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Sugar Cookies…aka Million Dollar Cookies

February 21, 2010

By Kath Dedon


I made sugar cookies twice last December. The first time I used un-dyed sugar for rolling the cookies. The second time, at Carrie’s urging, I dyed sugar red and green to make them more Christmassy. I do not recommend dying the sugar unless you really must have colored sugar cookies. It was quite a bit messier, and they really didn’t look better. I preferred the un-dyed ones.

These are just like the cookies my mom used to make. She called them Million Dollar Cookies. (And she used red and green sugar for Christmas cookies. ;-))

I have her recipe, and it’s almost identical to this one. However, her recipe used Crisco which was a common ingredient in the ‘60s. This recipe, adapted from the one in the 1999 edition of Cook’s Illustrated The Best Recipe, uses butter, which makes it even better.

These are really, really, really good sugar cookies! (I guess that’s why they were called Million Dollar Cookies.)

Here’s a tip about cookie sheets for this recipe. I used insulated cookie sheets for the first batch, and they did not turn out well. The cookies were very crumbly. When I used regular cookie sheets they were perfect.

I took pictures when I made the red and green ones, but never got around to putting them in the blog. So here they are now, in case you want a batch of spring sugar cookies.


Sugar Cookies…aka Million Dollar Cookies

(Adapted from the recipe in America’s Test Kitchen The Best Recipe)


(printable recipe)


Makes about 30 cookies


2 cups (240 g) flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup (192g) granulated sugar, plus ¼ cup for rolling cookies

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 375˚.

2. Cream the butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. This takes about 3 – 4 minutes with an electric mixer. (Be sure to cream it really well. It makes a difference.)


3. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat for about 30 seconds.

4. Stir the flour, baking powder and salt together and add to the butter/sugar/egg mixture. Beat until just combined.

5. Put ¼ cup sugar in a small bowl. Form the dough into 1½ inch balls. Roll them in the sugar and place them about 2 inches apart on an ungreased regular cookie sheet (not an insulated one).

6. Butter the bottom of a glass and dip it in the sugar. Use the glass to flatten the balls of dough.


7. Bake for 10 – 11 minutes. Cool on the cookie sheet for a couple of minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.


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