Turmeric Sugar Cookies

A couple years ago, we mapped out 18 sugar cookie possibilities so you could find your soulmate:

Cakey cookies and chewy cookies, molasses cookies and sprinkles cookies, shortbready cookies and vegan cookies. All of them, in one sense or another, are classic and pure.

These are not.

Thanks to a couple teaspoons of ground turmeric in the dough, they take on a highlighter-yellow hue and a whole new world of flavors. In fact, while we all agreed that we loved them, we couldn’t agree on what they tasted like:

  • “Is there a berry in this cookie?” asked senior lifestyle editor Hana Asbrink. “I’m getting crazy raspberry notes!” (Nope!)
  • “Not bitter or too herbal, which is often the issue I have with turmeric-scented things (like golden milk),” said books and special projects editor Brinda Ayer. “Just a subtle kiss of sunshine.”
  • Recipe developer Ella Quittner loved that they were “deeply spiced.” They also made her want “a glass of milk for dunking, and a soft sweater for wearing.” (Done and done.)
  • Assistant editor Katie Macdonald agreed: “I’m in love with their slightly spicy, bright flavor—it’s almost lemony, but with more warmth.”
  • “They were my favorite thing of yours I’ve eaten,” said senior editor Eric Kim. (Eric! Don’t tell the others!)

This is all very exciting for a once-demure sugar cookie. Butter and sugar act as background singers, amplifying the turmeric. Given the spice’s unusual, front-and-center, sweet context, we couldn’t help but feel like we were meeting it for the first time.

Of course, any cookie—especially a sugar cookie—is as much about texture as it is about flavor. For me, there’s only one way to go: crispy edges, chewy center, with a wrinkly, crackly crust. To create the last, I rolled the dough balls in turmeric sugar.

Which, yes, is more turmeric. But this is a good thing! Trust us.

Makes 24 cookies

  • 1/2

    pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 1 2/3

    cups (333 grams) granulated sugar

  • 1 1/4

    teaspoons kosher salt

  • 2

    large eggs

  • 2

    teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 2

    teaspoons ground turmeric

  • 2

    teaspoons baking powder

  • 2 1/3

    cups (299 grams) all-purpose flour

  • 1/2

    cup (100 grams) granulated sugar

  • 1

    teaspoon ground turmeric

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Do you have a sugar cookie soulmate? Tell us all about it in the comments!

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