It seems to me that every year when christmas comes around I spend an entire day {or two} in the kitchen making sugar cookies. Once we get all the cookie dough made, refrigerated, rolled out, cut, baked, cooled, frosted and decorated I am completely exhausted. I then turn around, see the dishes and the counters and realize I will be spending just as long doing clean up as I did making sugar cookies. This year, I decided I was not going to be doing that!!!

I ended up just rolling the dough into a long thin log and slicing the dough off into circles. Our kids are still young enough that they are just as happy with a circle sugar cookie as a christmas tree or snowflake shaped sugar cookie. So I eliminated the steps of rolling out all the dough and using sugar cookie cutters to cut all the cookies this year. It saved me at least an hour!

When it came to frosting and decorating cookies I also did something a little different this year. I gave each child their own plate of all the frosting colors, their own plate of sprinkles to dip in, and multiple knives. It was wonderful to not have the main frosting marbled and mixed into a disgusting brown color for the last few cookies. This is something I will be doing every year now. It was a complete success and there was absolutely no arguing! (The boys – knowing that they were decorating their own cookies – ended up “tasting” almost all of their frosting.) We had a wonderful time, ate numerous sugar cookies and the best part was, it didn’t take all day.Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies


Sugar Cookies


  • 2/3 C – Shortening
  • 3/4 C – Sugar
  • 1 tsp – Vanilla
  • 1 Egg
  • 4 tsp – Milk
  • 2 C – Flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp – Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp – Salt


Cream shortening, sugar and vanilla. Beat egg in and then mix in the milk. Mix in {sifted} flour, baking powder and salt. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. (I usually just do it overnight.) Roll out on powdered sugar or flour to 1/4″ to 1/3″ thickness.

Bake at 375 degrees for 6-12 minutes (depending on thickness) on a greased or lined cookie sheet. A single batch makes about 2 dozen, 3″ circle cookies.

For those of you who want more than 2 dozen cookies . . .

Double Batch:
1-1/3 C – Shortening
1-1/2 C – Sugar
2 tsp – Vanilla
2 Egg
2 T + 2 tsp – Milk
4 C – Flour
1 T – Baking Powder
1/2 tsp – Salt

Triple Batch:
2 C – Shortening
2-1/2 C – Sugar
1 T – Vanilla
3 Eggs
1/4 C – Milk
6 C – Flour
4-1/2 tsp – Baking Powder
3/4 tsp – Salt


Note: I did a double batch. It make 5 – 1/2 dozen circle sugar cookies that we about 2 – 1/2 inches in diameter.

One recipe of my butter frosting made just the right amount to frost a double batch of sugar cookies, with no frosting left over. So if you {or your kids} plan on “tasting” the frosting you may want to make a little bit more.


Detailed Instructions:

After mixing up the dough, I shaped it into a long log and wrapped it in plastic wrap to cool in the fridge. This cookie dough is a very soft dough and can get really sticky, but if it is chilled it will eliminate the stickiness.

Note: For every batch, I made one log. Ex: If doubled, make two logs.

Sugar Cookies



Once chilled, I used my bench knife and quickly cut the dough in slices that are 1/4″ to 1/3″ thick.Sugar Cookies


When cutting the dough, it can misshapen your circle shape. Just place the dough slice in your fingers and give a little squeeze. This will reform the circle.Sugar CookiesSugar Cookies


After placing the slices onto the cookie sheet, I used the back of a large spoon to slightly flatten and remove the little ridges that can be caused when cutting sugar cookie dough.Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies

If you do not flatten or smooth out those ridges, this is what your baked sugar cookie will look like.


Bake in a 375 degree oven for 6-12 minutes, depending on the thickness of the cookie. I did 10 minutes for all of my batches, but in my mom’s oven she usually only cooks them 6 minutes. The key to cooking these sugar cookies is to cook them long enough to set and be hard enough to frost {without breaking}, but not to bake them to shatter when you bite into them. If you let these cookies bake until golden, they will be too hard.

I allow the cookies to cool/set-up on the cookie sheet for about 3 minutes before removing to a wire rack to continue cooling.Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies

Notice how even the bottom of the cookie doesn’t have any “coloring” from being baked.

Once all the cookies are baked and cooled, now is the fun part of decorating! After making the frosting, I evenly split it into bowls and hand mix in the food coloring (I prefer gel food coloring for frosting so it doesn’t “water” down the consistency).Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies


I loved doing circle sugar cookies this year, when it came to decorating. The simple shape was so much easier for me AND my boys to frost. Sometimes all the curves and thin edges on a sugar cookie can easily be broken when frosting. This year, we didn’t brake one cookie while frosting, not even my boys who are ages five and three.Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies

Dipping the frosted cookie into crystal sprinkles.


I hope you enjoy this sugar cookie recipe of my mom’s! Every time I take these cookies to a get-together I am told, by at least one person, that these are the best sugar cookies they have ever tasted. Enjoy!
Sugar Cookies