Basic Sugar Cookies - Tried and True Since 1960 Recipe -
Basic Sugar Cookies - Tried and True Since 1960 Recipe
  • READY IN hrs

Basic Sugar Cookies - Tried and True Since 1960

Recipe by  

"This is my backwoods Mississippi grandmother's own customized sugar cookie dough recipe. Royal icing is recommended, but these are also wonderful without icing. Very light and buttery. My mom stuck with it, and we grew up eating the raw cookie dough before snacking on the cookies at holidays. This will always be my basic cookie dough recipe. It's very quick and easy to make a batch of this dough and to customize. These are common ingredients easily found in most sparsely-stocked kitchens. You don't have to be a master chef to get a batch of these cookies to turn out well."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 4 dozen cookies Change Servings
  • PREP

    30 mins
  • COOK

    15 mins

    2 hrs 45 mins


  1. Mix self-rising flour, butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and salt thoroughly in a bowl; beat at least 5 minutes. Refrigerate dough at least 2 hours to overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C).
  3. Roll dough out on a floured work surface using a lightly floured rolling pin; cut cookies out with cutters. Place cookies onto baking sheets.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until cookie bottoms are lightly golden brown, about 15 minutes.
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  • Cook's Notes:
  • I've always been told that everything in baking will turn out better if you set out all the refrigerated ingredients to come close to room temperature. I'm a good kid, so I do what I'm told. I let the butter and eggs sit out for about 15 to 20 minutes to get close to room temperature.
  • I personally add close to two cups for very sugary dough, but I'll never tell my grandmother that!
  • If you don't double the sugar to almost two cups and instead keep it at one cup, you'll get an airy shortbread taste that goes well with raspberry jam, another favorite cookie of mine. So simple, yet looks and tastes like a million bucks! This recipe is kid-friendly after the mixing process. It's just quicker to have an adult do it, since you combine all the ingredients together at once. But the rolling out and cookie cutting is great! I helped my mom when I was little, and she did the same with her mom with this very same recipe. It's so simple and easy to make a tradition within families. You'll never know how much fun you'll have until you try it with your kids! If you want to make it really fun, you can easily add food coloring to the light-colored dough for great, fun results!
  • My grandmother recommends baking at 350 degrees until the edges turn brown to get crispy, yummy cookies, but I recommend dialing it down to maybe 275-300 degrees and only take them out when the bottoms are light golden brown. They're still very crumbly, but a little soft and irresistible to bite into.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jan 03, 2013

Use only unsalted butter or margarine - not using the right butter could add a more salty taste to your dough. Also use salt with a fine grain, not any sea salt or anything that wouldn't blend in well. Mine have never tasted salty before. But unless you tweak the recipe, be sure to note these are a bit more airy and less sweet than today's normal sugar cookies. Some people won't like these, but hey - there's people out there who don't like chocolate, either.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Jan 01, 2013

I followed the directions and they taste salty. I kept thinking I did something wrong, but I know I didn't. I truly do not prefer sweet sugar cookies, I prefer tea cakes over sugary cookies. The only reason I gave 2 stars is because they baked pretty. I am sorry for a bad review, but I don't want someone else to make these not knowing to add more sugar. If you make these, add the 2 cups of sugar as in the author's suggestions.


10 Ratings

Jan 03, 2013

Use only unsalted butter or margarine - that could add a salty taste to your cookies if you go for the smaller amount of sugar. Also, use salt with a fine grain, not sea salt or anything larger that won't blend in the dough. Mine have never tasted salty before, so I'm not sure how that taste would happen. But unless you tweak the recipe, these aren't overly sweet cookies like other basic recipes.

Jan 11, 2014


Mar 06, 2013

Really good recipe, easy to follow, but I suggest leaving out the extra salt! I made my own self rising flour.

Mar 29, 2015

Made it with just the one cup sugar and frosted with buttercream. The cookies aren't too sweet for lots of frosting. Whole family loved them for our cookie-decorating party, and they even kept well for at least a couple days.

Mar 03, 2014

Do have to add vanilla extract


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  • Calories
  • 81 kcal
  • 4%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 10 g
  • 3%
  • Cholesterol
  • 18 mg
  • 6%
  • Fat
  • 4.1 g
  • 6%
  • Fiber
  • 0.2 g
  • < 1%
  • Protein
  • 1.1 g
  • 2%
  • Sodium
  • 141 mg
  • 6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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