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 eggs
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.)

Early 1990s cookie making celebration! From Left to Right: My middle sister, me, my mom, my best friend Nicole, my little sister, and her best friend Nikki.
In 2008, we made it official with matching aprons for my sisters and mom!
2010 cookies with my sisters
That year we went all out with the icing colors… still not the *best* craftsmanship, lol.
2013 – Our group grew with the addition of my sister’s hubby and my hubby.
2016  – my heart swelled to welcome Teddy to our little tradition! (Even if he mostly just watched and taste-tested.)
2017 – My sister got to spend Christmas with us and join us in the tradition!

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2 thoughts on “My Favorite Christmas Tradition: Sugar Cookies

    1. Love it!! It always makes it that much more special when the recipe is passed down from loved ones ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ Merry Christmas!