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Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies: Basic Recipe for Any Festivity

Maria is a master of public health, and a master gardener. She & husband Bo, known online as The Gardener & The Cook are in coastal Alabama.

These cookies lend themselves well to all seasons and occasions.

These cookies lend themselves well to all seasons and occasions.

This is a basic sugar cookie recipe using ingredients that both my mom and her mom made for our family. It calls for ingredients that can be found in the kitchen of most anyone who bakes: flour, butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract, baking powder, and baking soda.

My mom used lemon flavoring. I use vanilla extract. Both will yield a delicious cookie, so it’s a matter of personal preference.

I made a lot of these last Christmas. The decoration turned out better than any others I have done.

I made a lot of these last Christmas. The decoration turned out better than any others I have done.

Freeze the Dough or Baked Cookies for Later Use

Need to make them ahead for use later? The dough may be kept in the refrigerator for a few days before being used. You can also cut out the cookies, then freeze them to be baked later, or bake them and then pop them into the freezer.

I have done all of these variations, and they worked just fine. They may be sprinkled with sugar, or coated with buttercream icing.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (we use unbleached flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened (we use vegan butter)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon or vanilla flavoring
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
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Read More From Delishably

When chilling the dough, wrap it well in plastic wrap to prevent the surface of the dough from becoming dry.

When chilling the dough, wrap it well in plastic wrap to prevent the surface of the dough from becoming dry.

Instructions

  1. Set butter out to soften for at least 2 hours, and set out the eggs at least 30 minutes before you're ready to begin cooking.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, soda, and baking powder.
  3. On low speed, cut in butter until the mixture resembles cornmeal.
  4. In a small bowl, beat the eggs.
  5. Add sugar and flavoring (lemon or vanilla) to beaten eggs, and beat thoroughly.
  6. Blend egg mixture into flour mixture.
  7. Chill for at least 2 hours. You can chill overnight if you need more time to get back to making cookies.
  8. Roll the dough to a thickness of 1/8 inch, and cut with your favorite cookie cutters.
  9. Sprinkle with sugar, if desired. If you plan to ice/frost the cookies, don't sprinkle with sugar.
  10. Bake at 375°F (190.56°C) for 6 to 8 minutes, depending on your oven.
  11. When cool, sprinkle with sugar or decorate with frosting, if desired.
This is the "cornmeal" appearance you should look for when mixing the dry ingredients with the butter.

This is the "cornmeal" appearance you should look for when mixing the dry ingredients with the butter.

I think these may be the best and prettiest Valentine’s Day cookies I have made. Now if I can just replicate them…

I think these may be the best and prettiest Valentine’s Day cookies I have made. Now if I can just replicate them…

Double Layer Cookies, Anyone?

For two of the Valentine's Day cookies, in the photo above, I used a tiny heart-shaped cookie cutter to make the opening in a larger heart-shaped cookie. After spreading either red frosting or raspberry puree on a solid heart cookie, I placed the one with the cut-out on top. Voila! Beautiful double-layer cookies. The next photo shows them in the final stage of this process.

This can be done for any occasion. You just need the appropriate cookie cutters. For the patriotic cookies (in the last photo), I suppose I will need to look for a small star-shaped cutter, if I want double layer stars.

Double layer hearts almost done.

Double layer hearts almost done.

I made these for a Fourth of July party a couple of years ago. Yes, I made red ones, too, but they didn’t show up very well on this red plate.

I made these for a Fourth of July party a couple of years ago. Yes, I made red ones, too, but they didn’t show up very well on this red plate.

© 2022 MariaMontgomery

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