perfect sugar cookies
Orson Gygi

Perfect Sugar Cookies: Here’s the expert advice for making a pristine batch

Make perfect sugar cookies this Valentine’s Day!

Chances are you’ll be making a batch of sugar cookies to celebrate Valentine’s Day, and we want to make that process a smooth one. From flavoring your dough the right way to getting clean, crisp edges, we’ve got you covered.

Heather Smith, from Orson Gygi, shares her tips for sugar cookie success.

You can find more of her ideas and recipes on


Perfect Sugar Cookies


  • 1 lb butter, cold (4 sticks)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 5-6 cups flour


  • 1 cup butter, 2 sticks
  • 2 lbs powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp meringue powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla (I like to use clear)
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 6-10 Tbsp milk or cream


  1. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with a paddle attachment until it is fluffy and white in color.
  2. Add in the eggs, one at a time.
  3. Add in the vanilla.
  4. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula and add in the the baking soda and first cup of flour. Mix thoroughly between each new cup of flour and periodically scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl.
  5. Continue adding flour until the dough no longer sticks to your fingers when you pinch it.
  6. Allow dough to cool for 1-3 hours in the fridge. If you used cold butter, you can get away with rolling the cookies without refrigeration.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  8. Sprinkle some flour on the counter, and top of the dough, and knead until it’s not sticky.
  9. Roll into a sheet about 1/3″ thick. The thicker the cookie, the longer they’ll take to bake, but the softer they’ll be.
  10. Cut into shapes with cookie cutter. Place on parchment lined baking sheet. Try to bake similarly sized shapes on the same tray.
  11. Bake for 10-14 minutes, just until you see a very slight browning on the edges.
  12. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the pan, and then transfer to a cooling rack.
  13. For the Frosting:
  14. Cream butter in the bowl of a mixer until fluffy. Add in powdered sugar, meringue powder, vanilla, and almond extract and mix until smooth.
  15. Slowly add in milk, one tablespoon at a time, until frosting is the desired consistency. The less milk you add, the thicker your frosting will be and the sooner it will set up!

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