You Cannot Fail (I Refuse to Let You) Sugar Cookies

No Fail Sugar CookiesArty McGoo, whether this be your real name or not, I do not care. I fucking love you. I want to come just watch you and your band of merry bakers and decorators work for the day. I mean, really, people. Just look at this gallery of cookies he has! They look more like pieces of art that need to be in a food museum, not something that should be eaten. You, my new friend Arty, are someone who deserves my pious cookie reverence.

I aspire to have the patience of Arty and his merry band of decorators. It makes you realize when you look at his pictures, there is a reason people own shops that just sell fabulous cookies.

This recipe came from a friend of mine years ago when she went online and ordered some cookies cutters for her son’s birthday, but finding the exact same recipe online via my newfound friend Arty saves me media space. Maybe my friend ordered cookies cutters from Arty, and this is his recipe. Maybe Arty ordered some cookie cutters from the same place my friend ordered. The mystery of it all.

This cookie tastes great, even without my additions below, and it barely spreads, if at all. This recipe can easily be cut in half if you don’t want to make a ton of cookies.

How I make this cookie a little less basic:

  1. I like citrus flavored cookies, so I add lemon oil to the dough for flavoring. You could use lime of orange oil. The key is the oil, it’s got more strength of flavor than just extract. Some days I add a full teaspoon of just lemon oil, some days I go 1/2 vanilla, 1/2 lemon oil, some days I add 1 tsp of both. All depends on my mood. Any variations of this have worked in this recipe.
  2. Then in the frosting, I add 1/2-1 teaspoon of a citrus extract. You cannot add oil to the frosting/icing (whatever you want to call it) because it will not play friendly with the meringue powder. Most often, I just do lemon, but sometimes I’ll add lime oil to the dough and lemon extract to the frosting for a lemon-lime cookie.

When they call this No Fail Sugar Cookies, they mean no fail.

I own the fact that these are all my mistakes, and I also own that nothing that comes out of my kitchen is without some sort of mistake.

It’s what makes me real.

Below is an actual list of mistakes I made in this baking.

Mistakes Made:

  1. I didn’t add the eggs until after I had started adding the flour.
  2. Yes, I added my eggs with the flour; while it took more time to beat the dough, it didn’t affect the outcome.
  3. I added the lemon oil after this because I forgot to add it with the eggs (which should have been added before the flour).
  4. And if all those botches still weren’t enough, I realized I forgot to add the baking powder and salt until the dough was fully formed. So I just beat it in for about 40 seconds.
  5. The cookies were not tough, in fact people commented on how tender they were.

See, no fail. It’s almost like the kitchen gods conspire to actually help you have success with this recipe instead of sitting back with a bottle of wine like they’re watching you in the kitchen like a reality TV show, laughing at your failures.

A Few Tips:

  1. In Arty’s recipe, there is no chill time for the dough. You want chill time for this dough. It will make the dough much easier to work with.
    1. It will minimize spread.
  2. In my friend’s recipe, you have 2 options for chillaxin’:
    1. 1) Chill the whole batch of dough for a minimum of two hours or
    2. See below:
  3. Take the dough right out of the bowl, put it between two sheets of parchment paper, and roll your dough to desired thickness (do this in 2-3 “batches”) – I generally roll between 1/4-1/2″ thick. This not only will save you time, but also save you effort. The dough is much easier to roll out when soft, so it’s easier to work with. Unless, of course, you’re looking to get an arm workout in, then, by all means, chill the whole lump of dough, and then…well, good luck.IMG_6940
  4. After chilling the dough sheets for about 20 minutes, dip your cookie cutters in flour and shake off the excess for each cookie cutout.
  5. Use parchment paper when baking. It will help nicely brown the bottoms without sticking or burning. If you don’t use parchment… bless your heart. IMG_6943
  6. Damn, my food pictures are improving.

I was looking to make Patriot’s jerseys for the Superbowl. Novel idea, poorly executed defense on the Patriot’s part.


Yet another mistake I made: I went to set the cookie sheet on the stove top after baking, tripped over the damned dog’s bowl, and knocked my Le Creuset kettle off the stovetop. Please note the huge chunk that came off when it hit the tile. <insert growling noise>


The icing is a different post. Why? If you’ve ever tried to intricately decorate cookies, there is not only art to it, but a sequence, a whole lotta patience, and the wing and a prayer that the kitchen gods aren’t drunk from their bottle of wine while watching you in the reality show of making this no fail recipe.


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