This Is The Only Cookie Recipe You Need In Your Life This Holiday Season

By Sogoal Zolghadri

Do you remember those Pillsbury slice and bake cookies? They came in one full log, and all you had to do was cut them up and pop them in the oven. They were always seasonally themed, featuring a pumpkin image or a Christmas tree or a weird looking bunny, and they tasted oddly decadent for a refrigerated roll of dough that had a two year expiration date. Well, this funfetti sugar cookie recipe for one person tastes just like that, except way better; these cookies are pleasantly dense but also soft, with a slight crisp at the edges. Sweet and just rich enough, this small batch cookie recipe fills your apartment with the coziness of wafting vanilla and butter, but spares you the grief of having dozens of sugar cookies staling on your kitchen counter for weeks. From start to finish, I had fresh baked cookies in a mere half hour (including clean up time while the lil’ guys were baking! Win!).

The recipe yields about a half pound of cookie dough, which doesn’t have to be chilled prior to being rolled and cut. No chilling! That might be my favorite part, since I have no patience and would prefer not to wait two hours to have a cookie. Since it’s meant for cut-out cookies, you can pick and choose how big or small you’d like your shapes to be. Keen on little animal cracker-sized nibbly bits to have with your coffee? Do it. Prefer rolling out the whole mound of dough into a singular sheet of cookie to eat in one sitting? It’s your world, boo. Go for it.

Don’t have any cookie cutters on hand? Just grab your standard drinking glass (pint glasses are a nice size) and use it to punch out a few rounds. You could even just use a sharp chef’s knife to cut multiple squares or rectangles; the dough is quite forgiving and can be roughed around a bit if your cookie-cutting skills need a few rounds to really shine.

If you want just one fresh baked average-sized cookie to treat your beautiful self at the end of the day, simply use what you need of the dough and tightly wrap the rest in two layers of cling wrap. Toss it in the fridge and use throughout the week when you’re due for a treat. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Here, I’ve featured a funfetti variety (read: sprinkles mixed in), but these cookies are super riffable. Add in cinnamon and nutmeg for a spiced rendition; swap out the vanilla extract for almond and a little citrus zest for a brighter taste; or even just play around with different pretty sprinkle additions. Feeling ambitious? Use two baked cookies and sandwich your favorite fruit preserve in between. With so many available iterations, these cookies lend themselves well to a variety of sweet needs. But most importantly, they’re buttery, perfectly portioned, and pretty darn cute.

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk from a large egg
  • 1/2 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. multicolored sprinkles

Adapted from: Cake Whiz

Time: 30 minutes

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar with a paddle attachment on medium-high until it's well combined and a bit fluffier and lighter than when you started. If you don’t have a stand mixer, a hand mixer and a mixing bowl will be totally a-OK.

3. Add egg yolk and vanilla extract. Beat on medium-low until well combined.

4. Add flour, baking powder, and salt (if you’re adding any additional sprinkles or spices, add them here, too). Mix on medium to combine until a ball eventually forms.

5. Remove the ball from the bowl and sandwich it between two long pieces of parchment or wax paper.

6. Give the ball a few thwacks with the palm of your hand to get it closer to a flatter disc shape; this will make it easier to start rolling it with a rolling pin.

7. Roll dough with a rolling pin evenly so that it's about a quarter of an inch thick.

8. Use cookie cutters to cut shapes and place on a lined sheet tray.

9. Repeat with scrap pieces until all dough has been used.

10. Bake for a total of 12 minutes, rotating the sheet tray halfway through.

11. Remove and cool before serving.

And there you have it! You've got yourself a mini batch of warm, home-made sugar cookies you can now eat immediately. You'll never wonder what to do about dessert ever again.

Check out more Single Serving recipe ideas here for when your speed is less “entertaining my crew” and more “watching Netflix alone on my couch.”