Vanilla Sugar Cookies

Note: This article may contain commentary or the author's opinion.

Every year around the holidays, I make a couple batches of these cookies to bring to my various Christmas gatherings. Every time I bring these somewhere, someone asks for the recipe. Although these are a Christmas tradition of mine, they are versatile and can be made for any occasion (or no occasion, I don’t judge). They are soft and chewy and have the perfect amount of vanilla.


  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Favorite sugar sprinkles


  1. Mix flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt in a bowl until combined. Set aside.
  2. With a handheld electric mixture, beat the 2 sticks of butter in a large bowl on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  3. Add sugar and beat until well blended, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
  4. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract until soft-medium peaks begin to form.
  5. Using a mixing spoon, gradually mix in the dry ingredients. Once you get to the remaining amount of the flour mixture, use your hands to combine. Once combined, the dough should be able to hold it’s shape and molded.
  6. Refrigerate dough overnight.
  7. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Pour your sugar sprinkles onto a shallow plate.
  8. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and roll in the sugar. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet.
  9. Bake for 6-8 minutes or until lightly browned.
  10. Let cool on the baking sheet for 1-3 minutes, then move to wire rack until completely cool.


  • Recipe makes about 24 medium sized cookies, but you can easily make them smaller or larger, whichever your preference.
  • Make sure to mix the ingredients in the right order according to the directions. Changing this or the tools you mix with can alter the texture of the cookies.
  • Let your dough chill! I make the dough the day before I want to bake them, but if you are pressed for time, I recommend letting it sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours. This ensures the cookies don’t spread out too much when you bake them.
  • Have fun with the sugar colors! I usually do red and green during Christmas, but I have also made pink ones for Valentine’s Day and blue ones for 4th of July. If you prefer not to use added dyes, regular sugar works just as well.

"*" indicates required fields

Do you call it a casserole or hot dish?*
This poll gives you free access to our premium politics newsletter. Unsubscribe at any time.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.