Happy Face Sugar Cookies

Preparation info

  • Makes about


    in diameter
    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Cookie Lover's Cookie Book

The Cookie Lover's Cookie Book

By Richard Sax

Published 1986

  • About

Big sugar cookies—simple, rich and buttery. Kids can experiment with these, creating whatever expressions they like on the faces.


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 or 4 drops almond extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour


    1. In an electric mixer, cream the butter and the sugar at medium speed until very light, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the vanilla and almond extracts, then the eggs, one at a time. Lower the mixer speed and add the flour, mixing just until well blended, no longer. Chill until the dough is firm—overnight, or at least 2 hours.
    2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter four baking sheets or sheets of aluminum foil; set aside.
    3. Divide the dough in quarters. Place one portion of dough on a lightly floured surface, keeping the remainder refrigerated. Roll out the dough to a thickness of ¼ inch. Cut out 3½- to 4-inch circles with a fluted or plain cookie cutter dipped in flour (or use a small saucer as a guide). Place the cookies on the baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart.
    4. Use a small round cutter (about ½ inch) or an apple corer or similar round implement to cut out two eyes in each face. With a crescent-shape cutter, cut out a smile (you can also do this with a small paring knife). Repeat with remaining dough, and with rerolled chilled scraps.
    5. Bake the cookies until the edges are lightly golden, 10 to 11 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely; then store airtight.