Friday, December 18, 2009

White sugar cookies

When the Farmer and I got married, my aunt Rosemary (Dad's sister) gave me a cookbook of family recipes. This sugar cookie recipe was in it and I stumbled across it totally by accident that first Christmas. I'd never been a big fan of making sugar cookies, mostly because all the recipes I'd used before produced dry, crumbly cookies that seemed like more work than they were worth.

Not these! They are soft and never dry. I hesitate to say they're fool-proof but in 18 years of baking them for Christmas and other special occasions, I've NEVER had a batch fail. They are simple and very good.

I know everyone has their own favorite when it comes to cut-out cookies. These are mine. Aunt Rosie said when she made them for her church holiday bazaar, women would meet her car when she pulled into the parking lot and buy them all before she ever got them into the church.

I used to spend a lot of time using different shaped cookie cutters, making colored frosting and decorating them to the nth degree but, well, let's admit it, simple is good. Or I'm getting lazy. Or practical.

1 C. margarine, softened
1 1/2 C. sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. almond extract
2 tsp. vanilla
4 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Cream margarine and sugar. Add eggs, then almond and vanilla. Mix well. Beat in dry ingredients. Chill dough at least two hours, overnight works best.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough out in small amounts on floured surface to desired thickness and cut into shapes. Bake approximately 8 minutes on ungreased cookie sheets (I use parchment paper), removing from oven when they are barely brown. Cool on wire racks and frost.

3 C. powdered sugar
1/3 C. margarine, softened
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
about 2 T. milk, more or less as needed

Beat all together until smooth and spreadable. Frosts about 4 dozen cookies.

These cookies freeze very well, even after frosting.

Today, I am thankful for the Christmas luncheon and cookie walk we're having at work.


  1. M -- your recipe says "floured surface" but it looks like you rolled them on a dish towel... What do YOU actually do?

  2. And I really hope the dish towel is incidental, because all of mine have been grabbed for tug toys and I doubt there's even one that doesn't have a hole in it!

  3. Oh, that's a pastry cloth. And it's had the h*ll floured out of it. And so far has escaped malinois teeth. ( :

  4. Well carp... I think I just drooled on my keyboard!

  5. Wait...did you cut them out with a sink basket strainer? Or is that some fancy cookie cutter?

  6. These are my FAVORITE!!!! Just give me some coffee and a good book and I'm all set!

  7. That's actually a biscuit cutter. If I ever lose it, I'll use the sink basket strainer. Thanks for the idea! LOL

  8. I have that biscuit cutter - now I just need to get the pastry cloth... And more flour... And a new drawer to keep the towels in that is less handy for incidental swiping!

  9. Melinda -
    Just made the cookies to get them ready for Santa. They're yummy!!! Thanks for posting this. Baking these cookies is certain to become a holiday tradition.