Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Gram's Sugar Cookies

When I think of Christmas cookies these are really the first one that comes to mind and the only cookie I need. These are the cookies that take me right back to dark, snowy nights and kitchens filled with tubs and Tupperware full of delicious treats. They always make me think of my grandmother and her house, all the holiday baking that happened there. We always gathered there on Christmas Eve for dinner, gifts and church. And cookies. Lots of cookies.
My family is from upstate NY, near PA and these cookies are typical of Pennsylvania dutch - soft and cake like, spiced with nutmeg. If you're looking for a crisp cookie these are NOT it. More like the consistency of a whoopie pie but not quite that soft.
This is how I always see them in my memories, vanilla frosting and colored sugar sprinkles. I could eat an entire batch all by myself (and almost have since Sunday, ahem). I don't know about you but after last Friday I was searching for any sweetness and comfort I could find. Baking helped.
 Gram's Sugar Cookies
1 C shortening (I've tried these with butter - good but not the same)
2 C sugar
2 eggs
1 C buttermilk or sour milk (1 Tbsp vinegar  + milk to equal 1 C)
2 tsp vanilla
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
4 - 5 C flour

Cream shortening and sugar, then add eggs, beating well after each. Add buttermilk  and vanilla - mixture will look like it's starting to separate. Add 1 C flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Mix well. Gradually add remaining flour one cup at a time, mixing after each. I always use the full 5 C. Dough will still be fairly soft. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. Roll out on floured surface, leaving fairly thick. Bake 10 - 12 minutes at 350.
We had our second annual cookie decorating day on Sunday and this was a pre-sugar-high moment. Safe to say a delicious time was had by all!


  1. mmm. Thanks for sharing! I don't have a recipe for these soft sugar cookies! (dare I ask, do you use canned frosting or ?)I really love frosted cookies!

  2. Canned frosting? (audible gasp)....she made her own of course and it was fabulous! Maybe she can post about that next. What a bunch of cuties!


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