Drop Cracked Sugar Cookies

by Alice Currah on June 3, 2010. Updated December 19, 2010

[donotprint] Have you ever just wanted a simple cookie?  The type of cookie which comforts you like an old friend who calls just to say they were thinking of you.  Whenever I’ve had a rough day, nothing is more therapeutic than baking cookies.   For a reason unknown to even myself, all I wanted was a nostalgic cookie to remind me of my childhood where all my cares of the world were related to tv shows, going to the park, and playing with friends in the neighborhood.

Nothing brings me back to being 5 years old again than a simple sugar cookie.  A pillow like softness on the inside and a tender crust on the outside, these cookies whisper, “Hello dear friend.”

So this morning I baked a batch of cracked cookies with sugar sprinkles.  They’re called cracked cookies because the surface of each cookie has a cracked like texture.  These aren’t the type of sugar cookies you roll out but are simply drop cookies which doesn’t require any effort on my part to make.  If you’re feeling a little blue today, may I suggest baking a batch of these cookies?  They will surely bring a smile to your face and uplift your spirit. Enjoy!


Dropped Cracked Sugar Cookies

Makes 32 medium sized cookies – Adapted from AllRecipes.com


1 1/4 cups white sugar

1 cup salted butter

3 egg yolks

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1/3 cup coarse sugar crystals or regular granulated sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Cream together butter and sugar until it is nice and creamy.  Mix in 1 egg yolk at a time and vanilla extract.   Add flour, baking soda, cream of tarter, and salt until cookie dough is completely mixed.  Be sure to scrape down the bowl to be sure everything is mixed.  Using a medium scoop, form dough balls and roll them in sugar crystals.  Place cookie balls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper 2 inches apart from one another.  Be sure not to flatten the dough.  Bake for 12-14 minutes until the surface of each cookies have a cracked like texture.  Remove from oven and allow cookies to remain on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.  Enjoy!

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{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

Jill S. June 3, 2010 at 1:22 pm

I love all kinds of sugar cookies. This one looks fabulous!


Danica June 3, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Hmmmm…I can already taste the buttery, sugary goodness :) I LOVE your use of the bigger sugar crystals.


Julia June 3, 2010 at 1:30 pm

how simple and perfect! Thanks for the recipe.


manju June 3, 2010 at 2:41 pm

ohh..how i love these!!


KY June 3, 2010 at 8:53 pm

Beautiful cookies and pictures!


Cody June 3, 2010 at 9:27 pm

They look gorgeous! And I love the mise en place shot.

I like my sugar cookies with just a bit of lemon zest. Yum-my.


Laurie June 3, 2010 at 9:56 pm

nothing to roll out?!!! Thank you thank you thank you!!!


David June 3, 2010 at 10:35 pm

Those look really yummy…i just need a big cold glass of milk!


Baking is my Zen June 3, 2010 at 10:36 pm

The fact that there is no dough rolling…I’ll try it.
For as much as I like sugar cookies, I’m not a fan of rolling out dough.

You’ve fixed that! Wonderful.

Your Photography – Sweeeet! :)



Georgia June 4, 2010 at 12:09 am

If a freshly baked, homemade cookie doesn’t cheer you up, I don’t know what will. I bake when I’m feeling down too…there’s nothing better. Although looking at your beautiful photos helps too!


MICHELE June 4, 2010 at 2:52 am



Mary June 4, 2010 at 9:18 am

I’ve just bookmarked this recipe, because this is exactly the kind of cookie I like best: chewy, chocolate-free and no-roll. Lovely photos!


Rocky Mountain Woman June 4, 2010 at 12:35 pm

I love simple sugar cookies!

I’m going to a barbeque this weekend and I think I’ve found the perfect dessert to contribute to the table…


Georgia Pellegrini June 4, 2010 at 2:09 pm

Oh my goodness, I think I just tasted these by looking at the photograph. Is that possible?


Melissa June 4, 2010 at 7:27 pm

I have been looking for a recipe for sugar cookies that taste like some I had a while ago. I made these this afternoon when I saw this post and guess what…these are just what I am looking for! Thank you! :)


alice June 4, 2010 at 7:31 pm

Hi Melissa,
Thanks for coming back and leaving feedback. Hope those cookies made your day like they did mine a few days ago. Have a great weekend!


kitchen table June 5, 2010 at 1:42 am

These sugar cookies looks so delicious! This is so timely. I have been craving for cookies.


Corinna June 5, 2010 at 9:00 pm

Can’t wait to try these! I’ve been craving much different things, being pregnant with #3 now. Btw, what exactly is cream of tartar? What does it do in this recipe?


Ilana June 7, 2010 at 12:36 am

I found your blog few days ago and I already like it!
I had 3 undecided yolks in my fridge, and two bored kids in the house, so I prepared the dough and assigned jobs of making the balls and rolling them in the sugar. Everybody loved the cookies!

I wonder why my cookies don’t look as flat as yours?! They don’t spread as much, and keep some dome on. Doesn’t affect the taste, but less convenient for ice cream sandwiches :) .


alice June 7, 2010 at 12:57 am

I don know why. But reading your comment makes me want to try a more domed cookie now. You give a good reason to try!


Soreeta in Oklahoma June 7, 2010 at 12:14 pm

I made these cookies last Friday. I’m sad to say that they did not live to see Saturday! Mainly because of me! There’s something about the salted butter. I couldn’t help myself! The cookies were slightly chewy (just how I like them). It was the perfect combo of sweet/salty. I’m an avid baker and I very rarely used salted butter. I was pleasantly surprised! I will definitely make them again but I am going to have to double the recipe!!!!


alice June 7, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Soreeta: Simple cookies are the most magical.. they have a way of just disappearing!


Amanda June 8, 2010 at 9:56 am

Stumbled it! Love this recipe… your pictures are amazing!!


Christy Bergeron June 9, 2010 at 6:57 pm

I’m new to your blog & just love it. I made these sugar cookies tonight. They were gobbled up as soon as I took them out of the oven. Keep the great recipes coming!


Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction June 9, 2010 at 8:33 pm

These cookies look great! I especially love the picture of rolling the cookie in the sugar… Stunning! I love sugar cookies… I will have to give this recipe a try.


Alicia June 11, 2010 at 10:32 am

My cookies actually looked like the picture! Thanks for a great recipe!


Teresa June 18, 2010 at 10:06 am

Blueberries are my favorite- and antiaging! I can’t wait to sample this twist on the expected!


Baking is my Zen June 19, 2010 at 11:42 am

Thanks for the inspiration Alice.

I baked these…added a Lime-Sugar Topping to the cookies.
Out of this world!!

You can see my post on: http://bakingismyzen.blogspot.com/2010/06/lime-sugar-cookies-no-rolling-pin_19.html



Nara June 26, 2010 at 3:51 pm

I love this recipe (and all of the other ones I’ve tried). Thank you for your wonderful site!



Shelli July 4, 2010 at 9:30 pm

I found these while looking for a drop sugar cookie- never dreamed they would look and taste this good! I rolled them in red, white, and blue sprinkles to take them to a cookout yesterday. Half of them were devoured prior to dinner. Everyone loved them so much that I made them again today for a bbq at my house. This will be a repeat recipe for me!


Amber August 27, 2010 at 4:49 pm

Wow these cookies look awesome! This is what I’ve been searching for. Can’t wait to try this recipe! I’ll be sure not to flatter the dough just as your recipe calls for. Does that mean I should offend the dough instead? Maybe it’s best I don’t say anything to the dough. It makes sense not to flatter the dough I mean I wouldnt want it to get a big head and then not perform to its best.



holly September 4, 2010 at 11:12 am

I made these cookies for a bake sale , they were a huge success. And super easy to make. Thanks for a great recipe!


Daisy September 15, 2010 at 1:26 pm

I LOVE these cookies! They came out so delicious and soft! I’m addicted :) My 3 year old enjoyed helping me cover the dough with the sugar crystals. Thanks for the wonderful recipe!


Kristin December 6, 2010 at 10:28 am

Hi there! I found your blog (and this recipe) on tastespotting – I am going to make these cookies this afternoon, and I was wondering about the coarse sugar to sprinkle on the outside. I bought a small jar of “decorative sugar crystals” because I couldn’t find anything else resembling the regular coarse sugar – are these the same thing? I’m worried that (since they are decorative) they won’t taste very good surrounding the whole cookie. But regular sugar just doesn’t sparkle as much on the outside, so I’m torn! Let me know what you think! :)


Kristin December 6, 2010 at 4:29 pm

(to continue my last comment)…
these are cooling on my counter, and they are just gorgeous. Didn’t change a thing from your instructions (and thank you for your speedy e-mail reply to my question!), and they taste absolutely amazing. It has been way too long since I’ve had a classic sugar cookie – basic flavors while still being exceptional. Yummmm!


Pam DeWolf December 11, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Used this recipe for holiday cookies. Simply rolled the dough in red and green sugars. Very cakey yet crispy cookies. I made a quaduple batch for a cookie exchange and found it to be a very easy recipe.
I purchased one of the scoops they suggested. Found that using a spoon to get a walnut size amount of dough (25 grams) and then rolling it lightly between the palms of my hands worked much better. That amount of dough will get you the correct amount of cookies.
Will definately use again and pass it on. YUM!


Susan December 14, 2010 at 1:13 pm

I am currently in the middle of making your cookies (I am an experienced baker)..however…the dough at the end is very crumbly??? Does it take a while mixing to get the dough to coagulate into a ball or is there a trick. Your dough looks like a cohesive mass while mine is crumbly. I have gone over the ingredients to make sure I did not omit anything and I’m not sure what has happened. I am very disappointed right now…I hope there is hope! I thought about adding a little extra vanilla..perhaps a little orange juice. Can you please help??!!


Tami Kelley December 14, 2010 at 5:53 pm

thank you! i needed a cookie recipe to add in christmas m&m’s. i was out of brown sugar and shortening… this was the perfect sugar cookie recipe, soft chewy – no roll – and perfect for your favorite add in. mMmm.


Judy December 15, 2010 at 1:21 am

I just made these cookies…they are so yummy! I’ve been looking for a sugar cookie recipe like this for a long time. Thank you!


Kelly December 18, 2010 at 4:26 pm

OMG these are the best sugar cookies I’ve ever had. I made them for a Christmas party and they were a huge hit! Luckily I had some left over because they taste AMAZING dipped in coffee the next morning! Thank you for the recipe!


allison December 20, 2010 at 3:03 pm

These cookies look great, i am planning a cookie decorating party for my neices. Do u think i could make these in shapes?? and or put frosting on them???


Rebecca March 7, 2011 at 11:11 am

I made these this weekend and they were incredible. Loved them. I look forward to trying more of your recipes!


Patti June 4, 2011 at 8:22 am

These cookies are wonderful. I wanted a heavier, more firm sugar cookie and these are just that. The taste says “eat another one”! I made these for my sons wedding picnic reception and they were a hit right beside the chocolate chip cookies. It is an easy recipe. Keeping the dough chilled and I baked mine 11-12 min. is the key for my cookies. I prefer them a bit underbaked. They freeze well also. This was a great find for me.


Luana July 14, 2011 at 8:23 pm

I LOVE these cookies! I made them today for my family, they went crazy! Its always hard to find a really good sugar cookie recipe that you don’t have to roll out. I didn’t have the crystal sugar but they still turned out great! Thanks for the recipe, next time I’ll be sure to double it!!


Heather December 15, 2011 at 8:26 pm

The cracked sugar cookies are simply fabulous!!! They seriously do take you back to your childhood. Thank you for sharing this delicious yet simple recipe with us. Keep up the the incredible work.


Monique December 24, 2012 at 6:45 pm

Being Christmas I was craving sugar cookies and didn’t want to roll them out. Made these today and they were great. Thank you!!!!


Cheyanne December 31, 2012 at 9:24 pm

I just tried this recipe and the cookies are awesome! I can’t stop eatting them. From now on, these are the only sugar cookies I’ll be making :)


Jeanae January 3, 2013 at 8:45 am

Best sugar cookie I have come across. Very well done. Thank you!!!


Mary L. February 20, 2013 at 11:17 pm

I made these cookies and they were adorable. However,
in case you didn´t read correctly, THEY WILL SPREAD!… a lot

I ended up with some friendly cookies who stuck to each other.
Never underestimate the 2″ measurement given in a recipe ;)


Selah Davenport July 21, 2013 at 2:27 pm

Can I substitute baking powder for the baking soda + cream of tarter? If so, how much? Thanks!


Nancy Schmidt July 31, 2013 at 7:46 pm

Tasty cookies but I also had ‘non-spreading’ cookies. I have a feeling there’s a bit too much flour in the recipe. I tried mixing it vigorously in the end to see if the dough would soften up but it just stayed thick. I’m not sure if you found any other suggestions that I could try. I also added half a teaspoon of nutmeg to give it a flavourful aroma. Just as another option to the recipe.


Joan Imes August 22, 2013 at 6:39 pm

I was searching for an easy drop sugar cookie recipe and am so happy I found this one! I love sugar cookies, but honestly hate rolling them out and icing them. This is the perfect recipe for me. Easy, easy, easy…and they turned out exactly like the picture. I used a small ice scream scoop and parchment paper (love that stuff!) and ended up with 27 cookies. I didn’t have any course sugar (will use it next time), but the cookies still turned out delicious…so soft and buttery! This is definitely a recipe I will be using again and again!


Heather December 25, 2013 at 2:40 pm

I’ve used this recipe numerous times now and it’s my families favorite all-time hands down cookie recipe. Thanks for sharing this with us!


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