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alton brown's sugar cookies to eat

Alton Brown’s Best Sugar Cookies Recipe

  • Author: Matt
  • Total Time: 2 hours 23 minutes
  • Yield: 3 Dozen 1x


Alton Brown’s sugar cookies produce a perfect cookie for the holidays that can hold up to decorating, icing, and enjoying all holiday long.



3 cups All-Purpose Flour

3/4 teaspoon Baking Powder

1/4 teaspoon Salt

1 cup softened Unsalted Butter

1 cup Sugar

1 beaten Egg

1 tablespoon Milk

1/4 cup Powdered Sugar


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.


If you want the make the dough ahead, you can let the dough sit in the refrigerator overnight. Let it sit out at room temperature for an hour or two before rolling them out so it is soft enough to work with.

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.

  • Prep Time: 135
  • Cook Time: 8
  • Category: Baking & Pastry
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Alton Brown's Sugar Cookies, Sugar Cookies, Sugar Cookie Recipe, Perfect Sugar Cookies