10 Secret Tricks to Make Store-Bought Sugar Cookie Mix Taste Homemade (2024)

Home Recipes Cooking Style Comfort Food

Updated: Feb. 15, 2024

    Your cookies will look (and taste!) like they're made from scratch with these sugar cookie mix hacks.

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    Use real butter in your dough

    Store-bought sugar cookie mixes will give the option of adding in butter or margarine, but always choose butter! It’ll give your cookies the best, closest-to-homemade flavor. Use unsalted butter to be sure your cookies don’t taste too salty. Here’s the difference between unsalted and salted butter.

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    Add extracts

    A teaspoon or two of extracts will noticeably boost flavor when blended into your sugar cookie mix. Vanilla is the obvious choice. For a more intriguing flavor, add both vanilla and almond extracts. Rum, maple and anise are other delicious varieties to consider.

    (Try these flavor hacks that work wonders with store-bought cookie dough.)

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    Stir in citrus zest

    Your sugar cookies will sing with fresh citrus zest added to the mix! Use a Microplane grater to remove one to two tablespoons of fine zest from lemons, limes or oranges, and mix the zest into your dough.

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    Add sour cream

    Stir 3/4 of a cup to one cup of full-fat sour cream in with your cookie mix, butter and egg. Sugar cookies will bake up with a wonderfully soft, cake-like texture. (Here’s why it works!)

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    Mix in tasty ingredients

    Take plain sugar cookies up a notch with exciting mix-ins like chocolate chips, rainbow sprinkles, toasted chopped nuts, chopped dried fruit or M&M’s. Add these after blending your butter and egg into the sugar cookie mix.

    This is our favorite hack for holiday Pillsbury cookie dough.

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    Give your cookie dough some color

    A few drops of food coloring make regular sugar cookie dough so much more fun, whether for drop or cutout cookies. Make your cookies all one color, or make batches of different colors to roll or stack together before slicing and baking.

    You can do more with premade cookie dough than you’d believe!

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    Chill the dough

    One of our favorite tips is to chill cookie dough before baking, and that goes for sugar cookie mix doughs, too. Chilling lets the dough fully hydrate for better-tasting cookies and also firms up butter in the dough so that the cookies won’t spread.

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    Roll cookies in toppings

    Form your sugar cookie dough into balls, then roll them in toppings like sprinkles or colorful sanding sugars. For snickerdoodle-like cookies, try rolling them in a cinnamon-sugar blend. After rolling, bake the cookies as directed.

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    Frost cookies with homemade icing

    You saved time with a store-bought sugar cookie mix, so make an easy, homemade buttercream, cream cheese frosting or decorating icing to top them. Add food coloring or flavored extracts to make them even snazzier. Here’s our recipe for easy royal icing.

    Our editors think THIS is the best store-bought cookie dough out there!

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    Dip your cookies in chocolate

    Gently melt chocolate or white chocolate chips in a microwave or a double boiler. Dip your baked, cooled sugar cookies in the melted chocolate, then let them cool. Once set you can even add a second dip or drizzles of a second kind of chocolate to your cookies.

    Originally Published: January 06, 2022

    Author

    Nancy Mock

    Nancy contributes writing, recipes and food photography to Taste of Home, where she covers regional eats, food history and trending dishes. Her work can also be seen on her website, Hungry Enough to Eat Six, as well as other food-focused publications. Nancy and her family live in New England and she’ll never say no to a plate of gravy-laden pouti...

    10 Secret Tricks to Make Store-Bought Sugar Cookie Mix Taste Homemade (12)

    10 Secret Tricks to Make Store-Bought Sugar Cookie Mix Taste Homemade (2024)
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