Giant Vanilla Sugar Cookies

So the end of July + August is just sprinkled with birthdays while these cookies are just sprinkled with sugar.


My brother’s birthday was last week and I learned last year that cookies are his gift of choice. He’s the kind of guy who loves chocolate chip cookies, but is overly excited to meet the one chocolate chip cookie that’s chip-less! So this year I made him these giant sugar cookies because really, the cookie is the true center of attention, with no delicious distractions. So here you go, brother of mine. Happy belated birthday already!


I think it’s obvious Joy the Baker knows what’s up, and these cookies prove that to be true yet again!

Giant Vanilla Sugar Cookies
Recipe from Joy the Baker and The Pastry Queen
(makes 1 dozen 4-inch cookies or 2 dozen 2-inch cookies)

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus additional for sugaring tops
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 t vanilla extract, or the seeds of 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t salt

(keep in mind that the dough needs to be refrigerated for an hour or in the freezer for at least 15 minutes to make it more manageable)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper, or foil, or grease generously with butter or cooking spray.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter in a large bowl on medium speed for about 1 minute.  Add the canola oil.  It may not fully incorporate with the butter, but that’s ok.  Add the granulated sugar, powdered sugar, egg and vanilla, beating on medium speed until each ingredient is completely incorporated.
  3. Stir in the flour, baking soda and salt all at once using a wooden spoon or the mixer set on low.
  4. The dough will be soft so you should definitely refrigerate the dough for 1 hour or freeze for 15 minutes just so it’s easier to handle.
  5. For large cookies, dollop 2 Tablespoons of cookie dough onto the cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.  For smaller cookies use 1 Tablespoon for each cookie.  Press the dough evenly with your fingers or palm to 1/4-inch thickness.  Generously sprinkle sugar on top of the cookie dough.
  6. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes for larger cookies or 8 to 10 minutes for smaller cookies.  Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for at least 10 minutes before transferring to racks to cool completely.  The cookies will keep for up to 3 days if stored in an airtight container.

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