A recipe for vintage sugar cookies that are sweet, soft, and loved by little ones. Shortening makes this recipe soft and chewy and they’re super simple to make.
Table of contents
❤️ Why you’ll love this recipe
- Kid-friendly. These are a basic recipe that truly everyone loves.
- Easiest cookie ever! Sugar cookies can be a big production when you do cut-out shapes, royal icing, and all the rest. (I do love to do this a few times a year, and I use this cut-out cookie recipe.) This recipe is a simple drop sugar cookie recipe that’s quick to make and still delicious. It’s perfect to make with kids, as it is over quickly, isn’t too fussy, and sprinkling sugar is fun.
- Yummy. Soft and chewy, with a sugary crunch… what’s not to love?
This is an overview of the ingredients. You’ll find the full measurements and instructions in the printable recipe at the bottom of the page.
You’ll need the following for this simple sugar cookie recipe:
- unsalted butter
- white sugar
- vanilla extract
- all-purpose flour
- baking powder
- baking soda
- coarse or colored sugar for rolling (buy it in bulk for the best price)
Step One: make the dough
This recipe is so simple! To get started, preheat your oven to 375 degrees with the rack in the center. If you have a convection oven, set it at 350. You can also bake two trays of cookies at once, if you switch them halfway through.
Using an electric mixer, beat the shortening, butter, and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy, which will take about three to five minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on medium until combined.
In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, one-third at a time, mixing on low. Mix until the cookie dough is just combined.
Step Two: shape and bake
To shape the cookies, scoop the dough out about a tablespoon at a time. It will be quite soft; this is normal! Place them onto the cookie sheet with parchment paper on top about two inches apart; they will spread as they bake.
You can shape it into balls and roll them in sugar, or you can just scoop it out onto the cookie sheet and sprinkle the sugar on top.
Using a glass, press the dough balls very gently to flatten them.
Bake for 11-13 minutes until the edges are light golden brown. This will yield a soft cookie with slightly crisp edges. For a crisper, more crumbly cookie, bake up to 15 minutes.
Let them cool for a minute on the baking sheet and then transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
🥫 Storage instructions
Like all drop cookies, the dough freezes well. Set the dough balls on a parchment baking sheet, press with the glass, and sprinkle with sugar. Then freeze them for about 8 hours, until frozen solid. They can then be transferred to a freezer bag or vacuum sealer bag to freeze for a longer period of time.
If you have a vacuum sealer, the little balls of dough will stay fresh for up to a year. If you’re storing them in a freezer bag, they will keep a month or two.
To bake the frozen dough, simply place on a prepared baking sheet and bake as directed in the original recipe, adding 1-2 minutes to the baking time.
You COULD, but the shortening really gives you a great, chewy texture.
Yes, otherwise they’ll be little round balls.
👩🏻🍳 Expert tips
- Don’t underbake these! The edges should be golden brown when you take them out of the oven!
📘 Related Recipes
- Molasses cookies are another soft drop cookie rolled in sugar.
- If it’s almost Christmas (or even if it isn’t!), check out this list of the best vintage Christmas cookie recipes.
- Oatmeal cookies get a modern twist when you add white chocolate and cranberries
📖 Here’s the recipe
Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- ½ cup shortening
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- Coarse/ colored sugar for rolling
- Preheat oven to 375 or (350 convection). Prepare two baking sheets by lining with parhcment paper.
- Cream butter, shortening, and sugar in stand mixer for about 3 minutes, until creamy and fluffy. Scrape down sides and combine again. Add egg and vanilla, mix on medium until combine.
- Combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a separate mixing bowl. On low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to butter mixture until combined.
- Roll into tablespoon-sized balls and place on parchment lined baking sheets. (Dough will be soft.) Gently flatten with a glass. Sprinkle with colored sugar. (Alternatively, roll in sugar before baking for sugar on both sides.)
- Bake 11-13 minutes, or until set. They will be light in color but the edges should be starting to turn golden. Store in cookie jar up to 3 days or freeze fully baked up to 1 month.
Enjoy this recipe!