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Smooth Sailing Sugar Cookies

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
    about 4 dozen


  • 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


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Nutrition Facts
2 each: 172 calories, 8g fat (5g saturated fat), 30mg cholesterol, 172mg sodium, 23g carbohydrate (11g sugars, 0 fiber), 2g protein.
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Average Rating:
  • Susie
    Dec 13, 2019

    These are the best sugar cookies I have ever had! We make these all the time for every occasion. My adult children text me for this recipe at least once a year. They bake nicely, they decorate easily, and they keep very well.

  • ms062521
    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
    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
    Oct 17, 2010

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

  • ladyboom
    Feb 10, 2010

    No comment left

  • cmott
    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
    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!

  • Joan
    Apr 1, 2007

    No comment left