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Basic Sugar-Cookie Dough

  • yield: Makes enough for our 4 varieties of cookies
Photography: Antonis Achilleos

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour

Cook's Note

Use a kitchen scale to quarter the dough precisely, as called for in these recipes. Each piece should weigh just under 1 pound.

Directions

  1. Step 1

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, vanilla, and salt; mix on medium speed until combined. With mixer on low speed, add flour in 2 batches, mixing just until incorporated.

  2. Step 2

    Divide dough into 4 equal portions. Place each on a piece of plastic wrap; flatten into disks. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours or up to 1 week.

Reviews (23)

  • 12 Jan, 2014

    Results are flavorful, rich and buttery. Good recipe and consistent results. I used the dough for standard holiday cookies and for jelly thumb prints. I baked both at 375. The rolled sugar cookies took less time overall to bake because they were thinner.

  • 21 Dec, 2012

    Enter your review...

  • 1 Aug, 2012

    this makes awesome sugar cookies. i use this recipe A LOT, so trust me Everyone, you'll love it!!!after the dough has been refrigerated for at least an hour, the dough needs about an extra 1 cup flour for rolling out and cutting out into shapes. roll out about 1/2" thick (on your floured surface) and cut dough into shapes using cookie cutters. Bake cookies for apx 8 min at 350. remove cookies from cookie sheets immediately after cookies come out of the oven so that the bottoms don't brown.

  • 21 Jun, 2012

    Made them for my two best kids in the whole wide world brook,and stinker man

  • 10 Feb, 2009

    Why is the dough crumbly?

  • 22 Dec, 2008

    The recipe calls for 2 TABLEspoons of vanilla. Usually a cookie dough has 1 to 2 TEAspoons. I've made the recipe with 1 TABLEspoon and it seems to be a little too strong. I haven't baked it yet. Any comments on this?

  • 22 Dec, 2008

    Here is a fantastic conversion site
    http://www.dianasdesserts.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/tools.measures/Measur...
    113.4g=1 stick

  • 17 Dec, 2008

    one stick = 1/4 pound or 8 tablespoons. not sure what that would be in grams, but I am sure there is an online conversion tool somewhere.

  • 17 Dec, 2008

    Can someone please let me know how much a 'stick' of butter weighs! I have some cup measures but in Uk we buy butter in 250g packs.
    Thanks!

  • 17 Dec, 2008

    Can someone please let me know how much a 'stick' of butter weighs! I have some cup measures but in Uk we buy butter in 250g packs.
    Thanks!

  • 17 Dec, 2008

    Can someone please let me know how much a 'stick' of butter weighs! I have some cup measures but in Uk we buy butter in 250g packs.
    Thanks!

  • 14 Dec, 2008

    Warning- if you happen to use margarine instead of butter-decrease your salt to 1 tsp or even 1/2 tsp if preferred. This isn't a very sweet cookie, so you may want to add more sugar to taste.

  • 13 Dec, 2008

    What is the difference between this cookies and the 'santa sugar cookie cutout' recipe? I see the cutout recipe has baking powder and this one doesn't. I'm confused. I planned on painting my cookies with royal icing, would either recipe be okay? Thanks to anyone who can help me. Happy Holidays!

  • 12 Dec, 2008

    Yes, the dough can be frozen. I freeze extra rolls of many of Martha's cookie recipes - especially her citrus cookies. Wonderful. Easy to always have freshly baked cookies.

  • 11 Dec, 2008

    It has been said that baking the baked cookies is okay. How about the dough? On some of the recipes it says it is okay to freeze but not others. Does anyone know if all cookie doughs can be frozen? Thanks

  • 10 Dec, 2008

    How many cookies (dozens) does this recipe yeild? Thanks.

  • 8 Dec, 2008

    The rest of the directions are back on the first page where the basic one is. Click on the cookie you want and it will take you to the rest of the directions for that one.

  • 8 Dec, 2008

    The rest of the directions are back on the first page where the basic one is. Click on the cookie you want and it will take you to the rest of the directions for that one.

  • 8 Dec, 2008

    Where are the rest of the (baking) directions ?

  • 8 Dec, 2008

    Where are the rest of the (baking) directions ?

  • 3 Dec, 2008

    Cookies freeze superbly well! I start mine months in advance and have no choice. If in doubt, freeze one overnight and thaw it to see how it reacts. I personally would freeze the snowball cookies unpowdered, and then powder them after thawing out. Go for it girl!

  • 21 Nov, 2008

    I wonder if these cookies freeze well...?

  • 21 Nov, 2008

    I wonder if these cookies are safe to freeze...?