The Sugar Cookie Recipe That Won Contests, Changed Lives

It won a Food52 recipe contest back in 2010. Today, it's our most popular sugar cookie ever.

December 19, 2019

Mrslarkin's Chewy Sugar Cookie #2, winner of Your Best Chewy Sugar Cookie back in 2010, is now, nearly 10 years later, our most popular sugar cookie recipe ever. In celebration of the holidays (and sugar cookie season!), we reached out to mrslarkin to learn more about her contest-winning recipe and how she came up with it.

I created this recipe when the chewy sugar cookie contest was announced back in 2010. After a bunch of test-baking—different sugars, different temperatures—I landed on the perfect cookie: It's not too sweet, it's got the perfect crunchy-to-chewy ratio, and it's sparkly (thanks to the turbinado sugar coating).

Stella Parks' Secret

Over the years I’ve been adding a teeny, tiny bit of nutmeg to my sugar cookies (and chocolate chip cookies), after Stella Parks said it enhances the butteriness in them. It really does! You should try it—or anything Stella Parks tells you to do, really. She’s amazing.


I’ve also supersized this cookie before. I weigh out a three-ounce ball of dough, roll it in sugar, and bake for about 16 minutes at 350°F. It’s a whole lotta cookie, as big as your FACE!

Community Variations

Almost a decade later, I still love to read the comments on this recipe. There are so many good ideas! Someone adds lemon zest. Another adds coconut extract and shredded coconut. A few people increase the flour and use it as a roll-and-cut cookie. Another adds jam to the tops, a little like thumbprint cookies.

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“I may be the crazy one here, but wasn’t 2010 just one decade ago? Cookies look phenom - def going to try them soon!”
— bekah

That actually gave me the idea today when I overbaked a tray of these last night! After sulking about it overnight, I tried making a sandwich cookie with raspberry jam. It was really good.

All this to say, this sugar cookie is totally riffable and a great base recipe for whatever you're celebrating this holiday season.

Happy baking,
aka Scone Lady

Have you made this sugar cookie before? Let us know in the comments below.
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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • GailO
  • Mary Low
    Mary Low
  • bekah
  • mrslarkin
  • Caroline


GailO January 15, 2023
I want to try the nutmeg in my cookies, how much is a teeny tiny bit?? 1/8, 1/4, tsp.?
mrslarkin January 15, 2023
Hi Gail! I grate a whole nutmeg about 10 passes on the micro plane. Probably close to 1/8 tsp or less.
GailO January 15, 2023
Thank you so much for replying so quickly. No excuse not to make them tomorrow now!
Mary L. September 26, 2020
I'd like to try these, but wondering if gluten free flour would work? Maybe someone has tried g.f.?
bekah December 19, 2019
I may be the crazy one here, but wasn’t 2010 just one decade ago? Cookies look phenom - def going to try them soon!
Caroline December 19, 2019
You are NOT alone! I kept adding up the years . . . ! From 2010 to 2019 is only NINE years.

But I hope to try these delicious cookies!
Eric K. December 19, 2019
Fixed :)