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Sugar Cookie

A sugar cookie is a small sized, sweet tasting baked food, essentially made of flour, sugar, eggs, butter, vanilla and baking powder or soda. These cookies may be hand-shaped, hand rolled or cut into interesting shapes using cookie cutters. Sugar cookies are most often decorated with icing, sprinkles or both and are usually, characterized by their tender centers and crisp edges.

Types of Sugar Cookies

Cutout cookies: These sugar cookies which come in various interesting shapes, especially in the Holiday shapes during Christmas are made by cutting rolled out cookie dough into different shapes using cookie cutters. These are then, baked.

Drop cookies: These are the easiest to make cookies, where the cookie batter is simply spooned over greased cookie sheets and baked till golden.

Decorated sugar cookies: A sugar cookie can be iced in two different ways, one which uses buttercream frosting and another, where the icing is simply poured over the cooled cookies. Buttercream frosting has a soft-andfluffy appearance on the cookies, while the poured icing has a hard and shiny appearance on the cookie.

Filled cookies: Often, cookies contain a filling in the center, which may be that of jellies and jams

History of Sugar Cookie

Sugar cookie is thought to be the brain child of a baker in the Middle East, who, sometime back in the 17th century had started the business of selling mini batter cakes. This is believed to have revolutionized the concept of baking and birthed the idea of sugar based creations from cake batters, which now, we know by the name of sugar cookies. Many believe, the revolution was strengthened by the Nazareth colony Protestant settlers from Pennsylvania, who started baking these cookies in keystone shape that was the state’s symbol.

However, these sugary creations weren’t actually known by the name as they are known today. The recipe of these cookies first stirred the kitchens of entire Europe in the 17th century before moving on to the American continent, where these tasty treats were christened various interesting names ranging from jumbals, jumbles, gemmels and crybabies to plunkets.

The earliest cookies, which influenced the modern day sugar cookie recipe, were called Gimblettes in French and Cimbellines in Italian. But, these recipes were met with a large diversification owing to personal taste preferences, which also, diversified their names. The old-fashioned sugar cookies generally bore a firm to chewy and soft texture, although hard cookies were not uncommon either.

Sugar favored its way into these recipes solely because they resulted in softer and lighter bakes. While the finer sugar granules were used in baking crisper and flatter cookies, the larger granule sugar resulted in chewier and fluffier cookies.

Sugar Cookie Recipe: Ingredients Used and Traditional Method of Preparation


For this old fashioned recipe, which is most used during the holidays, ingredients such as baking powder, all-purpose flour, salt, white sugar, butter, lightly beaten eggs, half-and-half and vanilla extract are used.


A dough is first made mixing all the ingredients step by step,and then, chilled for easier rolling. The chilled dough is rolled out flat and cut into various shapes using the cookie cutters. These cookies are then laid out on the parchment paper, sprinkled with sugar or left just like that to be frosted later and finally, baked in a preheated oven until golden-brown. If the cookies have to be iced, they are cooled down for a few minutes, and then, decorated with frostings made of milk, confectioner’s sugar, light corn syrup, vanilla extract and/or food colors.

Serving and Eating Sugar Cookies

In Northern America, sugar cookie is popularly served during the Holidays, on the occasions of Halloween, New Year and Christmas. The cookies generally come with decorations, which may come in the form of flavored and colored royal icing with colored sugar sprinkles. Traditionally, these cookies are served as light treats accompanied by tea. They are also good as snacks.

Sugar Cookie Recipe: Popular Variations

Variations in the recipe of sugar cookie can be easily brought about by introducing additional flavoring ingredients like coconut, lemon and orange. Nuts like almonds and cashews may also be used to enrich the cookies. Furthermore, for chocolate sugar cookies, cocoa powder and/or chocolate chips may also be used. Dry fruits may also be used.

Spice sugar cookie is yet another version, which makes use of additional ingredients like allspice, cloves and cinnamon. Snickerdoodle is a popular version of sugar cookie with cracked surfaces, made using cinnamon sugar, butter, sugar, and flour.

Health and Nutrition Facts on Sugar Cookies

Sugar being the most prominent content of sugar cookies, these are easily inferable to be high in calories. However, it’s not only sugar which adds to the calories, but also the use of hydrogenated fats causes an impact. A 3-inch diameter sugar cookie packs in 66 calories, contributed by 8 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fat and a single gram of protein. More than 3 grams of carbohydrates are comprised by sugar alone, but being enriched with flour, these baked goods also contain Vitamins A, B and K. Additional icing, adds more calories from sugar and cream in the cookies. These cookies are generally recommended to be limited within 10 percent of the eater’s daily caloric intake. Being high in refined carbohydrates, these cookies can spike up blood sugar levels and overindulgence can also result in type 2 diabetes.

Sugar Cookie: Trivia

  • On 5th September, 2001, the Sugar cookie was adopted by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as its official cookie.

  • In United States, each year, 9th July is celebrated as the National Sugar Cookie Day.