Simple Sugar Cookies

Photo: Gentl and Hyers
7 dozen

These "trees" are made from stacks of sugar cookies coated with white icing. See our Royal Icing recipe.


  • 4 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ¾ teaspoon cream of tartar

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)

  • 1 cup olive oil

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for dusting

  • 1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for pressing cookies

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • Finely grated zest of one orange


  1. Sift together flour, salt, cream of tartar, and baking soda; set aside. Place butter, olive oil, 1 cup confectioners' sugar, and 1 cup granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat on medium until fluffy.

  2. Beat in eggs, vanilla extract, and orange zest until well combined. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture slowly, until fully incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap, and chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.

  3. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Form dough into balls measuring about 1 inch in diameter, and place on a cookie sheet about 2 inches part. Press flat with a glass dipped in sugar. Place cookies in oven, and bake until very lightly golden, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving.

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