On the first day of Christmas my true love baked for me . . . a soft buttery cookie beautifully iced and decorated. Nothing says Christmas like cookies cut in the shape of stars, bells, and trees, lovingly decorated and shared with others. ‘Tis the season to get out those cookie cutters to begin a tradition or to continue one.
When I was a little girl, my Mother, brother, sister, and I looked forward every year to baking and decorating my Grandma Weeks’ recipe for sugar cookies. This is absolutely the best recipe for sugar cookies ever. It’s soft and cakey, and when frosted with butter cream, makes a confectionary treat that is like no other.
Beyond the taste, is the memory of making them together. It’s such a lovely holiday tradition. Bake them so your children can have memories of decorating them with you. Or bake them and have a cookie decorating party with friends. Give tins or plates of them as gifts or keep them for yourself.
A wonderful gift idea is to give the recipe along with some cookie cutters so your friends or your children can begin or continue the tradition. I am blessed that I can make these cookies with the cookie cutters given to me long ago by my Grandma Smith – the tradition has come full circle for me.
Grandma Weeks’ Sugar Cookie Recipe
Ingredients for Grandma Weeks’ Sugar Cookies:
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 6 tablespoons cold water
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 4 – 5 cups flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. nutmeg
Directions for making Grandma Weeks’ Sugar Cookies:
In a large bowl, mix the softened butter and sugars together; add the eggs, water, and vanilla – mix well. Mix in the dry ingredients (don’t add all of the flour – 4 cups should be enough for a stiff dough – use the rest to keep the counter, rolling pin, and cookie cutters from sticking).
Refrigerate the dough overnight or for at least 3 hours. After refrigeration, roll out using the remaining flour, cut in desired shapes. (It helps to store the dough in the refrigerator while rolling some of it out.)
Bake at 400 degrees for 7 minutes — these cookies should not brown (a tinge is fine, too much means they’re over-done). Cool on a cookie rack. Frost with butter cream frosting (below) and decorate.
Buttercream Frosting Recipe
Ingredients for Butter Cream Frosting:
- ½ cup butter (softened)
- 2 pounds powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- Milk (enough to make spreading consistency)
Directions for making Butter Cream Frosting:
Put all ingredients in a bowl and whip well with electric mixer. Add a little milk (4 – 6 tablespoons, then more if needed). Add food coloring if desired for decorating your cookies.
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