4 Variations on a Sugar Cookie

4 Variations on a Sugar Cookie | girlinthelittleredkitchen.com

All it takes is one base dough to get 4 incredible Variations on a Sugar Cookie.  So next time the cravings strike for some sugar cookies, you are going to want to crank up the music and start playing with this no-chill dough!

Variations on a Sugar Cookie from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen

 This is a sponsored post on behalf of Collectively and HP.  As always all opinions are my own and thank you for supporting brands that I work with.

I’m just going to get the truth out there, I am a cookie baker that hates making cut out cookies.

I love eating them but I absolutely loathe the process.  The waiting, the rolling, the dough sticking because it wasn’t chilled enough, the cookie not keeping their shape because the dough got too warm. We’ve all been there, admit the truth with me.  As pretty as they are, I’d rather just buy some from a bakery.

Today though, I’m bending the rules a bit, I’ve mastered the perfect (I’m serious it is) sugar cookie dough that requires absolutely NO CHILL TIME! The no chill time is only part of this perfect dough, it’s incredibly versatile with tons of variations you can come up with. Today though, I’m going to share just four of my favorites.

Sugar Cookie Base Dough | girlinthelittleredkitchen.com

 At this point you are probably still skeptical about this so call “perfect” cookie dough but I promise you that it is.  You see my secret here is just a touch of cream cheese in the dough, it gives it a little extra room to play and with less butter it doesn’t turn to a hot mess under your warm hands.

How about those variations I just spoke about?  Now the sky is the limit here but these are my personal favorites when it comes to sugar cookies:

  • Lemon Sugar Cookies : Simply add lemon extract and zest to the base dough, I feel that the zest gives it a little more zip!
  • Chocolate Sugar Cookies: Consider these an easy way to faux chocolate sandwich cookies, the cream cheese doesn’t give this cookies as much of a snap but the hint of cocoa is a lovely touch of any chocolate lover.
  • Soft Sugar Cookie Drops:  All you have to do is roll, slice and roll again into a ball then coat with sprinkles and bake.  You end up with soft little drops of cookies. Plus sprinkles!
  • Frosted Sugar Cookies: No sugar cookie is complete without a schmear of buttercream on top.  Add it to our regular bass recipe, the lemon cookies or sandwiched in between two chocolate cookies.

That’s it folks, that’s how we bend the rules a little bit and now let’s get baking! Oh and keep reading after the recipe to learn about the new HP X360!

Variations on a Sugar Cookie | The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen

4 Variations on a Sugar Cookie
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    Sugar Cookie Base Dough:
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups cane sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Flavor variations:
  • For lemon cookies: Add 1 teaspoon lemon extract + zest from 1 lemon
  • For chocolate cookies: Add 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • For almond cookies: Add 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • For frosted cookies:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tablespoons whole milk or heavy cream
  • 2-3 drops of gel food coloring of your choice


  1. In a medium bow combine the flour, baking powder and salt. If making chocolate cookies, add the cocoa powder at this time.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and airy, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. If using additional extracts (lemon or almond) add them at this point.
  4. Mix in the flour in two parts, scraping down the sides of the bowl until the dough is combined. The dough at the bottom of the bowl might be dry and shaggy but just use your hands to bring it together - it should have the consistency of play dough.
  5. Scoop the dough out on to a well floured surface and gently knead into a ball.
  6. Divide into 4 sections to work with.
  7. If making cut out cookies, roll to 1/4 inch thickness and cut out with a cookie cutter of your choice.
  8. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 9 minutes.
  9. If making sugar cookie drops, roll 1/4 of the dough into a log and then slice into 1/4 inch pieces. Roll the dough into a ball in between your palms and place into a bowl filled with sprinkles or sanding sugar. Roll to coat.
  10. Bake these cookies in a 350 degree oven for 11 minutes.
  11. For the buttercream frosting:
  12. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix the butter and confectioners sugar on medium speed until combined. Add the vanilla and milk or cream and increase the speed until it's nice and creamy looking. Add the gel food coloring and continue to beat on high until the buttercream is whipped and has a light and fluffy look to it.
  13. Frost each cook with a small offset spatula.
Recipe Type: Cookie, Dessert

Variations on a Sugar Cookie #BendtheRules |girlinthelittleredkitchen.com

Speaking of bending the rules, are you familiar with the new HP X360?  You know as a blogger, I am lost without my electronic communications and I own a lot of them.  My smart phone, my laptop, my tablet – I need it all, so I can be connected wherever I am, which is why I was excited to try out the X360.   It’s not just a plain jane laptop, it flips to a tablet, and then into tent or stand mode.  That means I can sit at my desk and write and edit photos. Flip it to a tablet for easy pinning on pinterest. Set it as a stand in the kitchen to look at my recipe notes when I’m cooking or easy access to music listening and lastly tent mode when I’m ready to relax at the end of the day watch some Netflix.  Hey that’s the truth, we all love our Netflix binge watching!

Oh right and back to the music, you guys know Meghan Trainor right (“it’s all about that bass, ’bout that bass. ..”), yeah now you do. Well HP is on tour with with her and since I just got the song stuck in your head, check out the details.


HP X360 #BendtheRules | girlinthelittleredkitchen.com


Variations on a Sugar Cookie | girlinthelittleredkitchen.com

Little Red Kitchen Bake Shop

18 thoughts on “4 Variations on a Sugar Cookie

  1. Lori @ Foxes Love Lemons

    I’m so glad to know I’m not alone in my hatred of cut out sugar cookies. I mean, I love eating them of course. But making them is a whole ‘nother ballgame. Although I think I could set aside my annoyance to make the lemon flavored ones πŸ™‚

    1. Susan Palmer

      I think you will learn to love these, mostly because it really is the easiest version I’ve ever made. Although my preference goes to the little soft sugar drops with the lemon flavor.

  2. Lauren @ Healthy Delicious

    1. You are a genius. I love that these cookies don’t need to be chilled. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

    2. That tripod/kickstand feature? I don’t need a new laptop, but I think I need a new laptop. πŸ˜‰ That’s just so super convenient!!

  3. Kim Beaulieu

    Well you are a little evil genius aren’t you? Lol!

    I love making cookies but I’m the same as you. I hate cut out ones because they are so tricky. I’m totally trying your recipe. I can’t wait to pull out all my new cookie cutters I got for the holidays.

    Um, I seriously need a new laptop. Mine is a hot mess. It takes me twice as long to do everything because it’s endlessly having issues. I think I need to look into this one. It looks perfect for me. Especially the easy pinning part, you know me and pinterest. It’s a love affair like no other.


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