Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies

old-fashioned sugarsWhy do we leave out cookies and milk for Santa? Well, if you’re flying all around the world leaving gifts for all the good girls and boys, you’re probably in need of a bit of refreshment. Maybe one year, someone left Santa a note asking what he preferred, and he responded with a request for cookies and milk.

I bet Santa loves to visit the homes of bakers, where all manner of treats await. I also wonder what his favorite cookie is; there are so many to choose from, both store-bought and homemade. Does he like Oreos? Or Nutter Butters? Perhaps he prefers shortbread, or oatmeal raisin?

I like to think that Santa is an excellent judge of good cookies, and I bet he’d like this classic, old-fashioned sugar cookie. It is at once crunchy and soft, the kind of cookie that you’ll find in any bakery, the kind of cookie that needs no frosting to enhance its flavor…the kind of cookie that is perfect to leave on a plate next to your Christmas tree, in gratitude to Saint Nick and his kindness.


  • 1 cup butter, softenend
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar, for rolling


In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until very well-combined.

Add eggs, cream of tartar, baking soda, vanilla, and salt; beat on medium speed until well-combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Gradually beat in flour, scraping the sides of the bowl to ensure that all flour is well-incorporated. Cover dough with plastic wrap and chill for about 1 1/2 hours, until dough is firm and easy to handle.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line several baking sheets with parchment or foil.

Place 1/2 cup sugar in a small bowl.

Using a 1-inch cookie scoop, scoop out dough and roll into balls. Roll balls in sugar and place about 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 9-11 minutes, until tops are cracked and cookies are just golden. Cool on cookie sheets for about 5 minutes before placing on wire racks to cool completely.