Small Batch Sugar Cookies. The best sugar cookie recipe when you don’t want to make too many.
This post is in partnership with Nielsen-Massey Vanillas. I’m always thrilled to work with Nielsen-Massey and the holidays are the perfect time because of all the baking we do!
I bake alone a lot for the blog, usually at night when when my daughter has gone to bed but any chance I get to bake with my daughter brings laughter, joy and excitement into the kitchen. Baking with my daughter is a joyful experience and one I hope will bring her memories for years to come. My daughter and I loooove to bake, ice, decorate and eat sugar cookies. Sometimes I only need a small batch though. So I came up with a small batch sugar cookie recipe, it’s My Favorite Sugar Cookie Recipe cut in half actually. It’s enough to share with others but not so many that you’ll be be overwhelmed with the quantity.
One of the secrets to a great sugar cookie is the flavoring. You have to flavor the dough right. You can use vanilla beans, vanilla paste, extracts, citrus zest, etc. For these I chose a little Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla and a little Pure Almond Extract both from Nielsen-Massey Vanillas. They are my go to company for extracts and flavorings because of their high quality and since I’m especially sentimental this time of year I love that they are family owned. This year they are offering a Nielsen-Massey Holiday Flavors Bundle which includes Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract, Pure Almond Extract and Pure Peppermint Extract and you can choose between 2 oz and 4 oz bottles. I will be sending a few of these packs out for holiday gifts this year myself!
I chose to use royal icing on this batch and the same is true regarding the flavoring. Royal icing with no flavoring can be flat. If you’re not sure what flavor to go with you can never go wrong with vanilla or almond extract. For the decorating I used a stiffer icing for the border and then thinned it out with water to make the fill icing. I added sprinkles while the icing was wet so they would stick. For the luster dusting I waited until the icing was dry so I could cleanly paint it on. I took a little luster dust and mixed it into a little lemon extract and am then able to paint it on with a small paint brush.
Buttercream is another great way to decorate sugar cookies and quite tasty as well. That crunchy sweet butter cookie with smooth creamy buttercream is a home run! You can spread it on with a knife or get creative and use some piping tips and make some decorative swirls.
So remember to flavor your cookies and icing/frosting well to make the most of your Small Batch Sugar Cookie Recipe. And most of all have fun in the kitchen with friends and family this season.
(This post is sponsored by Nielsen-Massey Vanilla’s. All opinions are 100% my own. I personally use their products and love them. Thank you for supporting the brands that make The Sugar Coated Cottage possible.)
PIN IT FOR LATER!
Small Batch Sugar Cookies
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup butter room temp but not too soft/melty, see Notes
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp egg
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- ROYAL ICING:
- 2 Tbsp meringue powder
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line baking sheets with parchment.
- Have cookie cutter(s) ready.
- In medium bowl add the flour, salt and baking powder, stir to combine, set aside.
- In bowl of mixer start whipping the butter until light and fluffy.
- Add the sugar and mix to combine.
- Add in the egg and extracts. Mix well to combine.
- Slowly add in the flour mixture and mix until cookie dough forms and all is combined.
- Divide dough into two portions.
- Place dough between two sheets of wax paper and roll out, cut out cookies and place on tray.
- Bake for 8-12 minutes.
- Repeat until all cookies are baked.
- Let cool completely.
- ROYAL ICING:
- Pour water into bowl of mixer fitted with whisk attachment.
- Beat meringue powder into cold water until peaks form.
- Beat in the powdered sugar until desire consistency is reached.
- If stiffer icing is desired add more powdered sugar.
- If thinner icing is desired add more water.
- Pour into piping bag with a small round tip, I used Wilton tip #3.
- Lay cookies flat on cookie sheets.
- Outline the cookies with royal icing.
- Let set for at least 10 minutes. This outline will be like a fence and will keep the royal icing from running over the sides when its time to fill.
- Next fill each cookie with royal icing (if too stiff add a little water until desired consistency is reached, using the tip or a toothpick to move it around so it covers evenly.
- Sprinkle immediately with sprinkles while icing is wet.
- Let set to dry completely, at least 4 hours but over night is preferable.
- If using luster dust make sure royal icing is completely set.
- Mix a little luster dust with some lemon extract and paint luster dust onto cookies. Let dry.
3 - Large stars
5 - Medium stars
10 - Small stars
7 - Extra small stars
Oh-so festive! Most of the time a small batch is all we need! And these are just so pretty! You’ve cornered the market on pretty, my friend!
Hi Annie! Thank you so much 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend! Take care.
Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop says
There’s nothing better than baking with your kids. They love it and you make lasting memories! I love these sugar cookies, especially the gold touch!
Hi Kathy! Agree 100%. So glad you liked the cookies. Take care 🙂
These cookies just look so pretty and so festive. A batch of these will be perfect on my christmas dessert table.
Thanks Marie! Everyone loves cookies 😉 . Take care.
Did you mean two eggs or actually two TBSP egg in the ingredients for this recipe? Thanks!
Hi Abby, it is indeed 2 Tbsp. I whip the egg so the white and yolk are blended and then measure out 2 Tbsp. Happy baking! 🙂
I have made this recipe many times and love the cookies! I am wanting to make a larger batch but not willing to find a new recipe can i double this With out it coming out wonkie?
Hi Samantha, I love that you love this recipe, it’s a keeper. Yes, this recipe can be doubled but to save you from calculating it yourself I have this full batch recipe for the exact same cookies, https://www.thesugarcoatedcottage.com/vanilla-bean-valentine-sugar-cookies/ . The only difference is that I use vanilla bean in the full batch. So if you don’t want to do the vanilla bean just use 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp almond extract to get the same flavor as the small batch recipe. Any other questions let me know 🙂 . Take care.
When you say beat the water and meringue powder till peaks form, do they have to be stiff peaks or can they be peaks but still fall over?
By the way made the cookies dough and this has been the best non spread sugar cookie dough recipe I have tried. Thanks for sharing😊
Hi Candid, thank you for your question. Yes, stiff peaks. I’m so happy you loved the sugar cookie dough, it’s a game changer! Happy baking. Take care. 🙂