This is my backwoods Mississippi grandmother's own customized sugar cookie dough recipe. Royal icing is recommended, but these are also wonderful without icing. Very light and buttery. My mom stuck with it, and we grew up eating the raw cookie dough before snacking on the cookies at holidays. This will always be my basic cookie dough recipe. It's very quick and easy to make a batch of this dough and to customize. These are common ingredients easily found in most sparsely-stocked kitchens. You don't have to be a master chef to get a batch of these cookies to turn out well.

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Recipe Summary

prep:
30 mins
cook:
15 mins
additional:
2 hrs
total:
2 hrs 45 mins
Servings:
48
Yield:
4 dozen cookies
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Ingredients

48
Original recipe yields 48 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Mix self-rising flour, butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and salt thoroughly in a bowl; beat at least 5 minutes. Refrigerate dough at least 2 hours to overnight.

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  • Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C).

  • Roll dough out on a floured work surface using a lightly floured rolling pin; cut cookies out with cutters. Place cookies onto baking sheets.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until cookie bottoms are lightly golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Cook's Notes:

I've always been told that everything in baking will turn out better if you set out all the refrigerated ingredients to come close to room temperature. I'm a good kid, so I do what I'm told. I let the butter and eggs sit out for about 15 to 20 minutes to get close to room temperature.

I personally add close to two cups for very sugary dough, but I'll never tell my grandmother that!

If you don't double the sugar to almost two cups and instead keep it at one cup, you'll get an airy shortbread taste that goes well with raspberry jam, another favorite cookie of mine. So simple, yet looks and tastes like a million bucks! This recipe is kid-friendly after the mixing process. It's just quicker to have an adult do it, since you combine all the ingredients together at once. But the rolling out and cookie cutting is great! I helped my mom when I was little, and she did the same with her mom with this very same recipe. It's so simple and easy to make a tradition within families. You'll never know how much fun you'll have until you try it with your kids! If you want to make it really fun, you can easily add food coloring to the light-colored dough for great, fun results!

My grandmother recommends baking at 350 degrees until the edges turn brown to get crispy, yummy cookies, but I recommend dialing it down to maybe 275-300 degrees and only take them out when the bottoms are light golden brown. They're still very crumbly, but a little soft and irresistible to bite into.

Nutrition Facts

81 calories; protein 1.1g 2% DV; carbohydrates 10g 3% DV; fat 4.1g 6% DV; cholesterol 17.9mg 6% DV; sodium 141.5mg 6% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (15)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
01/03/2013
Use only unsalted butter or margarine - not using the right butter could add a more salty taste to your dough. Also use salt with a fine grain not any sea salt or anything that wouldn't blend in well. Mine have never tasted salty before. But unless you tweak the recipe be sure to note these are a bit more airy and less sweet than today's normal sugar cookies. Some people won't like these but hey - there's people out there who don't like chocolate either. Read More
(4)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 2 stars
01/02/2013
I followed the directions and they taste salty. I kept thinking I did something wrong but I know I didn't. I truly do not prefer sweet sugar cookies I prefer tea cakes over sugary cookies. The only reason I gave 2 stars is because they baked pretty. I am sorry for a bad review but I don't want someone else to make these not knowing to add more sugar. If you make these add the 2 cups of sugar as in the author's suggestions. Read More
(2)
21 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 14
  • 4 star values: 3
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 5 stars
01/03/2013
Use only unsalted butter or margarine - not using the right butter could add a more salty taste to your dough. Also use salt with a fine grain not any sea salt or anything that wouldn't blend in well. Mine have never tasted salty before. But unless you tweak the recipe be sure to note these are a bit more airy and less sweet than today's normal sugar cookies. Some people won't like these but hey - there's people out there who don't like chocolate either. Read More
(4)
Rating: 5 stars
01/03/2013
Use only unsalted butter or margarine - that could add a salty taste to your cookies if you go for the smaller amount of sugar. Also, use salt with a fine grain, not sea salt or anything larger that won't blend in the dough. Mine have never tasted salty before, so I'm not sure how that taste would happen. But unless you tweak the recipe, these aren't overly sweet cookies like other basic recipes. Read More
(4)
Rating: 4 stars
03/06/2013
Really good recipe easy to follow but I suggest leaving out the extra salt! I made my own self rising flour. Read More
(2)
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Rating: 2 stars
01/01/2013
I followed the directions and they taste salty. I kept thinking I did something wrong but I know I didn't. I truly do not prefer sweet sugar cookies I prefer tea cakes over sugary cookies. The only reason I gave 2 stars is because they baked pretty. I am sorry for a bad review but I don't want someone else to make these not knowing to add more sugar. If you make these add the 2 cups of sugar as in the author's suggestions. Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
01/12/2014
loved Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
10/27/2015
Made it with just the one cup sugar and frosted with buttercream. The cookies aren't too sweet for lots of frosting. Whole family loved them for our cookie-decorating party and they even kept well for at least a couple days. I do agree that as written they seem too salty. I didn't take off a star in case the author has a less-salty self-rising flour (I used a recipe) but both times I made them we wished I had used significantly less salt. Even the second time when I doubled the sugar as in the author note. Read More
(1)
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Rating: 5 stars
03/03/2014
Do have to add vanilla extract Read More
(1)
Rating: 2 stars
12/29/2019
This recipe needs to be revised. Do not use regular butter and only use unsalted. If you do not you just created salt lick for goats. I had to toss out every cookie I made. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
02/22/2020
I love these cookies. Soft but not so soft they crumble. I received multiple compliments on them. Will be using this recipe a lot. I also use unsalted butter but I still add the required salt. Taste good to me! Read More