The Best Sourdough Sugar Cookies

These cookies are life.  

Like seriously. As in they replace all other food groups life. Did I say they should replace all other food? No, I just said they do. Is it healthy? Eh, I don’t think I’d say that.  But they are a healthier treat.

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And by treat I mean holidays are optional and any excuse will work.  Baby shower? These cookies. Birthday? These cookies. Christmas? These cookies. Toddler going potty any where not in the diaper? These cookies. The baby didn’t spit up on you? These cookies. You got dressed? These cookies.

sourdough cookies

 See where I am going with this? Just make the cookies and thank me later.

A couple of notes:

I usually try to stay away from cane sugar by replacing it with honey, maple syrup or coconut sugar but for the texture of these cookies I just couldn’t totally sub it. So feel free to try if you’d like, I just can’t make any guarantees. If you do and it works let me know though! I’d love to hear about it.

The plain cookies by themselves are not very sweet. And they may not seem super soft at first.  But put the icing on them and let them sit for a few hours or overnight and they transform into this magical soft, scrumptious cookie.

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This recipe makes a huge batch.  Feel free to freeze them, or gift them to somebody. But don’t leave them on the counter. Believe me, I’ve made that mistake and your girl-ish figure will thank me for warning you.

The icing is a base recipe. You can play around with fun natural (or not natural, it’s up to you) dyes if you want. I’ve had great success with tumeric for yellow, tumeric + beetroot powder for orange, beetroot powder for pink (just go light with the beetroot because it will make the cookies taste kind of beet-y), and freeze dried blueberries for purple.

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If you don’t have a sourdough starter you should be able to replace with just a 1/4 cup of flour and 1/4 cup of water. Then skip the fermentation and just go straight to chilling and baking.

Now go make these cookies!

The Best Sourdough Sugar Cookies

Ingredients for Cookies:

1 cup of butter (preferably grass-fed)

1 cup of cane sugar

1 cup of coconut sugar

3 eggs

1 1/2 tsp almond extract

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup of sourdough starter (how to make yours)

5 cups of flour (I have used all purpose, freshly ground and bread flour with great results)

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

Ingredients for Icing:

2 cups powdered cane sugar (or just store bought powder sugar)

1/3 cup tapioca starch (can be omitted but it gives the icing a whiter base to work with if you are using unbleached cane sugar and makes it just a little less sweet)

1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract

milk

For the cookies:

Place all the ingredients in a stand mixer and mix until well combined. Alternatively you can mix by hand.

Cover and leave in a warm spot for 5-8 hours to let the sourdough get busy fermenting and transforming your dough.

After fermentation period, transfer to the fridge. Let chill a minimum of 2 hours or overnight.

Once chilled, preheat oven to 350* F. Flour a counter really well and take just a portion of the dough from the bowl.  Keep the remaining dough in the fridge while you work with a small portion.

Roll dough out to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out with cookie cutters or a glass or child’s toy, I won’t judge.

Place on a parchment lined or greased baking sheet.

Bake for approximately 8-10 minutes or until very lightly browned.  You don’t want these cookies dark. You just want them to be set in the middle and just starting to get golden on the edges.

Repeat these steps until the remaining dough is used up.

Let cool and then proceed with icing.

For the icing:

Combine the sugar, tapioca if using, and vanilla extract in a bowl. One tablespoon at a time add milk.  Add it slowly and fully combine each time.  Once it is the consistency you want slather it on the cookies! Let dry for a few hours. If you keep the icing a medium to thick consistency the cookies will crust up enough to stack but be soft enough to sink your teeth into. Enjoy!

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If you’re really brave, have your toddler help ice them!

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  • Rebekah

    Yummy!! Your pictures are gorgeous!

    • Ashley Titman

      Thank you 🙂