Recipe Review

My New Go-to Sugar Cookie Recipe Is Equal Parts Easy and Delicious

updated Dec 9, 2021
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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk; Headshot: Lucy Hewett

Cookbook author and blogger Jocelyn Delk Adams, of Grandbaby Cakes, has become one of my favorite bakers to follow. She writes Southern-inspired recipes that not only taste as good as they look, but also have earned high marks in Kitchn’s recipe showdown series. As I refined my list of sugar cookie competitors, I knew I had to give Jocelyn’s recipe a try. Her how-to recipe promises to be the best and most versatile sugar cookie recipe around.

Jocelyn claims her cookies have enough sweet, vanilla flavor to be eaten on their own, or they can be coated in festive frosting. I gathered a simple list of ingredients and made notes of all Jocelyn’s recipe tips. Here’s what happened when I baked a batch in my kitchen.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk; Headshot: Lucy Hewett

How To Make Grandbaby Cakes’ Sugar Cookies

Whisk all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt together in a mixing bowl; set aside. Cream unsalted butter and granulated sugar together in a stand mixer until soft, light, and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla extract to the mixer and continue mixing until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Reduce the speed of the mixer and slowly add 1/3 of the flour mixture at a time, mixing until incorporated before adding more.

Divide the dough into four pieces, shape into disks, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate. Once chilled, roll the cookies out on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper. The dough should be 1/8-inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut the cookies and bake for 9 to 12 minutes, but do not overbake.

Note: In order to bake all sugar cookies in this showdown on the same day, doughs were made and chilled one day in advance of baking.

Credit: Patty Catalano

My Honest Review of Grandbaby Cakes’ Sugar Cookies

Going into this taste test, I considered this cookie the defacto control recipe. The ingredients were basic, with nothing unexpected, and the procedure was clear and straightforward. Despite the simplicity (or maybe because of it!) these cut-out sugar cookies were the best I baked that day.

Most bakers will recognize the mixing method — mix dry ingredients in one bowl, cream butter and sugar in another. Add eggs and vanilla to the butter, then slowly mix in the flour. The dough was slightly dry after mixing, but not crumbly. After spending time in the refrigerator, the flour absorbed some of the moisture and the fats hardened, making the chilled dough easy to roll and cut out. The dough was rolled thin (about 1/8-inch thick) which contributed to the cookies’ deliciously crispy texture, and they held their shape when baked. The only watch-out is to monitor the bake time, as these thin cookies can go from lightly golden to dark brown in an instant.

As promised, these cookies have a balanced vanilla-sugary flavor. In fact, these were the only cookies whose flavor and texture were perfect all on their own, even without a drizzle of icing or a sprinkle of sparkling sugar.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

If You’re Making Grandbaby Cakes’ Sugar Cookies, a Few Tips

  1. Adjust thickness for a more tender cookie. While I love a crispy sugar cookie, if you want one with more bite and tenderness, roll the dough 1/4-inch-thick instead of 1/8-inch-thick.
  2. Roll between parchment before chilling. Jocelyn makes the dough easier to roll by dividing it into quarters before chilling, but I suggest taking it one step further. Roll the portions of dough between two sheets of parchment before chilling for quick cut-outs and less cracking.
  3. Be mindful of bake time. While Jocelyn advises not to overbake, you’ll still want the edges to brown slightly, as this contributes to their flavor. Keep an eye on them when they’re in the oven and pull them out as soon as you see that browning.

Overall rating: 10/10

Have you tried Grandbaby Cakes’ Sugar Cookies? Tell us what you thought in the comments.