My Favorite Christmas Tradition: Sugar Cookies
For as long as I can remember, my family has had the tradition of making Christmas sugar cookies together. We make a HUGE mess, and while the intention was always to pass them out to friends and neighbors, but we’d eat so much dough and cookies that recipe’s output is reduced by at least a couple dozen. It was never something exclusive, but always part of the spirit of the season – over the years we welcomed childhood best friends, to eventually boyfriends and spouses, and even the first grandchild of the bunch. We don’t always get to it every year, but when we do, it is so much fun and the memories are something I cherish.
Two years ago marked my first year to bring my son into the tradition, and I’m so excited to do that again this weekend, I thought I’d take a minute to share my memories, and my family recipe.
Bravenec Family Sugar Cookies Recipe
1/2 cup shortening (Crisco – yes, Crisco.)
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cream
3 1/2 cups sifted cake flour (very important not to get regular flour)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons milk or cream
1 teaspoon almond extract
food coloring as desired
Directions: Sift dry ingredients 3 times. Cut shortening into sugar until light and fluffy, then add liquid ingredients. Slowly add dry ingredients. Divide into balls, wrap in wax paper and chill for 2 hours or overnight. Roll out with rolling pin using powdered sugar to keep from sticking, cut and bake in 350 degree oven for about 13 minutes, depending on thickness of cookies.
Special Note For Icing: Wait until cookies have fully cooled before decorating. Icing measurements are not exact – just mix and add more milk or powdered sugar as desired until you have a thick paste that is still liquid enough to be used in a piping bag. (Or just used a ziplock bag and cut one corner with scissors.)