TREAT TUESDAY: My Mom’s Sugar Cookie Recipe

Make Santa happy this season with these sugar cookies! Yes, those are "A Christmas Story" cut-out shapes.

We have finally arrived at the week that many Americans look forward to all year long: The Week of the Cut-Out Sugar (and Gingerbread) Cookie. That means T finally gets his wish to make holiday cut-out cookies, and I get to go back in time and dig up my mom’s awesome sugar cookie recipe.

My mama's sugar cookie recipe card, front side.

I asked my mom take a photograph of both sides of her recipe card since obviously she still retains possession of the original (and rightly so). Isn’t it amazing what memories get stirred up (ha, pun intended) just from looking at a recipe card? Slate Magazine online wrote an article about this very concept just last week, so I know there’s probably many more of you thinking the same thing this time of year as well. Ah, memories – and yummy treats, too!

My mama's sugar cookie recipe card, back side.

Thought it was important for me to have a photo of the card versus just a retyping of the recipe, the card is a little stained and worn with age (and missing some of the finer details, which I’ll include in parentheses), so for you I will retype the recipe below. I am sure there’s a whole generation that follows a sugar cookie recipe very similar to this one (if not the same), but there’s just something about it being written in my mom’s hand that makes it all the more special to me.

And what better day for me to share this with all of you than on my birthday – happy birthing day, Mom! I love you!

And to my Jewish RMT’ers – I wish you and yours a very Happy Hanukkah! Or, Chanuka Sameach! Hope I got that right!

What better photo to represent this post than one of my homemade plate (made at an age just a little older than T is now) holding one of my mom's wonderful sugar cookies. Delicious memories!

Sugar Cookies
By C.L.M. (my Mom)

1 cup butter or oleo (oleo=margarine in case you are not familiar with that term)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder
“Enough flour to make a dough to roll out thin on a board” (ha! don’t you love older recipes?! Read Directions below for more specific information, but have about 2-3 cups flour on hand along with your sifter.)

1. (Preheat oven to 400 degrees.) Cream butter and sugar thoroughly. Beat eggs until very light and add to creamed mixture. Beat well and add water and vanilla.

2. To 1/2 cup sifted flour, add baking powder and sift into other ingredients. Beat until light and then add about 2 cups (more flour) (to make a soft dough).

3. (Roll out dough on board and) Cut with cookie cutters. Bake in quick oven 400 degrees about 10 minutes, until light brown (6 min). (I’ll even be honest, I’ve never understood that last part, so I just bake one sheet at a time for about 8 minutes and then check them; if they are brown around edges I pull them out.)

4. (Cool on wire racks), frost, and decorate.

As for the icing, I now use this Classic Buttercream Frosting for these cookies and pretty much everything else. Since it comes out a tinge on the yellow side due to the vanilla flavoring, tinting the icing is a little challenging. Just have patience and work in small batches at first to test your ratios of coloring to icing. It seems to be different for me each time so I really can’t make a recommendation here, sorry!

(As I’ve been recovering from the worst illness known to mankind, the cookie photos posted are from seasons’ past. I do hope to be well enough to continue the tradition of making these cookies when I’m fully recovered sometime later in the week! If-when I do, I shall post some.)