The Vanilla Variation

Stacked sugar cookies with crisp, sharp edges - ready to be decorated

Remember the good old days when we ate End-All for Chocolate Cookies and talked about funny things like the fireman jumping off my balcony?  Did you know its been over a year since I shared that recipe with you all and peer pressured you into trying it? I'm such a good friend enabler.

Seriously, if you need help justifying an extra pair of jeans or a day floating on a river or something....I am your girl. An afternoon nap you say? How about a trip to Spain? You just call me right up and I'll get on it. I can even print it out on some kind of important looking letter-head thing and priority mail it to your husband/mother/boss/child's school teacher. I'm not really sure about gift wrap though. I could look into it if that's important to you.

 Umm....maybe just don't tell MY husband though, okay?

Because, clearly, I'm a little susceptible to peer pressure myself. I mean.. a VANILLA VARIATION??!! What? How did that happen?  (You guys are such good friends.)


The Vanilla Variation

A soft and chewy no-chill and no-spread vanilla roll out sugar cookie recipe.
prep time: 15 Mcook time: 30 Mtotal time: 45 M


  • 1 cup slightly softened unsalted butter (227 grams)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (300 grams)
  • 2 large eggs  (100 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (5 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract (5 grams)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt (4 grams)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder  (3 grams)
  • 4 (or 4 1/2 cups) flour (560 - 630 grams)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together.
  3. Add eggs, vanilla, and almond extract. Mix well.
  4. Add baking powder and salt and mix again.
  5. Add flour 1 cup at a time.
  6. IF YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE THESE COOKIES RIGHT AWAY, add 4 1/2 cups flour and go for it. No need to chill the dough. If you are not going to use the dough within 4-6 hours -- stop at 4 cups of flour.
  7. Bake at 375 F. If you roll to 1/4" thick, bake for about 7 minutes. If you roll to 3/8" thick, bake for about 9-11 minutes.
Created using The Recipes Generator


HOW IS THIS RECIPE DIFFERENT FROM THE VANILLA 2.O? -- The Vanilla 2.0 is slightly more dense and a little more chewy. The brown sugar gives it a light caramel flavor...kind of like a chocolate chip cookie without the chocolate chips!

The Vanilla Variation is a lighter cookie - both in color and texture.

MY DOUGH IS TOO SOFT! WHAT SHOULD I DO? -- If your dough is too soft, try adding a little more flour 1/2 cup at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the mixing bowl. ALSO... If it's very hot where you live and your butter was room temperature instead of just slightly softened - you might actually need to cool everything down in the fridge for 10 minutes before rolling out the dough.

MY DOUGH IS TOO DRY! WHAT SHOULD I DO? --  The two most common reasons for this dough turning out dry is:

1) Not using large eggs. It's SURPRISING what a difference that makes.

2) Using too much flour. I'm not saying you used more than the recipe calls for - but since this recipe is written by volume and not weight, you might be adding more flour depending on elevation and humidity. Next time you make this recipe, try starting with 1 cup less flour and adding flour until it's just right. But you can still save this batch too!

Luckily, the solution to both of them is the same -- Crack an egg into a bowl and whisk together. Mix a little at a time into the dry dough until the dough comes together again.

SHOULD I USE SALTED OR UNSALTED BUTTER? --  If we're talking purely about science - it doesn't matter in this recipe. It's purely a personal preference.  Use the butter you normally reach for. If you know you love things with just a little more salt - use salted butter. If you are someone who generally reduces salt in recipes - use unsalted butter.

Stacked vanilla sugar cookies with crisp sharp edges

HOW MANY COOKIES WILL THIS RECIPE MAKE? -- The yield for this recipe varies. It depends on how thick you roll your cookies. I can get about 3 dozen cookies when I roll them at 1/4 inch thick and use a 3 inch wide cookie cutter.

HOW DO I KNOW WHEN THEY ARE DONE? -- Watch the surface of the cookie. As the dough begins to bake, the butter starts melting - creating a shiny or "wet" look on the surface of the cookie. As it continues to bake, the outside edge of the cookie will look dry and the wet spot in the middle shrinks. When that shiny "wet" spot in the middle disappears and the entire surface of the cookie is dry -- your cookies are done!


1) You might be slightly over baking them.  I watch the surface of the cookies and when the shiny spot in the center looks dry instead of shiny... I know they are done.

2)  You might be using a little too much flour. If your butter was too warm to begin with, the dough will seem soft, and if you add more flour to make it not will turn out dry. OR you might be adding too much flour for the amount of time that the dough sits. - This is why the recipe has two different amounts of flour. As the dough sits, the flour continues to absorb more moisture...making the dough more dry.

HOW LONG ARE THESE COOKIES GOOD FOR? -- It depends on how they are stored, but generally you can expect these cookies to taste fresh for about 7-10 days at room temperature.

WHY ARE SOME OF YOUR METRIC CONVERSIONS DIFFERENT THAN THE ONES I GOOGLED? -- Because I'm a weirdo. Apparently I don't measure "to standard". 🤣🤣 I figured it was more important that you have the best possible metric weights than that I match a standard. I hope you don't mind.



If you only own one set of cutters...make sure it's THIS ONE.

Use a Joseph-Joseph ROLLING PIN to make sure all your cookies are the same thickness.

Sharp edged sugar cookies perfect for making decorated cookies


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