Basic Sugar Cookies


It's December, and it's busy! Baker, Denise Balik, interim for Children's Education here at FPC Bethlehem, shares with us her basic sugar cookie recipe. You'll love how simple these are to make! When all is said and done make sure you host a decorating party at your house for your friends and family! 

Basic Sugar Cookies by Denise Balik. Simply delicious. Photo by Amanda Danziger.


1 cup (two sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar 
1 egg
2-3 tsp. flavoring (Almond or Vanilla extract)
2 ¾ - 3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
tsp. salt.


Basic Sugar Cookie Recipe:

1.     Cream together softened butter and confectioner’s sugar. Crack the egg into a separate bowl, and add the flavoring.  Add that to the butter sugar mixture and mix well. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt, then add little by little to the mixture. The dough is ready when most of it sticks to the paddle. When touched, it has a little give, but does not stick to fingers. If dough is too sticky, add a little more flour.

2.     Roll out on parchment to about 1/4 of an inch thick, use flour for dusting as necessary. Then, cut and bake at 375 degrees for 7-9 minutes. 

A note from Denise:

The dough does not need to be refrigerated. The dough needs to rest a little after mixing, it will firm up a little bit after a minute or two. If it is still too sticky, you can put it in the fridge for 15 minutes or so to firm up more.

If the cookies spread too much for your taste, you can add extra flour or less leavener. I find cutting the cookies out and putting the whole tray in the freezer for a few minutes before baking prevents them from spreading so much. 

I always let my cookies cool and dry out for at least a day before decorating so the oil does not leach out into my royal icing.

The cookies and dough freeze well if you want to make ahead of time! 


4lbs (about 2 bags) confectioner's sugar
3/4 cup meringue powder
1 1/3 - 1 1/2 cup warm water
2-4 tbsp. oil-free extract or flavoring*

*A note from Denise: I prefer Vanilla, but any flavor can be used. 

Royal Icing Recipe:

1.     Add the dry ingredients first. Use the mixer’s whisk attachment to incorporate the sugar and meringue powder.

2.     Add the extract to the water and slowly add it to the dry ingredients while mixing. At first the icing will be very liquid-like.

3.     Continue to mix at medium-high speed until it is fluffy and stiff peaks form, about 7-10 minutes. Mixing times are approximate, keep your eye on icing and stop mixing as soon as it becomes stiff. Over mixing and oil-containing extracts can keep the icing from setting up, so keep this in mind as you work. 

A note from Denise: 

Make sure your mixing bowl is clean and oil-free.  Oil can keep icing from setting up.

Royal icing will keep at least 3 weeks to a month. I usually put it in a glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap pushed down against the icing and then top with an airtight lid (or Press and Seal if the bowl does not have a lid).  A damp paper towel can be placed on top of the plastic wrap under the lid to retain icing moisture.  Icing can also be refrigerated.

Recipe adapted from

A big thanks to Denise for sharing her sugar cookie recipe with us! Happy pinning, and cookie decorating from #FPCOasis!