Simple Dropped Sugar Cookies

Rolled sugar cookies are always such a lengthy and time consuming process. I love them, but they’re a little too much work for me right now. So that left me with only one option- dropped cookies. I did a little research and came across a recipe that I thought would work… the only problem was that people were getting mixed results (check out the pictures here, it’s really strange). Some cookies turned out flat and cracked (which was what I was looking for) and others turned out puffy and thick. I decided to add a little water to my cookie dough to help coax in into flattening and I also increased the vanilla and added lemon zest just to give them more flavor. I think the alterations paid off, because these came out looking beautiful and tasting amazing too! We’ve definitely found ourselves a really great substitute for traditional rolled & frosted cookies! Happy baking!

Simple Dropped Sugar Cookies
2½ c. all-purpose flour
1¼ c. sugar
16 tbsp. (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
3 egg yolks

1 tbsp. water, lukewarm

¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. cream of tartar

1 tbsp. vanilla extract
Zest of 1 lemon

½ c. sprinkles or coarse sugar for rolling

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper, set aside.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together butter and sugar until creamy. Add 1 egg yolk at a time, mixing after each addition. Add vanilla extract, water, and lemon zest, mix until just combined.
3. In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk to together flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. With mixing speed on low, gradually add the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.
4. Form cookies by using a medium size scoop. Roll the tops (or the mounded side) in sprinkles or sugar (keeping the flat side or bottom free of any sugar). Place balls onto prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Do not flatten the cookies, they will do so on their own. 
5. Place in oven and bake for 14-16 minutes or until the the edges begin to brown and the cookies are cracked. Remove from oven and allow cookies to remain on the cookie sheet for 3-4 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Adapted from All Recipes, Cracked Sugar Cookies | Makes approximately 24 cookies

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About the Author


Wife, mother, baker and photographer. Recipe developer & author of Life Made Simple. A self-professed peanut butter lover and fond of anything that involves pumpkin, cookie dough, or sprinkles

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  1. I agree all that rolling and cutting keeps me from making cookies more often…I love that you modified a drop cookie and found one that works!! So much easier this way:-)

  2. Love making sugar cookies this way. When the rolled ones are all cut out, I do this to the remnant dough. So easy without the extra sugar.