward to trying the other variations!"

Bellabyrdie User ID: 8921776 253241
Reviewed Aug. 27, 2016

"This may be the worst cookie base I have ever EVER used. It couldn't be more off. I tried twice and both times it came out horrific. Don't waste your time. Find a different more balananced cookie base. Horrific."

catlovesbooks User ID: 4808399 245777
Reviewed Mar. 21, 2016

"This is the best sugar cookie dough base I have ever used! With a few tweaks, it can be used to make a variety of different cookies! Great!"

overture User ID: 1961135 244059
Reviewed Feb. 18, 2016

"I love this dough! It is easy to make, the cookies come out soft, and they're not super sugary. I hate "traditional" sugar cookies that are sugary to begin with, then you add frosting on top of that and it's just too much sugar. The best part about these cookies is that they hold their shape. They don't spread and they don't balloon. They are ideal for decorating!"

Englerthjenn User ID: 8724612 242883
Reviewed Jan. 30, 2016 Edited Sep. 14, 2016

"This will not be the best cookie dough ever (without chocolate chips it is a little lacking in taste). It makes a ton of cookies (seriously I had to use a huge bowl to follow the recipe mostly) but is light and fluffy and overall wasn't bad with some chocolate chips"

sstetzel User ID: 158954 238439
Reviewed Nov. 30, 2015 Edited Jun. 15, 2017

"We recently retested this recipe and had no problems with the flour / liquid ratio. Try weighing your flour instead of measuring.

8 cups flour = 1000g or 35.2 oz or 2.2 lbs
Sue Stetzel
Recipe Support Specialist/ Taste of Home Magazine"

Jrq User ID: 8637843 238120
Reviewed Nov. 25, 2015

"Horrible. This is a JOKE.

Too much flour and baking Powder.

Jessistanberry User ID: 8550035 233488
Reviewed Sep. 26, 2015

"I halved the recipe and put white chocolate chips and instead of vanilla used lemon and my cookies turned out nice and fluffy and tasted good. I don't know what everyone whose review I read did but mine turned out fine"

disappointedcookieeater User ID: 8156361 214792
Reviewed Dec. 13, 2014

"I made an account just to leave this review. Comments do not lie and I wish I'd read them before I made these cookies, which are not actually cookies. The resulting product tastes pretty good, but they are definitely more like southern tea cakes than cookies. As a result, I now have tons of hazelnut chocolate chip hybrid tea cake dough and some very deformed-looking Christmas cookies. If deformed hybrid tea cake cookies are what you want, by all means, use this recipe (however I suggest halving the recipe unless you really need NINETY SIX SERVINGS). If deformed hybrid tea cake cookies are NOT what you want but you are in the middle of this recipe already and there is no going back, try flattening the dough when you put it on the cookie sheet for more cookie-like "cookies". I baked at 375 for a little over 10 minutes btw, for some reason there is no cook time or temp for the recipe?? W/e"

smartbrownie User ID: 7980111 120811
Reviewed Sep. 10, 2014

"i did the recipe and it tasted amazing but i did not add that much salt i put a pinch of salt"

scones4lyfe User ID: 7846562 39892
Reviewed Jun. 12, 2014

"Hello . I tried to make cookies for my friends and this did not turn out like cookies. Instead they are more like muffins / cookies/ scones/ biscuits/ cupcakes or BONIES. for short version. Please if you are looking to make cookies chose a different recipe .

With Love they did taste alright

shiny0torchic User ID: 6958458 44901
Reviewed Apr. 27, 2013

"I was craving the taste of cookie dough and this was the perfect recipe. I halved it and then added half a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips, taste just like the cookie dough you can get from Papa Murphey's. The chocolate chips made it a little rich, though, so it will take me days to get through this recipe."

Chrisjackieabbygabe User ID: 7075982 44900
Reviewed Jan. 7, 2013

"Just made these great recipe we added chocolate chips but I don't know what temp and time to cook at? It made a lot! Way more than expected about 3 quarters of it went in the freezer!"

MightyMessMaker User ID: 7061726 36710
Reviewed Dec. 29, 2012

"Very simple recipe, and easy to half! Half was more than enough for me. I used this to make shark-fin cookie's for ocean-themed cupcakes I'm making for my husband. They have a nice taste, not overwhelming. The texture is a little dryer than some cookies, but I prefer it that way. I did add an extra egg, as the dough was way more crumbly. But all around, I'll be using this again."

01grasshopper User ID: 4295388 118980
Reviewed Dec. 20, 2012

"This recipe is great. I cut it in half for sugar cookies then used the other half for the cherry surprise cookies. easy to use and not sticky and easy to roll out. With half of the recipe, it wasn't hard on my Kitchen Aid."

01grasshopper User ID: 4295388 136354
Reviewed Dec. 20, 2012

"This recipe is great. I cut it in half for sugar cookies then used the other half for the cherry surprise cookies. easy to use and not sticky and easy to roll out. With half of the recipe, it wasn't hard on my Kitchen Aid."

gwashington1961 User ID: 6420190 132406
Reviewed Aug. 4, 2012

"This is the Basic cookie Dough Recipe mentioned in several other cookie directions. [Jelly sandwich Cookies; Crumb-Topped Date Bars; Cherry Surprise Cookies; chocolate Mallow Cookies]. Use this recipe to serve as the 'Base' for each of these recipes. This recipe will yield 8 cups (96 each) of the batter. Each recipe will provide you with the Nutritional Facts at the end of each recipe!"

MrsKase User ID: 3265136 53122
Reviewed Dec. 10, 2011

"I liked this recipe but it took half to make the sugar and the other half to make the cherry surprise so it did not stretch to make as many cookies as I had thought it would. Still a good recipe. Next week I am going to make it again and roll them into balls then Christmas sugars to make even shorter work of Christmas baking! I have a Kitchen Aid and this was fine but it would be hard on a hand mixer motor."

nadinas User ID: 4279916 65679
Reviewed Jan. 11, 2011

"The only thing I would recommend is mixing the dough with the flour until it starts to thicken, then add the rest by hand because my stand mixer started smoking it was so thick!!"

lmarryat User ID: 1273073 53121
Reviewed Dec. 19, 2010

"This is a very tasty cookie recipe and I've made this 2 years in a row at Christmas. The only change I'd make is adding 5 eggs instead of 2 - 2 eggs for 8 cups of flour is not enough!"

keith821 User ID: 972424 118977
Reviewed Dec. 6, 2008 Edited Nov. 30, 2015

"Whenever I make sugar cookies, I have always added 1 or 2 teaspoons of 'orange extract'.

I have 4 children aged 39 to 46 and this is the only way they were eat them. Also, add to butter frosting. Makes a really extra good flavor."

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