My mom had several different sugar cookie recipes she used over the years. Recently, my oldest sis pointed out that THIS one was the best one. So here it is. And yum…it’s really REALLY good. The brown sugar in this recipe makes it chewy compared to my Iced Sugar Cookie recipe (from Mom) which is more crumbly. But still good too! I will eventually be sharing her rolled sugar cookie recipe that I made when the boys were small, when they liked to decorate hearts and reindeer. They don’t care much for that now.
This is a very large recipe, making approximately 40 sugar cookies. I guess you bake tons of cookies when you are a mom to six kids and married to a man whose sweet tooth rivaled Cookie Monster. I still remember coming home from school and seeing Mom’s back countertop filled with cookies that she had JUST baked. All is right in the world when you come home to that! And I also remember sneaking an extra one when she wasn’t looking, because I know she TRIED to limit the amount we ate in one sitting (two was max, I believe).
So if all six of us kids ate two sugar cookies, plus a few extra “sneaks”, plus a few for Dad and maybe one for Mom (because she never ate a lot of her own baking), that leaves 20 cookies out of the 40 remaining. Man, I’m good at math! 🙂 And guess what she did with the other 20?
BINGO. She GAVE them to neighbors, as well as the priests and nuns that lived across the street. That was totally routine for Norma Jean, the queen of baking and the giver of all things sweet. Giving away her baked goods was her reward for her sweat in the kitchen. She loved to hear the “ooohhs and aaahhhs” from the recipients of her gifts. That was all she ever needed. She never expected anything in return, just a little oooohh love.
As a side note, these cookies do get a little bit flat. But it doesn’t matter because they are gooooooood!
- 2 cups unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons baking soda
- 4 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 3 teaspoons vanilla
- 5 Tablespoons half and half or milk
- 4-5 cups powdered sugar depending on desired consistency
- food coloring
In a large standing mixer, cream the butter and sugars together. Add eggs and vanilla and mix.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
Place cookie dough in airtight container and store in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and place cookie balls on prepared sheet pan. Bake in batches, for approximately 12 minutes.
Let cookies cool slightly before removing to baking sheets to cool completely.
Melt the butter in medium bowl. Add vanilla and half and half and stir. Add powdered sugar until you reach the right consistency. You want to make sure it's thick enough for spreading but thin enough to use a decorating kit (optional).
Add a few drops of food coloring to achieve your desired color. I used red to get pink icing, and red and blue to get purple icing.
Fill decorating kit with icing. Make designs on the cookies to decorate for the appropriate holiday or celebration.