Alton Brown’s sugar cookies produce a perfect cookie for the holidays that can hold up to decorating, icing, and enjoying all holiday long.
Serves: 3 dozen Time: 2 hrs 25 minutes Cookbook: Good Eats: The Cookie Clause
It’s that time of the year again! Can you hear the jingle bells jingling? The carolers caroling? The music as it fills every corner of the store and every street? The twinkly lights as they make even the darkest, coldest night happy and warm?
What better way to welcome in the season than by sipping on a white chocolate mocha and baking a delicious batch of Christmas cookies?
Today, we feature a recipe from a Food Network favorite – Alton Brown. This mad scientist of the culinary world has recipe tested the perfect cookie recipe for the enjoyment of all. And once you’ve had an Alton Brown sugar cookie, you might never go back to your former cookie recipe again.
These produce a perfect cookie that can hold up to decorating with royal icing, sprinkles, and any host of other confectionary toppings you and your kids want to put on top. So let’s get to it!
- ❤️ Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- 🌲 Ingredients Needed to Make Alton Brown’s Sugar Cookies
- 🍴 Equipment You’ll Need in the Kitchen
- 🥄 How to Make Alton Brown’s Sugar Cookies
- ♾️ Variations on Alton Brown’s Sugar Cookies
- ❓ Alton Brown’s Sugar Cookies: Tips, Tricks, and FAQs
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Easy: This is one of the easiest cookie recipes there is. The stand mixer does all the hard work, leaving you to roll out the dough, cut the shapes, bake, and decorate.
Kid-Friendly: The sugar cookie dough is perfect for cutting out shapes and decorating. Kids of all ages will love getting to help cut their favorite shape, watching it bake, then decorating it just a few minutes afterward when it cools.
Perfect: This sugar cookie recipe turns out perfect sugar cookies that are just right to decorate. They’re the classic sugar cookie – a firm, not overly soft cookie that can hold up to frosting, decorating, and little hands pressing out their favorite cookie shapes.
Ingredients Needed to Make Alton Brown’s Sugar Cookies
- All-Purpose Flour: All purpose flour is the standard ingredient for sugar cookies and this recipe works best with AP flour.
- Baking Powder: This will provide just the right rise for your cookies.
- Salt: A fine-grain salt is ideal for this recipe, so go with table salt instead of larger grain kosher salt.
- Unsalted Butter: Only use unsalted butter when baking. You’ll add just the right amount of salt; any more salt and the sugar cookies wouldn’t turn out correctly.
- Sugar: White granulated sugar is the basis for sugar cookies and you’ll enjoy the taste this produces for these delightful Christmastime creations.
- Egg: One large egg is needed. If you have small or medium eggs, a second egg might be required.
- Milk: any percent milk works well for this recipe.
- Powdered Sugar: Rather than flouring your surface, you’ll powder sugar it before rolling out the cookie dough.
Equipment Needed In the Kitchen
- Stand Mixer: The stand mixer does all the hard work for you in this recipe and it’s an invaluable tool. We have the kitchen aid featured here and use it all the time.
- Rimmed Sheet Pan: You’ll want more than one pan in order to bake through the batch of cookies quickly.
- Rolling Pin: Any type of rolling pin will work well. We have a wood rolling pin and find that it works beautifully.
- Fine Mesh Strainer: You’ll need to sift the dry ingredients so a fine mesh strainer is perfect.
- Wire Rack: A wire rack that fits into the baking sheets will help your cookies cool quickly.
- Pastry Mat: We use our pastry mat every time we need to roll out dough or make cookies. It keeps our countertops nice and clean while providing a perfect place to make bread and cookies.
- Parchment Paper: Use parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet to line the sheet pan and prevent the cookies from sticking.
How to Make Alton Brown’s Sugar Cookies
Alton Brown’s recipe will turn out a batch of perfect sugar cookies to delight the whole family. Get ready to become your family’s go-to baker from this year forward.
Make the dough
Get out your butter and allow it to start coming to room temperature. If needed, 5 seconds in the microwave will soften it beautifully.
Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl, then set aside the flour mixture.
Place butter and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until light in color. Next, beat the egg yolk then add the egg and milk and combine in the mixer.
Turn the mixer on low speed, add the flour a bit a time. Beat until the batter starts forming a ball and the mixture pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
If you find the batter a bit crumbly, add a tablespoon of milk at a time and mix again. Repeat until the dough cleanly pulls away from the side of the bowl.
Divide the dough in half. Wrap the dough in waxed paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Roll out the dough
After the dough has chilled for two hours, you’re ready to roll it out.
Take out a pastry mat or prepare an area to roll out the dough. Sprinkle surface liberally with powdered sugar to prevent the dough from sticking. Rub it on the rolling pin liberally, as well.
Remove one portion of the dough from the refrigerator and keep the other half chilled.
Roll out the dough until it’s 1/4 inch thick. At this point, you can pick your favorite shapes and cut the cookies. Place them at least 1-inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Note: These are not particularly chewy cookies, so if you want a chewier cookie make them 1/2 inch thick and subtract a minute or two from the baking time.
Bake the cookies
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes. Halfway through the baking time, rotate the cookie sheet. The cookies are done when they first start turning brown on the edges.
After you pull the tray out of the oven, let the cookies sit on the sheet for two minutes. Then, move the cookies to a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before frosting and decorating.
Variations on Alton Brown’s Sugar Cookies
Want to play around with some fun flavor variations? Try these!
Vanilla Cinnamon Sugar Cookies: Add 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon to the recipe. The added flavor and aroma during baking will bring the neighbors over to your home with this recipe!
Orange Sugar Cookies: Add 1 teaspoon of orange extract to the recipe. The sweet, citrusy cookie is sure to be a hit with everyone you know!
Alton Brown’s Sugar Cookies: Tips, Tricks, and FAQs
After they’ve completely cooled, you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature.
They will stay fresh for up to 1 week when stored in an airtight container.
Absolutely! You can let the dough sit in the refrigerator overnight, but you might need to let it sit out at room temperature for an hour or two before it is soft enough to work. If you freeze the dough, put it in the refrigerator a day or two before you’re ready to make them so it can fully thaw.