Plain City, Ohio, Planet Earth
The Momarchy
Canine + 3 men
Happy childhood in Indianapolis; Raced Hobie 16 with my Dad for 7 years; World record holding National Catapult Champion; Graduated from Earlham College; Married my best friend; Junior high and high school Latin & English teacher; Wife of handicapable husband (11 surgeries related to rheumatoid arthritis); Stay-at-home mom; Author; Photographer; Lived too briefly in Minnesota north country (snow, dog sledding, wolves, and wilderness); Quaker activist; Environmentalist; Dog lover; Curious traveler; Men's volleyball enabler; Discriminating romantic film buff; Eclectic music lover; Friend of the world

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 5, 2008 6:56PM

Mom’s Sugar Cookies with Butter Frosting: Feel the Love!!!

Rate: 16 Flag

Mom's Sugar Cookies

When I think of Mom, I think of warm cookies. I’ve just walked the three blocks home from school, enduring chilling rain, a crisp fall nip, or bitter Indiana winter. Throwing open the front door and patting our enthusiastically wagging dog, I yell, “Mom! I’m home!” A delicious aroma wafts from the kitchen. Mom is pulling a sheet of sugar cookies out of the oven. She drops one off the spatula onto a plate for me and spoons a large dollop of butter frosting onto it. As the frosting melts, I place red hots on top, decorating as I eat. I take my plate over to the breakfast half of the kitchen, perch on the washing machine (since Dad isn’t home I can get away with it), and swing my legs as I devour my prize. Who says love can’t be handed to you on a plate?

These cutout cookies are easy to make, only requiring time and patience. If you take these to your family holiday get-togethers, you’ll become famous for them and your loved ones will beg you to bring them every year. The most critical steps are to make them thick and not to over-bake the cookies! You don’t want them to be hard and dry and crunchy. You should take them out the moment you see a blush of golden brown on the edges, so they’ll be thick, soft, chewy and melt in your mouth.

In my family, we had these every Christmas and Valentine’s Day. They’re a great cookie for any occasion that you have a cookie cutter to suit (shamrock, bunny rabbit, jack-o-lantern, turkey, etc.) When I did Iditarod talks for our boys’ classes, I used to take dog bone shaped cookies to give to all the “good dogs.”

Here’s to making memories!

I love you, Mom.

Mom’s Sugar Cookies

Triple Recipe (double recipe in parentheses at end)

2 cups Crisco (reg. not butter) (1 1/3 c.)

2 ¼ c. sugar (1 ½ c.)

3 eggs (2)

1 ½ tsp. real vanilla (1 tsp.)

6 cups flour (I use all-purpose unbleached) (4 cups)

4 ½ tsp. baking powder (3 tsp)

¾ tsp. salt (½ tsp.)

¼ cup milk (I use skim) (two-thirds of ¼ cup)

Cream shortening and sugar together thoroughly (I stir by hand with a strong spoon in a mixing bowl). Add eggs and stir until mixture is light and fluffy. Add vanilla. Mix thoroughly. Add flour, baking powder, and salt to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Chill for about 1 hour.

Roll out on floured waxed paper (or counter or bread board) to a little less than ¼ inch thick and cut with shaped cookie cutters. Waxed paper makes them easier to pick up and put on the sheet because you can fold the waxed paper up and drop the cookie onto your hand. Place on ungreased cookie sheets. Decorate with colored sugar or red hots if desired (I bake them plain and frost before decorating). Bake in 350 oven for about 7 minutes--the secret to perfect sugar cookies is to bake them as little as possible--as soon as you see any golden brown along the bottom edge, pull them out! Cool on cookie sheet and then on cooling racks. Experience the bliss of eating warm with frosting, but to keep or give away, frost when cool, or freeze & frost later.

Mom's Butter Frosting for Sugar Cookies

Triple Recipe

1 stick real butter

5 cups confectioner's sugar

2 ½ tsp. real vanilla

5 Tbsp. milk (I use skim)

Melt butter. Add vanilla and milk. Sift confectioner's sugar. I don't sift the dry ingredients in the sugar cookie dough, but I do sift the powdered sugar to remove lumps and make the frosting smooth. Add confectioner's sugar until frosting is a nice thick, spreadable consistency. Warm cookies frosted are heavenly to eat!!! For ones you plan to save until later, wait until they’re cool to frost. I usually make the dough one day and refrigerate it, cut out and bake the cookies another day and freeze them, and then frost the cookies on a third day. That spreads out the amount of work. You can have a cookie-a-thon and do it all at once. You can decorate the frosted cookies with colored sugar and red hots. The cookies freeze well. If you're going to keep them at room temperature, make sure you keep them in a Tupperware container or tin that seals closed tightly. I use waxed paper between layers once they're frosted, but just stack them to freeze when they're plain cookies. Enjoy!

Your tags:


Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:


Type your comment below:
YUM, YUM ....Can't wait to try your recipe for Mom's Sugar Cookies....I haven't baked cookies in years but these sound too good to pass up....Some of my favorite memories from my childhood involve Mom,s home baked bread, hot fried bread with frosting and fresh baked cookies....Thank you....from nangramma
That sounds wonderful. One question though, does the icing dry hard or stay soft?

Your recipe makes me wish I could bake. What wonderful memories you must have of your mom. Enjoy them all!
This is what Christmas and the Holidays are all about; with lots of memories and the smell of something wonderful baking in the kitchen.

Love the cookie Santa, sleigh & reindeers……
I know your mom's a pro ... not many people really know that it's the crisco that makes the most awesome sugar cookie ... not butter!!! Love this recipe!!!
Sugar cookies & Buttercream ... the best thing EVAH!!!!!!
Inga, the frosting (icing) stays soft. It's to die for. Trust me.

Sig, anyone can bake or cook. It's all in your mind. All you have to do is follow directions. You might want to try them with a friend or someone else there to inspire confidence.

Everyone else, thanks for the love fest. :)
I gotta tell you folks, these cookies truly are to die for. DogWoman gets requests for these from nieces and nephews to bring them as gifts for the holiday get together every year. Believe you me, it is tough to watch them leave the house. Not to mention sitting in the same car with them for the 3 hour drive to get to Indy. Now that is torture! Big thumb up from all your men here!
butter butter butter butter butter butter butter butter butter butter butter butter butter butter butter butter butter butter butter butter butter butter butter butter butter butter butter butter butter butter butter butter butter butter butter butter butter butter butter butter butter butter butter butter butter butter butter butter butter butter
This recipe just feels right. The cookies gotta be thick and soft. And the frosting should taste good, not just be an avenue for the sprinkles. Screw Martha's icing, I'm going to make these for our work xmas cookie party this Thursday night. I can't wait!
Michael, both of our sons are accomplished cooks and bakers. I like it when my hubby not only slays the wooly mammoth, but also cooks it for me! :)

Freaky, I use this frosting on my mother's spice cake also. It's the bomb! You and I should have a frosting party together sometime (for us, it would be a frosting rave).

Katina, let me know how they turn out!
I can't bake. But I love the way warm cookies make you think of your mom. Chanel #5 makes me think of mine. Slightly different lifestyles, eh. Still, I couldn't agree more with "Here’s to making memories!"
These look incredible, DogWoman! Is the cookie soft or crispy?
Lisa, it depends on how long you bake them. If you're careful to pull them out as soon as there is the first blush of golden brown, they'll be soft and melt in your mouth the way we like them. The frosting stays soft and is buttery, not lardy like grocery store or generic wedding cake frosting.
Fantastic! I'm going to try this recipe tonight!!!
Hey - here they are again! I love this picture! I want.
I have been looking for a great sugar cookie recipe- the last ones got too hard. I believe shortening is going to be the answer, butter melts too fast when baking and makes them hard. Shortening makes the most flaky pie crust too - I just found out. I usually make chocolate chip cookies, but my daughter has two friends that do not like chocolate - CAN YOU IMAGINE? But, this has caused me to try some new things. I cannot stand letting my kids make those store bought cookie rolls. Does the dough freeze well or better to keep in fridge for a limited time?
I'd recommend freezing the cookies unfrosted. I've never frozen the dough.

You could probably leave the dough in the fridge for about three days before it starts getting dry. I'd cover the dough tightly with PressNSeal or foil. If it gets dry, just add a little milk and knead the dough until it's soft again.

Let me know how your daughter and her friends like them! I'm looking forward to making them for my own immediate family later this month once our older son is home from Mexico, and then to give as gifts to my side of the family at our Christmas get-together. It will be our first Christmas without Mom. Every time I use one of her recipes, I feel her smiling over my shoulder!