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The Best Sugar Cookies | One Dough Three Ways!

Make life easy this holiday season by whipping up a big batch of the BEST sugar cookie dough and making three simple and tasty cookie variations--your holiday cookie plates will thank you!
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings 4 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • For the Master Sugar Cookie Dough
  • 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups heavy cream, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 8 teaspoons baking powder
  • 8 cups flour
  • (Variation #1) Cookie Bars with Buttercream Frosting
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 8 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Food coloring and sprinkles, optional
  • (Variation #2) Hazlenut Cookie Sandwiches
  • 1 cup Nutella, room temperature
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting
  • (Variation #3) Peppermint Bark Cookies
  • 8 oz. white chocolate chips, melted
  • 1 cup crushed peppermint candy, for sprinkling

Instructions

  • To make the master sugar cookie dough: Cream the butter until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Add baking powder and flour and mix well.
  • Separate dough into 3 even balls. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for an hour (or overnight).
  • To bake all variations of cookies, preheat oven to 350.
  • To make Variation #1: Cookie Bars
    Line a 9 x 13 baking pan with a Reynolds parchment paper baking sheet. Use your hands to press a third of the master dough (perhaps a little less) into the pan. The dough should be about ¼-inch thick. Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes, or until the very edges of the pan look golden brown. Cool completely and then frost with buttercream (recipe just below) and top with sprinkles. Cut into squares before serving.
  • For the frosting, cream the butter until light and fluffy, about five minutes. Add half the powdered sugar, and all of the milk and vanilla. Beat until smooth and creamy, then add remaining sugar a cup at a time until you get a thick, fluffy frosting. Add a few drops of pink food coloring and beat until well combined.
  • For Variation #2: Hazlenut Cookie Sandwiches
    Use the second chilled ball of dough. Divide the dough into two (to make rolling easier). Line a work surface with parchment paper and lightly flour the surface. Put half of the dough on the floured paper and roll dough thin, about ⅛ inch (cookies will rise in the oven). Use a 3-inch circle cookie cutter to stamp out cookies. Use a metal icing tip to stamp out centers of half of the cookies. Repeat until you use the rest of the dough. Bake cookies for 5-8 minutes, until bottoms are very light brown. Cool cookies completely. Spread 1 teaspoon of hazlenut spread on the bottom cookie and sandwich with the top. Dust with powdered sugar.
  • For Variation #3: Peppermint Bark Cookies.
    Use the third chilled ball of dough. Divide the dough into two (to make rolling easier). Line a work surface with parchment paper and lightly flour the surface. Put half of the dough on the floured paper and roll dough to about ¼-inch (thicker than the hazlenut cookies). Use a cup or large circle cookie cutter to stamp out cookies. Repeat until you use the rest of the dough. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes, until bottoms are very light brown. Cool cookies completely. Dip half of the cookie into melted white chocolate and sprinkle with crushed peppermint candy.

Notes

All cookies can be made in advance before frosting. Store in large plastic containers separated with layers of parchment paper sheets.