Thanks to Deanna Sletten for this recipe. I have used it and love it! Check back later for a printable version of it.
Best Christmas Sugar Cookies Ever
By Deanna Lynn Sletten
If you’ve been searching for the best sugar cookie recipe to bake for your holiday gifts and parties then your search is over. This sugar cookie recipe produces the fluffiest, tastiest and easiest to decorate cookies you’ve ever made. You will never go back to your old recipe again. This recipe has been passed down in our family since the early 1900’s. Back then no woman worth her salt used measuring cups or teaspoons to make a recipe, she did a pinch of this and a handful of that. This recipe has been translated down through the years into cups and teaspoons for those of us who need to be exact but it has kept its charm and flavor. It works great for any holiday cookie that is either decorated or plain. You could even make plain, round cookies any time of year to enjoy their great taste. This recipe makes approximately 4-6 dozen cookies depending upon the size of the cookie cutters. There are a few tricks so be sure to follow the recipe and directions carefully so you can enjoy the best sugar cookies ever.
Preheat oven to 350° F. Use the middle rack of your oven for baking. 1 cup shortening (Butter flavored shortening tastes best. Don’t use real butter or margarine because it makes the cookies too crispy.)
2 cups sugar
(Cream together until smooth)
3 eggs¼ cup milk
(The trick to not overdoing on liquid is to break the 3 eggs into a measuring cup and then add milk until you reach the 1 cup line.)
2 Tsp. Vanilla
Now, beat the milk/egg/vanilla mixture into the sugar and shortening mixture with an electric hand blender or a whisk. Make sure to beat until smooth. This step is how you get a fluffier cookie.
Next, using a medium to large hand sifter mix together:
2 cups flour (You will use 4-6 cups flour in all but do not add all at once.)
2 Tsp. baking powder
2/3 Tsp. baking soda
1 Tsp. salt
¾ Tsp. nutmeg Now you can sift dry ingredients into the liquid ingredients. Sifting is very important; it mixes the ingredients while making the flour light and fluffy. Hand-mix the flour into the batter until it is well-blended. Next you will add 1 sifted cup of flour at a time until the batter turns to dough. As it becomes too stiff to stir you can begin to knead in the flour with your hands. Do not use more flour than necessary. Too much flour will dry out your cookies. If you are not sure, only add ¼ to ½ cup flour at a time until the dough feels firm but moist. It should be firm enough to roll out without sticking but moist enough so your dough doesn’t crack when rolling.
Once the dough is ready it is best to use it right away. Don’t store it for a few hours or put it in the refrigerator. This will dry out the dough and the cookies will not turn out as nice.
Spread a thin layer of flour out onto the surface you will be rolling your dough on.
Take a handful of dough and roll it into a ball with your hands then flatten it onto the floured surface.
Spread a thin layer of flour on the top of the dough and then flip it and begin to roll out the dough in short, smooth movements. You want to slowly roll the dough in all directions until it is a little less than ¼ inch thick. Don’t roll the dough too thin or you will have flat cookies. It’s better to have it too thick than too thin. Now you are ready to cut the dough.
Try dipping the cookie cutters in a bowl of sugar instead of flour when you are cutting the cookies out. Sugar will keep the cutters from sticking while adding a little flavor.
Place cookies on a cookie sheet. If you are not using a non-stick cookie sheet you should use a light touch of non-stick spray on the sheet. Butter or shortening is too heavy and can cause the cookies to burn.
If you plan to decorate the cookies then you don’t need to sprinkle them with sugar. If you are leaving them plain then you can add a light sprinkle of sugar on top.
Bake cookies for approximately 10-12 minutes. This will differ depending upon the size of the cut. The finished cookie should look puffy and dry without having brown edges. Cool cookies on a wire rack and then they are ready to decorate or enjoy.
It may take you a try or two to get the feel for the perfect dough but once you do you will always have the best sugar cookies to share with friends and family at Christmas or anytime.