The Search Is OVER! The Best Sugar Cookie Recipe Ever!

Original post at my old Dusty Parachute page.

I have exciting news for you all – After 42 years on this planet, I have finally achieved my goal in life!

I know what you’re saying to yourself.  “Wow, I wish I could achieve my goal in life, maybe I should work harder!”  Maybe you should.  Because then you could be like me, 42 years old without a single care in the world, living the rest of my life free and easy because I’m no longer burdened by my life-long goal of finding the perfect sugar cookie recipe.

I set this lofty goal for myself approximately 34.7 years ago, (but who’s counting,) when our wonderful neighbor, Mrs. Jones made all of the neighbor kids their own personalized cookies for Valentine’s Day. 

These weren’t just any sugar cookies.  They had the perfect texture: moist but not mushy, and the flavor was like if huffing vanilla extract tasted like it smelled.  It was an experience straight out of the pages of Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, where Charlie would take the tiniest of bites in order to savor every tiny morsel of his candy bar.  Except in my case, I ate gigantic bites in a circular (heart shaped) motion, chomping it like a cookie-eating record player, only briefly pausing to admire my name written in cursive icing in the center, before shoving that in my mouth too.

And then it was gone.  Forever.

I didn’t realize at that moment that I had just set myself up for 35 years of a hollow space in my stomach….I will go as far to say a hollow space in my soul, that could only be filled by experiencing that same amazing, perfect cookie joy that I experienced that day.

I have tried to replicate this cookie over the years.  I even went so far as having my mom ask Mrs. Jones for her recipe.  As with most wonderful things that come from the Jones kitchen, the delicious results apparently came from some special Jones-magic, and not just the recipe because my cookies were not even close.

Last year for Halloween I decided to do some Google’ing and see if a search for “Best Soft Sugar Cookie” would yield any winners.  I tried two different recipes: one ended up dry and crumbly and the other was moist yet flavorless and neither did a great job of holding the shape of the cookie cutter that I used.

This year for Valentine’s Day, I decided to kick my search up a notch and went to the place where mommy-notches can get no higher:  Pinterest.  I searched for “Best soft sugar cookie recipe” which resulted in approximately 8 zillion recipes (and an ad for Sriracha…which is amazing in its own way.)

Most of the recipes looked pretty similar to the ones I had already tried over the years but after some searching I narrowed it down to two recipes: one with sour cream and one with creme cheese.  The deciding factor was “which of those two ingredients would I like to have leftovers of in my fridge?”  So the creme cheese recipe won.

World's Best Sugar Cookie Recipe - The Dusty Parachute
“One of things is doing it’s own thing…One of these things is not quite the same…..”

As with most things that happen in my house, my cookie-baking photos are just Instagram-worthy as the pros.

For example, to add a splash of color to the photo, I always make sure to pick my spatula with the navy handle.  (No, I didn’t steal this picture from Martha Stewart Magazine, that’s all mine.)  As you can tell by the brown dribble of “who knows what” staining the side of my mixer, my KitchenAid is 98% metal and 2% salmonella from leftover splashes of the last thing I baked.

World's Best Sugar Cookie Recipe - The Dusty Parachute

And only the finest, mismatched, hand-me-down, vintage measuring cups from my Great Aunt Emily will do.

World's Best Sugar Cookie Recipe - The Dusty Parachute

I think that more food blogs should fess up and photograph themselves while they sample their work with toddler utencils.

World's Best Sugar Cookie Recipe - The Dusty Parachute

Fun fact:  Almond extract does not appear to contain almonds.  This is almost as as disturbing as when our dairy-allergy friends informed me that boxed chocolate cake mixes and frosting are safe for them because they do not contain dairy.  The More You Know.

World's Best Sugar Cookie Recipe - The Dusty Parachute

See….it looks just like when the pros do it!

World's Best Sugar Cookie Recipe - The Dusty Parachute

Since I live in Texas, I’m more used to making biscuits than cookies, so I may have gone a little overboard on the flouring of the work surfaces.  However, the dough can be a little sticky so a little extra flour makes it much more manageable.

World's Best Sugar Cookie Recipe - The Dusty Parachute

Especially after my first round of cut outs ended up in a cursing Instagram photo.

World's Best Sugar Cookie Recipe - The Dusty Parachute

In the end, I was excited to see that the cookies looked amazing.  They kept their shape beautifully that even passed the ‘black-diamond-of-difficulty’ cookie-cutter test: the Darth Vader cookie cutter.

World's Best Sugar Cookie Recipe - The Dusty Parachute
It’s a miracle! Hearts that actually still look like hearts!

I have never managed to make any cookie with these cutters where they didn’t poof up to look more like Jabba the Hut.

World's Best Sugar Cookie Recipe
Yeah, one’s missing…stop judging me!

But most importantly, they are delicious!  And not just right out of the oven delicious.  Delicious even the next morning with or without frosting on them! (Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, kids.)

Oh yeah – You probably want the actual recipe. You can find it over at Lil’ Luna {all things good} Sure, I could have just told you that 800 words ago but this recipe is so good I wanted to make sure you earned it.

Happy eating!

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And while you’re making these delicious cookies, go listen to my new podcast with my friend Missy! Mom & … Podcast.