Turmeric Sugar Cookies

September 17, 2018
19 Ratings
Photo by Jenny Huang
Author Notes

A whole new way to sugar cookie, thanks to one ingredient: ground turmeric. Coupled with butter and sugar, this often-savory spice not only gets to show off its incredible color, but flavor too. Our staff thought they were everything from lemony, to tangy, to raspberry-y. What notes will you pick up? —Emma Laperruque

Watch This Recipe
Turmeric Sugar Cookies
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 22 minutes
  • Makes 24 cookies
  • Cookie dough
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cups (333 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 1/3 cups (299 grams) all-purpose flour
  • Sugar crust
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
In This Recipe
  1. Heat the oven to 375° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
  2. Add the butter, sugar, and salt to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium for a few minutes until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
  3. Add the eggs and vanilla. Continue beating—again, scraping down the sides as needed—until cohesive and fluffy.
  4. Add the turmeric and baking powder and mix on low just to combine. Add the flour and mix on low again until completely combined. Detach the bowl from the machine and use the rubber spatula to make sure there are no floury dry spots on the sides or bottom of the bowl.
  5. Stick the dough in the fridge to firm up for 10 or so minutes. Meanwhile, you can clean up and make the sugar crust mixture: In a small bowl, combine the sugar and turmeric, and stir.
  6. Scoop the dough by generously rounded tablespoons (about 40 grams each). I fit 6 on each sheet tray, so start by scooping 12 cookies. Roll each dough blob lightly between your hands into a smooth sphere. Now roll each sphere in the sugar. Divide evenly between the lined sheets. No need to flatten—they’ll spread in the oven.
  7. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes until puffy, slightly crackly, and just beginning to brown around the edges. They will fall as they cool. That’s good. You want them crispy around the edges and chewy-tender in the middle.
  8. Cool for a few minutes on the tray, then use a spatula to transfer to a cooling rack.
  9. Repeat with the remaining cookie dough.
  10. These freeze well.

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Emma is the food editor at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles "on the fly," baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., reviewing restaurants, and writing articles about everything from how to use leftover mashed potatoes to the history of pies in North Carolina. Now she lives in New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's cooking column, Big Little Recipes, all about big flavor and little ingredient lists. And see what she's up to on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.