This patriotic sugar cookie recipe is delicious and easy to make. With the classic sugar cookie flavor we love, with white chocolate drizzle and patriotic red, white, and blue stars and candied sprinkles, these cookies are the perfect dessert to bring to your Memorial Day, July 4th celebration or family gatherings.
Sugar cookies are one of those classic cookie recipes that everyone loves. I’d rank them right up there with chocolate chip cookies. They’re an especially popular cookie in the south. In fact, they might even be more popular than the classic chocolate chip variety. Down there they call them Tea Cakes, which I think is an adorable name.
While sugar cookies might be a staple in the south, they’re not synonymous with that area of the states. In fact, people all over the country make them. Some varieties, like Tea Cakes, for example, are a bit more firm and crumbly. While some other cookies are soft and chewy. Some are flat and some are quite thick.
Sugar Cookie – A Versatile Treat
The patriotic sugar cookies I’ll be showing you today are moist and chewy. They’re also covered in white chocolate drizzle rather than frosting as many sugar cookies are. While the red, white, and blue candied stars and candied sprinkles make these cookies the perfect dessert for any Memorial Day or Independence Day get-together, they can be frosted or left plain and can be served at any event whatsoever.
From weeknight desserts or afternoon snacks to holidays, potlucks, and social gatherings, these cookies are perfect for anything. They’re so easy to make and decorate – or not – that they pretty much fit the bill for whatever event you might be attending. Or just a late-night snack!
Where Do Sugar Cookies Come From
Sugar cookies are a distinctly American invention. Unlike other foods that American cooks co-opted to suit their needs, sugar cookies were actually created here in America.
In the mid-1700s, German Protestant settlers created a round, crumbly, buttery cookie that came to be known as the Nazareth Cookie. This was the first sugar cookie iteration. Over time, the popularity of these cookies rose as more and more people were able to readily access sugar.
Through the years, these cookies were a staple in many parts of the country, and in the late 1950’s Pillsbury actually began selling a pre-mixed refrigerated sugar cookie dough in grocery stores.
Over time, the sugar cookie saw many changes in various regions. The classic sugar cookie is a staple in the South, while in other parts of the country sugar cookies have become thicker and chewier, iced, or frosted. In some areas, you can even find them used as part of a sandwich cookie filled with buttercream frosting.
What Makes a Good Sugar Cookie Recipe
A lot of people have asked me what makes a good sugar cookie, and I always tell them that the same things are needed today that was needed back when these cookies were first invented: sugar, butter, and a hungry audience. From there, just get creative.
Sugar cookies come in all shapes, sizes, and textures, but sugar and butter are the things that never change in any recipe.
These patriotic sugar cookies, like all sugar cookies, are incredibly simple to make. There’s really not a lot that can go wrong. You just need a few standard ingredients and some attention to detail. That can be said for all baking really.
The sugar cookie recipe I’m showing you how to make today takes the classic sugar cookie and adds a light, lemony twist.
Sugar Cookie Recipe Variations
- One of the best things about sugar cookies is how much you can play with them. I think the simplicity of their base recipe is one reason that they’ve evolved in so many ways across the country over the years. They’re extremely simple butter cookies, and they lend themselves to all sorts of tinkering. This tinkering often leads to delicious results.
- Almost every sugar cookie recipe calls for vanilla extract, but you can get much more creative with them. My recipe also uses lemon extract. However, maple extract would add a nice flavor to the cookie, as well.
- There are a ton of extracts out there that you can get creative with. From maple and lemon to things like peppermint and even blueberry extract. I’m not saying that all extracts will work with this recipe, but I am saying that it’s worth trying them out. You never know what you might come up with.
- Frosting is always a great idea, in my opinion, and sugar cookies agree. Their mild flavor makes them perfect for pairing with a delicious frosting. I would stick with buttercream. Cream cheese frosting might be too tangy for this cookie. That being said, it never hurts to experiment. It’s all about your personal preference.
- Sugar cookies are an excellent base for icing, as well. Icing is thinner than frosting and dries to a glossy finish. It’s ideal for fine decorative work or simply as a glaze if you like to keep things simple. Sugar cookies have a flavor that is perfect for a nicely glazed top.
Patriotic Sugar Cookies Tips
There are a few tips to these cookies that can make the cooking process go more smoothly and even add an extra kick of flavor to the cookies.
- Room Temperature Butter and Eggs: When making your cookies bring the eggs to room temperature as well as the butter. Like softened butter, room temperature eggs cream together in this recipe more easily than cold eggs.
- Use Real Butter: A lot of margarines claim to bake up just as well as real butter. Don’t fall for it! Real butter is the only way to get the right texture and flavor in these cookies.
- Add Lemon Zest: For a bigger lemon zing, add lemon zest as well as lemon extract.
- Use Real Lemon Juice in Place of Extract: If you don’t have lemon extract, but you have a lemon, feel free to use the juice in place of the extract.
- Speed up the Softening Process of Butter: If you forgot to soften your butter, here’s a tip. Microwave a glass measuring cup filled with water until the water boils. Then, pout out the water and place the measuring cup upside down over the butter. It will bring it to room temperature much faster.
Storing the Cookies
You can store these patriotic sugar cookies in an air-tight container for about 2 weeks, although after the first week, the flavor and texture will begin to deteriorate. For longer storage, you can freeze your cookies for about 3 months in an air-tight, freezer-safe container or heavy-duty freezer bag.
Ingredients Needed to Make Sugar Cookies
- All purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Brown sugar
- Butter, room temperature
- Vanilla extract
- Lemon extract
- Corn syrup
- Rainbow Mini Baking chips
- Ghirardelli white chocolate wafers
- Candied sprinkles
(Actual measurements are in the recipe card below.)
How To Make Sugar Cookies
- Preheat oven to 350° and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, or stand mixer, beat butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.
- Add vanilla extract, corn syrup, lemon extract and egg, mix until combined.
- In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.
- Gradually add dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix just until combined.
- Stir in rainbow mini baking chips.
- Roll cookie dough into 1 inch balls and then roll in sanding sugar.
- Place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.
- Bake 15-16 minutes or until edges start to brown and tops have started to crack.
- Carefully remove from oven and let sit on baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
- Next, melt white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl at 30 second intervals, stirring after each 30 seconds.
- Using a spoon, drizzle white chocolate over cookies then sprinkle with candied sprinkles and stars, optional.
Try This Delicious Patriotic Sugar Cookie Recipe Today
These patriotic sugar cookies are so good and so easy. They’re the perfect dessert for your Independence Day celebration. Glaze or drizzle them with a different topping or leave them plain, and you can use them for any event at all.
Whether you bring them to a potluck or just keep a batch on the counter for snacking, everyone who tries one of these cookies is going to love them. Give them a try today!
These cookies were decorated by one of my daughter’s friend, who came to visit and came to work with my daughter. She did a great job! This is a great recipe and we all hope you enjoy these delicious soft and chewy, patriotic sugar cookies.
And, here are a few more delicious cookie recipes that can be found on the blog:
- White Chocolate Cranberry Pecan Cookies
- Snickerdoodle Cookies
- Chocolate Frosted Sugar Cookies
- Chocolate Chip Pecan Pretzel Cookies
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ⅔ cup butter, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tsp corn syrup
- 5 drops lemon extract
- 1 egg, room temperature
- ½ cup rainbow mini baking chips
- 10 oz bag Ghirardelli white chocolate wafers
Preheat oven to 350° and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars together, in a medium bowl, until light and fluffy.
Add vanilla extract, corn syrup, lemon extract and egg and mix until combined.
In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and sat together.
Gradually add dry ingredients into wet ingredients just until combined.
Stir in rainbow mini baking chips.
Roll cookie dough into 1 inch balls and roll in sanding sugar.
Place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.
Bake 15-16 minutes or until edges start to brown and tops have started to crack.
Carefully remove from oven and let sit on baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
Melt white chocolate wafers in a microwave safe bowl at 30 second intervals until melted, stirring after each 30 seconds.
Using a spoon, drizzle white chocolate over cookies then decorate with candied sprinkles and candied stars, optional.
Recipe inspired from Fine Cooking
Here are a few pics that are the perfect size for pinning to Pinterest.
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