Classic Sugar Cookie & Royal Icing Recipe

Growing up, sugar cookies were always a staple at Christmas time. I made them every year with my siblings, and we loved to decorate them together. The problem with sugar cookies is everyone makes them differently... Some like them cakey, others like them crispy. I, on the other hand, have always loved them soft and chewy... Chips are supposed to crunch... not sugar cookies! 😉 When I was a teenager, one of my friend's moms (Hi Tammy! 😄) made the best chewy sugar cookies on the planet... I asked her what her recipe was once and she just said it was the classic Betty Crocker sugar cookie recipe... Well, a few years ago, I finally stumbled onto the same recipe that Tammy uses! I tried it with my sisters, and it was an immediate hit! Over the past couple of years we've made them over and over, and finally figured out some little tricks to get the perfect chewy sugar cookie... I also discovered royal icing... which makes your cookies super adorable as well! Scroll down for the recipes.

Classic Sugar Cookie Recipe
Makes 15-18 large, thick sugar cookies. I usually double the recipe for around 30 cookies.

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

2 sticks salted butter, softened

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp almond extract

1 egg

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cream of tartar


1. Mix powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, almond, and egg until smooth (I use a kitchen aid mixer). Stir in remaining ingredients until smooth.

2. Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours (You can also refrigerate overnight if you like).

3. Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease cookie sheet.

4. Remove from refrigerator and divide dough in half. You may need to let the dough sit for 30 mins or so to make it more workable. Work it with your hands to smooth it out, then roll out onto a floured surface. Make sure to flour your rolling pin to get an extra smooth, even surface on the cookie dough. I like to roll it to about 1/4 inch (or more) thickness. The thicker the cookie the chewier it gets. I use a large round glass to cut out my cookies, but you can also use any large shaped cookie cutters. Your cookies should be easy to pick up off the floured surface and place directly on the pan.

5. I bake mine for about 5 1/2 - 6 minutes. Every oven is different, so keep an eye on them. The main goal with these cookies is to have NO COLOR at all. If they start to get golden in the least bit they have gone too long, and will most likely dry out easily. I usually pull mine out around 5-6 mins. You might think they aren't done yet, but you want the center to look a little gooey. If you let them cool on the pan for about 10 mins you will see the center start to set up, but still look moist. This is what makes them so chewy! All white cookies means the best flavor/texture! After they are firm enough to move I transfer them to wax paper to continue cooling.

6. Let them completely cool before icing.

Royal Icing Recipe 

Royal icing has become a fad recently... I love it because it can make your cookies look so pretty, plus it tastes amazing too! Most recipes I have seen call for meringue powder, but I use the old fashioned egg white kind. If you are worried about the raw egg white you can refrigerate the cookies, but I have never had any problems with leaving the cookies out once the icing dries.


2 egg whites
2 cups of powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract


Combine all ingredients with a whisk by hand or a kitchen aid mixer with whisk attachment. Make sure there are no lumps in the icing.

For those of you who are royal icing newbies... Here are a few things you should know. There are two types of royal icing.

1. Piping Icing

I use extra powdered sugar to thicken the above icing recipe to a piping texture. This is used to outline your cookies. Just keep adding a spoonful of powdered sugar until the icing is a toothpaste texture... You want it to fall off of the spoon slowly, but not break the flow completely. Once I get it to the perfect piping texture I put it in a piping bag with a very small pin dot tip and coupler (The coupler keeps the tip in place. I'll link tips, icing bags, and couplers below.). I then use a rubber band to tie the top of the bag so icing doesn't get all over my fingers.. I'm sure there is something more fancy to use than a rubberband, but I'm no professional! 😉 I pipe a line around the edge of all my cookies before "filling" them in.

2. Fill/Flood Icing

This icing is used to fill in the cookies that you outlined.  make a second recipe of the icing, then, depending on the size of the egg whites, if the icing isn't runny enough I add water (about a tsp at a time... be careful, a little goes a long way.) You want the texture to be more fluid, but not watery. If you pull the spoon out of the icing, you want it to run back into the bowl and take about 5 seconds or so before it settles into a smooth surface again...

Pour your fill icing into icing bottles (these are SUPER handy... I'll link what I use below) and fill in the cookies. Be careful not to over fill them since the icing will settle  and can run over if you use too much. I use a toothpick or tiny icing knife to spread the icing to the edges. You can also use a toothpick to pop any air bubbles, but be careful... They begin to dry very quickly so if you mess with them too much you will crack the icing. The icing will smooth out pretty evenly on it's own. If you let it dry for about 30 mins you can go back with a second layer of piping icing to draw designs. I love doing this because it makes them look like they were made at a bakery. Practice a little on a napkin or piece of waxpaper (this helped me get the hang of it!). I used the piping icing to make the snowflake and  tree designs. My cousin, Ally, also helped out with her piping skills!

A Few More Royal Icing Tips and Tricks

1. Let your Icing Dry For 8-12 Hours.

Another thing I learned the hard way... You have to let royal icing dry 8-12 hours before you can store or stack your cookies. The first time I made royal icing I stored my cookies immediately, and the icing ran and dripped everywhere and ruined the cookies. I usually finish my cookies later in the evening and let them dry overnight before stacking or storing. Don't worry about the cookies getting dry. If you didn't bake them too long they will stay nice and chewy since the icing is so moist.

2. Make 2 Colors of Royal Icing

I like to make two colors of both the piping and fill icing. It's so fun to use the two different colors to draw designs, fill, or line the cookies. You can make more than that, but I love using just two colors.


 I hope you enjoy my favorite sugar cookie and icing recipe! If you decide to try your hand at baking them... make sure to tag @courtneycollingsworthmetz and use the hashtag #classicallycourtney on Instagram. Have a blessed day and a Merry Christmas!


Christmas Fashion Inspiration with The Dressery Boutique

Hey there, ladies! You know I love to share boutiques with you, and today I'm happy to be sharing a little Christmas fashion inspiration with The Dressery Boutique. Their boutique focuses mainly on dresses and skirts, and they have so many adorable options! I'm wearing the Everyday Swing Dress in taupe. I layered it with one of my favorite plaid Christmas scarves along with a red pom pom beanie. You can shop all of the items at the end of the post. Have a lovely evening!