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5 from 1 vote

Vanilla Sugar Cookies

These Vanilla Sugar Cookies make a great holiday cookie, they're perfect for decorating with icing and candy but are also delicious plain.
Course Dessert, Dessert/ snack
Keyword Christmas Cookies, Cookies, Vanilla
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chilling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 45 cookies
Calories 51kcal
Author Adapted from Canadian Living


  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt


  • In the bowl of a mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, scrapping the sides of the bowl at least once.
  • Add egg and vanilla and beat until well mixed.
  • Reduce the speed of the mixer and add the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix until well blended.
  • Remove the dough and divide it in two parts. Form a disk with each half and wrap it with wax paper or saran wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
  • Position a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Line baking sheets with non-stick baking liners or parchment paper.
  • When ready to start, remove one disk from the refrigerator (leave the other one in until you are ready to use it). Between sheets of waxed paper (or on a lightly floured counter), roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thickness.
  • With cookie cutter, cut out shapes, and place cookies onto baking sheet, 1 inch apart. If the cookies are breaking as you move them you can use a spatula to move them onto the baking sheet.
  • Gather the dough scraps and re-roll, cutting as many cookies as possible.
  • Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until pale golden on bottoms and edges, about 10 minutes.
  • Let cookies cool for a couple of minutes on baking sheet before moving onto racks to cool completely.
  • The baked, undecorated cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days and can be frozen for up to 1 month; thaw cookies in the refrigerator before decorating.
  • Once cookies are decorated they can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 days. I decorated the cookies using leftover royal icing that came with our ready to assemble gingerbread house. Make sure you add the candy (I used dragées) before the royal icing sets.
  • Let the cookies sit on the rack until the icing is set, about 3 hours. Store the decorated cookies, in single layers between waxed paper in an airtight container or a pretty cookie tin if gifting them.


The preparation time includes the time the dough rests in the refrigerator.
This recipe does not include the recipe for royal icing, but a good one can be found here:


Calories: 51kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 9mg | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 100IU | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 0.1mg