Appalachia Appalachian Food Christmas

Sugar Cookies for Christmas


Best sugar cookie recipe for christmas

Every Christmas since I was big enough I’ve made Granny’s recipe for Christmas Sugar Cookies. I started out making them with her and once I was old enough to handle the recipe by myself Granny handed the reins over to me and assigned Paul the job of being my helper. We looked forward to our annual Christmas cookie making day with great anticipation. Paul and I could be pretty silly and our cookie event usually had at least one or two giggling fits. That’s probably why Granny got tired of fooling with us and was anxious to hand the duty over.

Making cookies at Christmas

Chatter and Chitter Christmas 1999

After I was married Granny shared her hand written sugar cookie recipe with me and I began making the cookies for Christmas at my house. As soon as the girls were big enough to take part in the tradition I began letting them help…or in better words letting them make a huge mess and make me wonder why I thought cookie making with small children was a good idea in the first place.

Grannys christmas cookie recipe

To make Granny’s recipe you need:

  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel (I think this is what makes them so good!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 4 teaspoons of milk
  • 2 cups sifted plain flour (all purpose)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


Most flavorful sugar cookie recipe for Christmas

Thoroughly cream shortening, sugar, orange peel, and vanilla. Add egg-beat till light and fluffy. Stir in milk. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Blend dry ingredients into creamed mixture. Divide dough in half, wrap, and chill for at least 1 hour.

While the dough is chilling, make colored sugar to decorate the cookies with by mixing food coloring and sugar.

The tradition of sugar cookies and christmas

When the dough has chilled roll it out on a lightly floured surface to about 1/8 inch or whatever thickness you prefer. Cut in desired shapes, sprinkle with colored sugar, and bake on a greased cookie sheet at 375° for about 6 to 8 minutes or till light brown.

Best sugar cookie recipe for christmas

My favorite thing about the hand written recipes Granny gifted me with after I was married are the notes she wrote to herself on them. On the sugar cookie recipe she has written “When cutting shapes press with colored sugar and make real pretty cookies.”


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  • Reply
    Martha S. McIntyre
    December 25, 2019 at 10:51 am

    Thanks for re-posting the sugar cookie recipe. Good starter for snicker-doodles. Still looking for a good tea cookie recipe. God bless and MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL. The McIntyres

  • Reply
    Grandma Cate
    December 24, 2018 at 9:06 am

    I loved the sugar cookies in the cafeteria at my elementary school. One day I got up nerve to ask the gray-haired lady in the kitchen if I could have the recipe. She said she was too busy to write & started to turn away. But she tirned back & asked if I could remember, adding, “It’s a pound of butter, a pound of sigar & a pound of flour.”
    Delighted w/ my news, I asked Mom if we could make some. She hesitated, thought a bit & suggested maybe we should start with a quarter of the recipe for a first try. That was no problem: butter came in 1/4-pound sticks, but ….. Figuring out the conversion of pounds to cups of sugar & flour sent me to Mom’s big cookbook, the dictionary tables of weights & measures, & finally pencil & paper!
    Things I discovered then & later: no need to grease the baking pan, use margarine & they aren’t the same, & you can add anything you want in way of flavors, chopped nuts, even bits of candied fruit. But it takes a lot of trays in the oven because they SPREAD like crazy.

    • Reply
      December 10, 2021 at 12:47 pm

      I will be making these with my granddaughter this weekend. Thank you granny and Tipper.

  • Reply
    Glynda P. Chambers
    December 24, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    Hi Tipper, Is there a way to print the recipe above. I know there was at one time a link to print but I can’t seem to find it. Thanks, Glynda

  • Reply
    Christy Fulton
    December 20, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    We used your recipe at my house tonight to make cookies. They are fabulous, the orange zest is exquisite. I have some recipes written by my Grandma which I treasure also. Happy holidays!

  • Reply
    December 19, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    Those sugar cookies look almost as good as those pretty girls of yours. I remember when I was about middle ways in High School (that’s about the age when you know it all) and I could join in conversations at home. And I was reminded how foolish I was when my oldest daughter talked about intelligent things. She was more reasonable than me.
    When I was little I remember going to town with daddy for mama’s grocery shopping. In her little notes she’d put down things like “2 big cans of cream and a nice, fresh cabbage”. How I wish I had the sense to keep those grocery lists. …Ken

  • Reply
    December 19, 2016 at 11:30 am

    YUM! Those cookies look so good. We are having our cookie making day this Wednesday and will try Granny’s recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    December 19, 2016 at 11:21 am

    Well sir, there was a mix of sleet, rain, snow on the plateau yesterday. Even though it got very slicky in place there was only barely a skiff in other places.
    I am having my coffee late this morning. I rendered down a couple of pounds of beef suet and let it cool, put in my other birdy stuff and mixed it up. I have been filling KFC, small plastic cups and sandwich bags full of suet to go in the freezer. I flatten the suet in those very cheap sandwich bags. Freeze. These are the perfect size to fit in those wire suet feeders, about 1.87 from Walley World or like I mentioned before, stuff in big balls into saved plastic netting, twist, hang and make loop for hanging.
    There has been a chirping frenzy out there this chilly cloudy morning. I don’t know why they get up so early. I guess it is true, The early bird gets the worm…errr suet!
    Listened and enjoyed your interview yesterday. A couple of times I thought I lost the feed for a few minutes, but it came back and I heard it all. Great encouragement for all Tipper!
    Sure do wish I had a couple of those green sugar star cookies with my coffee.
    I have some vintage cookie cutters from my granny and some I would love to use from my childhood plus I have added a few too thru the years. My husband has already been over doing the carbs and sugar thru these holidays. However, I still might make one run and freeze them! ha
    To look at him you wouldn’t think he would have diabetes. That man is a “carb-sugar-coholic”. He can smell brownies baking in someone’s oven miles away! ha Bless his heart!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    December 19, 2016 at 10:07 am

    We are visiting with our son-in-law, daughter and grandson just now. Maybe Nanna will use this recipe with the grandson. He likes to help in the kitchen sometimes. But he is on sugar ration by his Mommy.
    The aggregate of all your posts show that your girls have a rich and deep treasure of family tradition, stories and experiences. Those things are some of the priceless intangibles of life.
    Wishing each and all of the BP&A gang (bloggers included) a strong and mighty (aka merry) Christmas as a great ending for 2016 follwed by a strong and mighty 2017 but especially so in those proceless things.

  • Reply
    December 19, 2016 at 10:03 am

    Tipper, you are teaching your girls how to do so many skills that are getting lost in
    present day. Nobody remembers nor cares about the bag of cookies picked up at the grocer, but baking sugar cookies in a cozy kitchen becomes a priceless memory. Sadly my Mom baked numerous applesauce cakes each year, and now I have no clue how that delicious cake was baked. Also she made cathedral window quilts, and I never attempted to try to learn. I learned many skills, but regret the ones I did not learn. I love being called old fashioned because I prefer to make most things myself.
    It is really neat to go in the kitchen and whip up something without having to run out to find it. The funnel cakes at state fairs were so tasty I decided to find a recipe. They were so simple and something everybody loved. Your girls will truly be prepared for life because your family has included them in everything.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    December 19, 2016 at 8:22 am

    Sugar cookies are a must at our house too!

  • Reply
    Wes Bossman
    December 19, 2016 at 8:18 am

    Good morning, all
    I thoroughly enjoy these blogs that trace the family traditions through the generations. I find them very comforting, and important to continue. I also want to recommend the Christmas CD I have been listening to the past few weeks, because it has the same Family, and traditional values that hold our families together. “Songs of Christmas” by Paul and Jerry Wilson. It is real, as in authentic, music. It is excellent. This is an unsolicited, completely spontaneous observation on my part. A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    December 19, 2016 at 8:15 am

    I listened to your interview and can’t help noticing you are encouraging folks to make sugar cookies. That is being an encourager.
    Keep up the good work. You encourage us all to remember and sometimes laugh at our mountain roots.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    December 19, 2016 at 8:07 am

    I don’t know which is prettier…the cookies or the girls! I love my old hand written recipes, they are true treasures. They connect to another time!

  • Reply
    Candy Davis
    December 19, 2016 at 5:37 am

    Thank you for sharing your family recipe. I think I will try it. My daughter and I made sugar cookies every year too. This brings back great memories. I love the then and now pictures of Chitter and Chatter too!

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