Crispy Vanilla-Spice Sugar Cookies 36.000

Renee Comet for The Washington Post

Holiday Cookies 2006 Dec 13, 2006

These easy sugar cookies look low-key, but they have a distinctive crisp texture and, owing to fresh ginger root, an enticing spice taste that makes them memorable. Unlike many holiday cookies, these don't require rolling.

Servings: 36 cookies
  • 3 2/3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 2/3 cup corn oil, canola oil or other flavorless vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger root
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • Additional red or green decorating sugar, for garnish (optional)


Position an oven rack in the upper third of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees. Lightly grease several baking sheets or line with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, 1 1/4 teaspoons of the cinnamon and the salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, oil, sugars and ginger for about 2 minutes, until very light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, vanilla extract and lemon zest, mixing until smooth. Reduce the speed to low and add about half the flour mixture, mixing to incorporate. By hand, add the remainder of the flour mixture, mixing well. Let the dough stand 10 minutes to firm up slightly.

Meanwhile, combine the sugar and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon in a shallow bowl.

Divide the remaining dough into thirds, then divide each third into 12 equal portions. Roll the portions between the palms of your hands to form balls; place them on the baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Wipe the bottom of a flat-bottomed glass lightly with vegetable oil. Dip the glass into the sugar-cinnamon mixture, then press down on a ball to form a 2 1/4-inch round. Continue forming the cookies, dipping the jar bottom into the cinnamon sugar between each cookie and oiling it after every 2 or 3 cookies. Lightly sprinkle the cookies with more cinnamon sugar or a little colored sugar, if desired.

Bake, 1 sheet at a time, for 6 to 9 minutes or until the cookies are just light golden brown around the edges; do not overbake. Rotate the pan from front to back about halfway through baking to ensure even browning. Let cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from cookbook author Nancy Baggett.

Tested by Lucy Shackelford.

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