My mother had a special sugar cookie recipe that has been passed down in our family. It was our traditional Christmas cookie – we used the same recipe and the same cookie cutters every year. I loved cutting and decorating bells and hearts, trees and snowmen. One of the biggest challenges for me as a mom was finding a way to adapt this recipe for my son so he didn’t have to miss out on the family tradition. After many years of experimentation, I finally found a version I’m happy with. Here it is!
- 1 c. (2 sticks) dairy-free margarine – I like Fleishman’s Unsalted
- 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 tsp. flavoring of your choice – the original recipe called for almond, but orange, anise, lemon, and many others work well also
- 2 1/2 c. flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. cream of tartar
Cream the butter and sugar – it should be nice and fluffy. Add the flavorings. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Mix in and chill the dough for at least 2 hours. This is an excellent recipe for rolled cookies, but it works equally well when you roll it into small balls, coat with colored sugar, non-pareils, etc., and flatten with a glass. Bake at 375* for 7-8 minutes. They bake best when the cookie sheet is lined with parchment paper. Let cookies set for a couple of minutes before removing them from the pan.
Another great way to enjoy these cookies is to make golf-ball sized dough balls, poke your finger in the middle to make an indentation, and fill with jelly. They bake the same exact way. My favorite is IKEA‘s lingonberry preserves – the tart flavor is great against the sweetness of the cookie.