Monday, December 21, 2015

Sugar Cookies

This being Christmastime and all, I thought it appropriate to share a recipe I've made every year since my sister-in-law Ana gave me a home printed recipe card with a recipe simply marked, "Good Sugar Cookie Recipe".  Intrigued I later found out that this was a recipe my husband's grandmother had passed on.  Now whether she wrote it herself or got it from somewhere I can't say.  What I can say is that this recipe makes a really nice cakey sugar cookie if you do it right and the best part is it is a really cost effective recipe to make as it requires no butter, but shortening instead and yet it still gives a good end product.

I make these for my husband every year and then put a decorator icing on top of it that I found in an old cookbook that he loves.  The recipe for that is so easy I have it memorized by now.  It's just 3 1/2 cups sifted confectioner's sugar, 3 egg whites (use pasteurized egg whites if you are worried about safety) and 1/2 tsp of cream of tartar.  Mix together till smooth with an electric mixer and then divide into different bowls, color and paint cookies.

I know, I'm odd, but I love to paint sugar cookies for my husband every year.  It gives me an opportunity to paint, for one, but also allows me to take some time to show him how much I love him in a small way.

So, here you go.  One recipe for "Good Sugar Cookies" :).
Sugar Cookies

  • 4 Cups all purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 1/2 tsp. double acting baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 tsp. milk

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  In a medium sized mixing bowl, sift flour with baking powder and salt.

3.  In the bowl of your stand mixer mix shortening with sugar, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy.

4.  Mix in flour in 1/3 increments, alternating each installment with milk (I usually end up with about double this to make a stiff, but workable, dough, but start out with four teaspoons and see where it gets you).

5.  Refrigerate until easy to handle, about an hour (honestly, I skip this step).

6.  Roll out dough on a floured surface to about 1/4 inch thickness (I do this with about 1/4 of the dough at a time to avoid over rolling of the dough, if you over roll the dough it'll get tough).  Cut into shapes of your choice.
7.  Bake 1/2" apart on parchment lined baking sheets and bake 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges are just barely golden (seen pic above for a good visual example).

8.  Remove to towels or cooling racks to cool and then decorate with frosting of choice.


  1. Thank you so much for sharing both the sugar cookie and icing recipe! I'm always looking for new recipes to try and these would be perfect to add to the Christmas treats I already make. I've always wanted a good cookie icing recipe too.

    One question though, will regular baking powder work or does it have to be double acting?

    1. Unless you make your own baking powder, most baking powder on the market is double acting, even if it doesn't say so, anymore. I think the recipe is just old enough that it called for the distinction.

      Come to think of it, I did make this recipe when I had to make my own baking powder too. The cookies came out denser, but not bad, so if all you have is home made baking powder I'd give it a shot.

  2. Beautiful cookies! You really have some artistic talent, Erika.

    1. Actually, I was kind of depressed as they didn't turn out as well as I would have liked this year *laugh*. I'm normally super OCD about straight lines, making everything super pretty, etc, but my daughter helped me this year and I figured it was worth sacrificing my detailed painting time to let her have fun. And it was totally worth it :).