Mom's Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies

These cookies are one of the first things my Mom taught me how to make.  Actually,  I don't think she taught me, I think they are something I just absorbed.  I remember pulling up a kitchen chair so I could reach the work surface and picking out which cookie cutters to use.  Mom had a huge box of cookie cutters, most were seasonal.  We baked and decorated sugar cookies every Christmas.  There were bats, jack 'o lanterns, and witches' hats for Halloween; eggs and chicks for Easter and hearts for Valentine's Day.  The rest were just random,  a cat, a flower, a sail boat.  You name it ....she had a cookie cutter in that shape!  I loved baking with my Mom.  It was when we were the closest and when we had the most fun together. 

If you want to make Mom's Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies you will need:

3/4 cup shortening (half butter or margarine)
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a large bowl beat together the shortening and butter until well combined and fluffy.

 Pour the sugar into the creamed shortening and beat it all together.  Add the eggs, salt, vanilla, and baking powder and beat again until smooth. 

With a wooden spoon, stir in the flour a cup at a time, stirring well to incorporate.  Be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.  Flour tends to hide under the batter because it is so stiff.   When all the flour has been incorporated, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.*

To form the cookies....

Take  tablespoons of dough and roll them into balls. Place the dough balls on an ungreased baking sheet, give them plenty of space.  Dip the bottom of a drinking glass in some sugar and gently press the ball of dough to make a nice round cookie.  They should be about 1/4 inch thick.   If you like, you can sprinkle a bit more sugar on the cookies before baking.
Use a little scoop to drop dough on to the ungreased cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with sugar before baking. 

 or you can.....

Use cookie cutters to make fancy shaped cookies. Roll the dough out on a well-floured surface. It should be about 1/4 inch thick. Dip the cookie cutter into flour and press into the dough to cut out the shapes. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and sprinkle lightly with some sugar. If you are going to decorate the cookies with icing, skip the sugar sprinkling step.

*If you are going to roll the dough out and use cookie cutters, it's best to refrigerate it over night.


Bake at 400 degrees F/ 200 degrees C  for about 6 -8 minutes or until the cookies have set and the bottoms are very slightly golden.  Cool on a wire rack.  Store cookies in an airtight container. My Mom would be so proud!


  1. Hi Debs, I have recently started following your blog. love the cookie recipe but I have a couple of shortening the same as lard and how much do you need for the recipe? it says 3/4 but 3/4 what?
    I recently made your strong cheese scones, and absolute hit ;-)
    Best wishes Lynda X

    1. Oh my goodness, Lynda! Thank you for pointing out my error. The recipe should read 3/4 cup. I always use vegetable shortening like Crisco or Trex rather than lard. If you like, you can make the recipe using all margarine. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and welcome! : D


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