Sugar Cookies

Sugar, butter, flour. A few other ingredients. It comes together slowly, the sugar cookie mixture. My baking anxiety always tells me there’s not sufficient liquid, it will never hold. Steady and sure, with belief and concentration, it does. A proper cookie dough, so tasty I feel like I’m twelve years old, at my best friend’s house, at a sleepover. We snack on cookie dough until we have belly aches and watch Dirty Dancing in the dark and try and figure out what kind of trouble Penny the pretty dance instructor is in and why Baby’s dad is so mad at her. Light as a feather, stiff as a board. Bloody Mary in the mirror. Talking late into the night about our nascent theories of the universe. “What if this is all a dream….” Sugar cookies are something to hold onto in the face of existential crises and dark nights of the soul. They’re also really good with frosting! I like mine slightly underdone, so that they’re soft and chewy. You probably have everything you need in the pantry and they bake up in about seven minutes.

Sugar Cookies


  • 3 cups sifted all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  •  1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons half and half


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in softened butter with a pastry blender until the dough is crumbly. Stir in egg, vanilla, and half and half. Mix well until a cookie dough comes together. (I used my hands!) Wrap in plastic and chill in the refrigerator for at least fifteen minutes. Drop onto a prepared cookie sheet, sprinkle with a touch of sugar, and bake for approximately 7 minutes.

Jillian Bedell

Jillian Bedell is a writer and mother living in a farmhouse in Cushing, Maine. She is very good at talking about herself in the third person. She is co-author of Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road.

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