Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies

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Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies

I grew up using the 70s version of the Betty Crocker Big Red Cookbook quite a bit. We didn’t have a lot of cookbooks, other than some church collaborations. In fact, my mom doesn’t even usually cook from recipes. But she got that big red binder for her wedding, I think, and when it was time to bake sugar cookies to decorate, she always opened it up.

Once I got married, I had my own Big Red Cookbook, but it was the newer, 2001 version. All I could remember was that my mom’s sugar cookie recipe came from the big binder and had cream of tartar in it, but none of the recipes in there seemed to match. A few years into our marriage, we found the same version of Big Red that my mom had in a used bookstore and grabbed it up. Still, the sugar cookie recipe didn’t call for cream of tartar. I was so confused.

Then – aha! There are TWO sugar cookie recipes in the older cookbook. Mom’s recipe is the Deluxe Sugar Cookies. I don’t know what makes them deluxe, but to me no other sugar cookie tastes just right. These are soft but the bottoms are sturdy; the taste has that almost tart flavor of a snickerdoodle due to the cream of tartar.

I was so glad to find this recipe again. I am no great decorator of cookies, but I took a cue from Betty there, too: she suggests letting an Andes mint melt on the top of a hot cookie and then spreading it around the top for “frosting.” Bingo! They don’t look awesome, but they taste delicious. And thanks to it being 2015 instead of 1976, we have Andes creme de menthe chips to make this even easier.

Andes Mint "Frosting" on Sugar Cookies

So just in case you don’t have your own classic cookie recipe for the season, this one makes a perfect cookie for decorating and snacking, with or without frosting.

Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies

Yield: 40-60 cookies, depending on size of cutters

Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 c. butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar

Instructions

With a mixer, cream together powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, almond extract, and egg until uniform. Stir in flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar until you have a smooth dough. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.

Preheat oven to 375F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.

Let dough rest at room temperature for about 10 minutes, then roll out on a clean, floured surface to about 1/2 an inch. (Thin, but not too thin.) Cut out with cookie cutters and transfer to lined cookie sheet.

Bake 7-9 minutes, until cookies are golden around the edges. Let cool for a minute, then transfer to wire racks to cool before decorating.

http://www.jessieweaver.net/2015/12/old-fashioned-sugar-cookies/

Do you have a go-to Christmas cookie recipe?

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4 thoughts on “Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies

  1. Thank you so much for putting this on here. I was so heartbroken when I noticed my grandma had threw her old red cookbook away from the 70’s when we remodeled our kitchen because it had fallen apart so much. She passed away in March and I was so worried I would never to get make the same kind of cookies she made with me when I was little. Thank you for this recipe. Now I can make them with my daughter for Christmas.

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