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!
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.
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.