This small-batch sugar cookie recipe gives you 6 perfectly soft & chewy cookies! They are so easy to make and perfect for valentine's day.
I love cookies so much. There is truly nothing in this world that brings me more joy than a freshly baked cookie. I make a batch, eat 1 or 2, and put the rest in my freezer to enjoy at a later time. And by a later time I mean a few hours later and the following day and then before I know it I've eaten every last cookie.
Enter stage: my savior, small-batch cookies. Now I can make my favorite cookies from scratch, but I don't have the 22 extra cookies that will sit in my freezer, tempting me every time I walk by.
These small batch sugar cookies are so soft and chewy, easy to make, and they give you 6 perfect cookies to share with a loved one, or eat by yourself (exactly what I would do). Plus sprinkles make everything better, right?
You will find your typical cookie ingredients here, but I'll make a few notes below:
- egg yolk- this recipe uses 1 egg yolk. Feel free to save the egg white for breakfast the next morning (or a different recipe). If you are doubling the recipe use two egg yolks, not a whole egg.
- almond extract- This is my secret ingredient to making the most delicious sugar cookies! If you don't have any, you can skip it but I highly recommend using it!
- sprinkles- I used valentine's day sprinkles, but you can use whatever kind you like! If you're not a fan of sprinkles, feel free to omit them.
How to make small batch cookies from scratch:
step one: make the dough
Combine the butter and sugar together in a medium-sized bowl. You don't need to use an electric mixer, but you can if you would like to! Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk, vanilla, and almond extracts. Mix until thoroughly combined.
Add in the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix until just combined. Mix in 2tbsp of sprinkles if using them. Scoop into balls (about 2 tbsp of dough per each) onto a lined cookie sheet.
step two: chill the dough
Place the cookie sheet in your fridge for about 45 minutes to chill the dough. This step is important so don't skip it! See my notes below on why you should chill your dough.
step three: bake and enjoy!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Once the dough has chilled, remove it from the fridge. If you are using sprinkles, you can roll the tops of the cookies in additional sprinkles before baking (optional). If the sprinkles aren't sticking, rub them with a little bit of water and then roll in sprinkles.
Place the cookies into the oven for about 10-12 minutes, until the edges are lightly golden brown. Remove and allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire cooling rack.
Tips for the best sugar cookies
- Make sure your butter is room temperature. If your butter is too cold, it'll be hard to mix. If it's too warm, it'll be greasy and your cookies will overspread. So what does room temperature even mean? Room temperature cookies should be still slightly cool to the touch, and not greasy on the outside wrapper. When you press on it, your finger should leave an indent, but not sink into the butter. I like to take my butter out an hour before I bake. If you find your butter got too warm while sitting out, place it back in the fridge for a few minutes.
- Measure the flour correctly. Make sure to measure the flour correctly by using the scoop and level method. If you don't know what that is, you want to scoop the flour into your measuring cup and use a sharp edge to level it off, instead of scooping the entire measuring cup into the flour. This packs the flour in and gives an inaccurate measurement.
- Chill the dough. Anytime a recipe tells you to chill the dough, it's for a good reason. See my notes below on why you should chill this sugar cookie dough!
- Use parchment paper when baking. Parchment paper is my favorite thing to use for baking in general, but definitely when baking cookies. Spraying the cookie sheet with non-stick spray creates an overly greasy environment, which leads to super flat cookies. Plus parchment paper makes for the perfect clean up too!
Do I need to chill the dough?
I highly recommend chilling the dough before baking. I tested this recipe without chilling the dough and the cookies were much too thin and lost their chewy texture. Chilling the dough gives the butter a chance to solidify, thus giving it more time to melt in the oven. If you put the cookies into the oven at room temperature, the butter will melt way too fast.
Can I double this recipe?
You sure can! Just double all the ingredients to make yourself 12 cookies instead of 6! Be sure to use 2 egg yolks if doubling, not a whole egg.
How to store
These cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. They can also be frozen for up to 2 months.
Want to try more recipes?
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Small Batch Sugar Cookie Recipe
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ⅛ tsp almond extract
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour spooned and leveled
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 2-4 tbsp sprinkles optional
- In a medium sized bowl, mix together the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the egg yolk, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Mix until combined.
- Pour the flour, baking soda, and salt into the bowl and mix until everything is combined. It will seem crumbly at first but continue to mix until it comes together. Add 2 tbsp of sprinkles to the batter and mix (optional).
- Scoop into 6 cookies, about 2 tbsp of dough per each. Roll between your hands to make them round and place them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Place this into the fridge for 45 minutes so the dough can chill.
- Preheat your oven to 350° F. Once the dough is chilled, you can roll the tops in extra sprinkles (optional) and place them into the oven for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool on the pan for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a wire cooling rack.