Our family sugar cookie recipe has been around for four generations. My paternal grandmother, Nellie Jane, didn’t follow a written recipe; she simply combined and mixed ingredients until the dough was suitable for rolling.
One year, my mom studied my grandmother’s method and took notes, estimating measurements. After a few attempts, Mom honed in on the “recipe” and wrote down the final version. Without Mom’s attention to recording how Nellie Jane made these cookies, we would not have this treasured recipe today.
These cookies can be cut out in any shape. (We always bake them at Christmas, so those are pictured in this post. But, we have cookie cutters galore – eggs for Easter, cats, dog bones, hearts, baby feet, etc.) They can be rolled thin for a crisp cookie, or thicker for a soft cookie.
NOTE: This recipe can easily be halved.
Set oven to 350°
1 C. margarine or softened butter
1 C. sugar
1 C. sour milk (1 T. vinegar in a cup, then add milk to fill. Let sit for a few minutes.)
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 t. vanilla, or almond extract
Approx. 7 C. flour
Beat sugar and margarine until well combined, then add eggs and beat well. Add remaining ingredients, except flour, and blend slowly.
Add flour, 1 C. at a time, and beat until smooth. After a few cups, the dough will become thick; we usually stir in the rest by hand.
Halve the dough and, working on a floured surface, knead the dough just a little to incorporate enough flour so it’s not too sticky and is “roll-able.” Roll out and cut desired shapes.
Bake on lightly greased cookie sheets 8-12 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of the cookie. These don’t get brown on the top. Cool before frosting.
Re-roll scraps and cut more shapes. Repeat steps with the second half of dough. (Dough can also be tightly wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up the two days for later use.)
Frost with buttercream frosting, or a thin glaze, if desired. They’re tasty unfrosted as well. These freeze beautifully!
This week, the last of March 2020…
…we are baking heart-shaped cookies to be delivered to our local hospital – for health care workers who are on the front lines fighting the Covid-10 virus. God bless and protect them all.