Chewy Sugar Cookies

A fool-proof recipe for tender and chewy sugar cookies perfect for sprinkles! 

So, we were going to some friends’ house to watch the game Saturday and I was tasked with bringing a kid-friendly snack.

I’d put a few things together to take and realized I had an hour to kill before we had to head out so I got to snooping through my cabinets looking for something else to whip up.

And I had a whole lot of nothing. Dang it. But then I spied a jar of sprinkles and thought sugar cookies! Kids love sprinkles! You could roll a pickled beet in sprinkles and they’d eat it.

I really like to add citrus flavors to my sugar cookies. Especially if I’m going to roll them in sprinkles or sugar. I don’t know why but I just totally think citrus and sprinkles or sugar crystals go together!

I use whatever I have on-hand. I love lemon (always!) but when I have oranges, I like to use them because the tiny bit of orange is such a fresh, unexpected surprise with cookies!

The zest and juice from the lemons or oranges with the vanilla extract make these cookies extra special!

This recipe was shared at Meal Plan Monday!

Chewy Sugar Cookies
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 egg
Zest of one large orange or two lemons
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice (or 2 teaspoons lemon juice)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Sprinkles or sugar for rolling cookies

Cream together butter and sugar with an electric mixer set at medium speed until fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add egg, orange zest, orange juice and vanilla and continue mixing until ingredients are well combined and smooth.

Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt then slowly add dry ingredients to butter mixture. Mix on low speed until combined. Dough will be thick.

Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls*, roll in sprinkles and place on a cookie sheet or baking pan 2 inches apart. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until cookies just begin to brown on the bottom. Cool cookies on cookie sheet for 5 minutes then remove to a clean surface to cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container.

*I use a 1 1/2 inch cookie scoop to portion out my cookies. I pack the dough in level then pop the dough out and roll the rounded part in the sprinkles (not the flat bottom). The dough pops out dome-shaped which is perfect because a) I don’t have to try to roll them into balls – they’re already perfectly rounded and b) they have a flat surface to place on the cookie sheet so they won’t roll around on the pan. I hope that makes sense!


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  1. Can I leave out orange juice and zest for just a plain sugar cookie?

    1. Yes, but most "plain" sugar cookies have something for flavor. Either double the vanilla extract or add one teaspoon of almond extract (in addition to the vanilla).

  2. Love the "orange kissed"! Can't wait to try them.

  3. Dog-gone-it, these look good!

  4. Holy sprinkles these are good! I made them and they are the best sugar cookies I have ever made. Thanks for the recipe!

  5. Lori K. Dunham12/9/13, 6:29 PM

    Have you ever made these up and refrigerated the dough, then baked them off a couple days later? I'm about to find out how that works out. The dough is amazing, I can only imagine what the baked cookie will taste like

    1. Lori K. Dunham12/10/13, 6:45 AM

      yep it works, made the dough up last night baked them off this morning. Great recipe, cookies are awesome!

    2. How many cookies does this recipe make?

    3. Sorry I missed your question! Looks like you figured it out! Though I've never frozen or refrigerated this particular dough, most others work out perfectly so I'm sure this one does too!

  6. Is it possible to roll these out and use cookie cutters for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter cookie themes.

    1. YES! Pop the dough in the fridge for an hour first though to make sure it's firm enough to cut.


Hi there! While I’m not able to respond to every comment, I try hard to answer any questions that haven’t been addressed in the post, recipe or in other comments.

I can tell you now 1) I have no idea if you can substitute Minute Rice or brown rice in my recipes because I’ve never used them and 2) If I know how to convert a recipe to a Crock Pot version, I will make a note about it (otherwise, I don’t know).

And though I may not respond to them all, I do read each and every comment and I LOVE to hear from you guys! Thanks, y’all! - Mandy