In my opinion, sugar cookies are the quintessential holiday cookie. But let’s face it: the store-bought stuff? Disappointing. They’re lackluster in taste, with far too many shelf-stable ingredients.
We worked very hard to come up with a better sugar cookie. We tested. And tested. We think we nailed the recipe. But then, we realized the sugar cookie mix makes a super gift for friends and family. All they need to do is add a lil’ melted butter and an egg, et voilà: fresh, warm sugar cookies bursting with buttery vanilla deliciousness.
The ingredients are straightforward, with one surprising exception: 4 cups of all-purpose flour, 3 cups of sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and 4 teaspoons of vanilla powder. Vanilla powder is vanilla extract that’s been dried with a cornstarch base, making it the perfect addition to the dry sugar cookie mix. You can find vanilla powder in the baking aisle at some grocery stores (or order it online!). If you can’t find vanilla powder, have no fear. You can add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract along with the melted butter and egg when baking your cookies.
Once you’re done making the mix, transfer it to an airtight container (maybe a Mason jar?), add festive decorations, and you’re good to go! This DIY sugar cookie mix is sure to put a sweet smile on any baker’s face, big or small.
DIY Sugar Cookie Mix
Makes enough for 4 batches of cookies
For the cookie mix: In extra-large bowl, combine 4 cups (20 ounces) flour, 3 cups (21 ounces) sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt. Whisk until well combined. Set fine-mesh strainer over bowl. Add 4 teaspoons vanilla powder and 1 teaspoon baking soda to fine-mesh strainer and tap side of strainer to sift mixture into bowl. Whisk until well combined, about 1 minute. Transfer cookie mix to large airtight storage container. (Cookie mix can be stored at room temperature for at least 2 months.)
To make one batch of cookies: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In large bowl, whisk 4 tablespoons melted butter and 1 large egg until combined. Add 1½ cups (10 ounces) Sugar Cookie Mix and use rubber spatula to stir and press mixture until soft dough forms and no dry mix is visible. Use your hands to roll dough into 12 balls (about 1 heaping tablespoon each). Place dough balls on parchment paper–lined rimmed baking sheet, leaving space between them. Use your fingers to gently press and flatten each dough ball into 2-inch-wide circle. Bake until edges of cookies are just beginning to brown and centers are still soft, 14 to 16 minutes. Place sheet on wire rack and let cookies cool completely on sheet, about 30 minutes. Serve.