Iced Sugar Cookies

By Chef Megan Joy / April 7, 2013

When I was younger, I’d scrape the frosting off of sugar cookies and eat that part first. I’ve evolved a little bit since then, but I still do enjoy a good frosted cookie. It has to have the right balance though- the cookie either needs to be fluffy  (think Black and White Cookie), or crunchy, like these.

I made a half recipe of these cookies last week and they were gone in about two days, if that. They make a perfect snack with a big chilled glass of milk, or alongside that morning cup of coffee. From reading all of my posts, I realize it probably sounds like I eat dessert for breakfast. I’m not going to comment on that.

What I like about these cookies is that they get an extra dose of crunch from the sugar they are rolled in right before baking. They do sound very sweet, I know, but when rolled small (1″ balls), they are the perfect size. Kids will love them and you likely will too. The centers are still soft and tender, while the edges stay crisp.

The icing on top can be tinted any color you wish. Personally I think they look best in pastel hues, as sometimes too much food coloring can be unappetizing.

But the greatest thing about these cookies? They work at any altitude, and require no adjusting either way. Enjoy.





How to make this recipe:

Iced Sugar Cookies
Adapted from The Pastry Queen Parties by Rebecca Rather

2.0 from 1 reviews
Iced Sugar Cookies
Recipe type: High Altitude Baking
  • Cookie Dough:
  • 4 sticks (2 cups) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar, plus ½ cup for rolling
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Butter Icing:
  • ⅓ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 tablespoons (or more) whole milk, slightly warmed
  • 2 cups (or more) powdered sugar
  • 2-3 drops of food coloring (optional)
  1. To make the cookies: preheat your oven to 350 F.
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Beat the butter and 1 cup of sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
  4. Mix in the vanilla and salt.
  5. Add the flour and beat on low speed until combined.
  6. Roll the dough into 1" balls.
  7. Put the ½ cup sugar in a shallow bowl and toss each cookie to coat.
  8. Place the cookies ½" apart on the prepared baking sheet and flatten slightly by pressing down on the dough with the bottom of a juice glass. The cookies should be about ¼" thick.
  9. Bake until the bottoms begin to just turn golden brown, 8-12 minutes.
  10. Transfer to a cooling rack and frost while the cookies are slightly warm. Frosting them while cool is also completely fine.
  11. To make the icing: beat the ⅓ cup butter, vanilla, salt, and warm milk on low speed until combined.
  12. Add the powdered sugar and food coloring and beat on medium speed until smooth.
  13. if the icing seems too runny to spread, add a few tablespoons more of powdered sugar.
  14. If the icing seems to thick, add more milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until it reaches a spreadable consistency.
  15. Makes about 6 dozen cookies.


About the author

Chef Megan Joy

kelley {mountain mama cooks} - April 9, 2013

No eggs? I’m intrigued. I’ve never seen a sugar cookie recipe without eggs. They look amazing though so I’ll take your word and give them a go!

    Chef Megan Joy - April 9, 2013

    No eggs is correct. They’re so simple but that’s what makes them delicious! I really like this recipe.

Ashley - July 14, 2013

would these work at 9000+ feet and can I do them as cut out sugar cookies or will they lose their shape? thank you in advance

    Chef Megan Joy - July 14, 2013

    Hi Ashley- These should work at 9,000+ feet. I’m not sure how these would roll out and bake as cut-outs, but it’s work a shot. Maybe do a test on a small patch of dough first. Try freezing the cut-out cookies a few minutes before you pop them in the oven. this will help them keep their shape.

      Ashley - July 14, 2013

      Thank you so very much!

Chris Z - December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas! Wanted these to work but they did not form a soft ball…. any thoughts?
Happy New Year!
Park City, Utah 7000 ft:)

    Chef Megan Joy - December 26, 2014

    Hi Christina, it sounds like your flour is very dry, so just use less. To try these again, I would add the flour gradually, keeping in mind that you will not use the full amount. Add enough for the dough to form balls, but no more than that (or you’ll end up with a crumbly mess again!). Keep this in mind for other recipes- I usually measure out 1/2-1/4 cup less than the recipe calls for. If I need more, I’ll add it a tablespoon or so at a time. Our dry air also makes our flour a lot drier, so we don’t need as much sometimes.

Chris Z - December 26, 2014

Perfect Megan thank you! I will it, frosting was yummy as were hot cocoa cookies! Happy New Year!

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