Our family has been using the same cookie recipe for as long as I can remember. We made dozens and dozens with my Mom and Grandma. When the childhood blush of Christmas wore off, we stopped making them. Once in college, I decided to revisit tradition and decided that I hated the recipe. College Me was turned off by the amount of dough. College Me got bored quickly because it cut into my bar time. College Me turned her nose up at Aunt Coletta’s recipe. So I shelved the recipe until I was nesting during Becks’ pregnancy. And Very Pregnant Me decided to bake three types of cookies, sweet muffins stuffed with puree’d veggies, and two batches of Grandma’s spinach rolls. I had less than a month to go, people… A Normal Me never makes that choice. Go back and read “sweet muffins stuffed with veggies.” Because of that line, you can guess that when I read “shortening” in Aunt Coletta’s recipe that I sub’d with butter and scoffed at her disgusting choice. Mistake. There’s no substitute for shortening. Trust me. But once again, her sugar cookie recipe turned me off. They were good, but nothing special. They were dry-ish. You were eating them for the frosting. That’s not a good reason to make a cookie.
Three years ago, a good friend and I started making Christmas cookies with the boys. It seemed like a good childhood memory to create for our kids. Plus we got to hang out and have some cocktails while baking. We needed to have some sugar cookies for the boys to decorate. There are tons of recipes out there. If you let it, the process of finding one could become daunting. And because we both value the homemade route, store-bought dough was not an option. I figured I’d return to a staple in our family: Aunt Coletta’s Sugar Cookie recipe. This time, I’d make it as-is. Shortening was coming to my house.
Shortening will always have a seat at the table in our house. It’s a game changer. Aunt Coletta’s cookies need and deserve the goodness of shortening. They aren’t too sweet and have a nice cake like texture. Top with some powdered sugar icing and you’ve got a sweet tradition on a plate. Need a new Christmas cookie recipe? Try seventy-plus years of yummy.
Aunt Coletta’s Sugar Cookies.
1 C. Shortening
2 C. Sugar
2 t. vanilla
1. C. Sour Cream
5 C. Flour
2 t. Baking Powder
1/2 t. Baking Soda
1/2 t. Salt
Preheat oven to 350.
Cream shortening and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, vanilla, and sour cream.
In separate bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Slowly add the flour mix to the wet ingredients. Mix completely. Don’t forget the pockets of flour on the bottom. Use your muscles and get it all mixed up.
Chill for at least and hour in the fridge.
Flour up a surface and a rolling pin. Roll it out to about 1/4 of an inch. Eyeball it. They puff a little with baking. Use more flour if it starts sticking. Use cookie cutters and place on a parchment line baking sheet. We cook two sheets at once for about 10 minutes or until the edges are golden. I rotate the two cookie sheets after 5 minutes.
Cool and use favorite frosting.