Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. I always use an oven thermometer. Ovens can, and usually do, heat at a different temperature than what shows on your oven screen. For the best results in any of your baking, I highly recommend using an oven thermometer. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add your cool unsalted butter, sugar, and salt. The temperature of the butter and the fact that you use unsalted butter matter here.
Turn your mixer on the lowest speed available. We don’t want to incorporate any air into the dough. Air will cause spreading! We only want to mix this until it starts to incorporate.
Again, turn your mixer on to the lowest speed and mix just until the egg and flavor have incorporated into the butter and sugar. It will still look sort of lumpy or curdled. This is ok. You just don’t want any big chunks of butter.
Add the flour to your butter, sugar, egg mixture.
This is what it looks like half-way through mixing. Keep going!
Once more, turn your mixer on to the lowest setting, and mix until it all comes together. It will start to clean the sides of the bowl and gather onto the paddle. It doesn’t take long, so don’t walk away from it. Turn the mixer off and touch the dough. If you can leave an imprint with your finger without the dough sticking to it, its ready. I live in a humid area, but the amount of flour in the recipe is perfect 9 1/2 times out of 10.
I use a piece of parchment paper very lightly sprinkled with flour to roll my dough. I also use two pieces of 3/8 inch thick wood as my guide to roll my dough between. This will give you perfectly even cookies every time!
Take your dough, place it onto the very lightly floured parchment paper, and very lightly sprinkle some flour over the dough.
Roll your dough out.
Place your cut dough onto your parchment paper covered cookies sheets. If you’re inserting sticks, follow the directions below. You can skip that step if wanted.
If you’d like to attach sticks to your cookies, here’s how I do it! This is just another perk of making thick cookies. It’s very easy to add a stick to them! I get all my cookies cut out and onto my baking sheet. You do have to space them out a bit more so you have room for the sticks. I haven’t added anything to the stick. This is just a plain lollipop stick.
Make sure you’re inserting the stick in the middle! You don’t want to rest the stick against the pan and insert it because then it’s going to just break away from the cookie.
I’ve flipped this cookie over to show you the back. As you can tell, the stick isn’t visible.
I go about 3/4 of the way into the cookie just to make sure it’s going to hold and be secure.
Bake in your preheated oven for 10-14 minutes depending on the size of your cookies. I never have to bake over 14 minutes, even for my largest cutter (5 1/2 inches). You don’t want your cookies to brown.
After removing from the oven, let the cookies set on the cookie sheet for 2-4 minutes.
If you happen to have any small bumps, you can just use your fingertip while the cookies are still warm and very lightly smooth them down.
I usually let my cookies sit in a tupperware container on a paper towel overnight before decorating. This will help grab any extra butter so you don’t get that dreaded “butter bleed” after you’ve spent 2 days decorating them!
Enjoy your delicious, thick, soft (but sturdy), sugar cookies! Feel free to let your imagination run wild with the flavor possibilities!