Recipe: Old-fashioned sugar cookies

I know it’s Christmas Eve but this sugar cookie recipe was too good not to share.  We found it a few days ago when we were going through my grandmother’s old cookbooks and decided to make traditional sugar cookies for Santa rather than buying them from the store.

I’d love to say that these are super healthy, but they aren’t.  They are, however, delicious.  Not too sweet, not too buttery.  Just perfect.  If you like your cookies more on the sweet side I’d recommend that you add lots of sugar on the top.  Or just let your child do the decorating because tons of sugar on top will happen anyway.

For the colored sugar topping we just mixed some food coloring to regular sugar.

Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies
Yield: 4 dozen
McCall’s Cook Book

Ingredients for cookies:

  • 4 c. sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg (we left this out because we didn’t have any and don’t really care for it anyway)
  • 1 c. soft butter or margarine (we used butter)
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract


  • 1/4 c. sugar – we added food coloring to make it different colors
  • Raisins or blanched almonds (optional)


  1. Sift flour with baking powder, soda, salt, and nutmeg; set aside.
  2. In large bowl of electric mixer, at medium speed, beat butter, sugar, and egg until light and fluffy.
  3. At low speed, beat in sour cream and vanilla until smooth.
  4. Gradually add flour mixture, beating until well combined.
  5. With rubber scraper, form dough into a ball.  Wrap in waxed paper or foil; refrigerate several hours, or overnight.
    NOTE: We refrigerated the dough in a log shape overnight.  
  6. Divide dough into 4 parts. Refrigerate until ready to roll out.
    NOTE: Carl cut the log into small sections so we could work with the dough a little at a time without it getting warm.
  7. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375F.  Lightly grease cookie sheets.
    NOTE: We used parchment paper
  8. On well-floured surface, roll dough, one part at a time, 1/4 in. thick.
  9. With floured, 2 1/2 in. cookie cutter, cut out cookies.  Using a spatula, place, 2 in. apart on cookie sheets.
    NOTE:  The cookies will spread so you really do want to have space between them
  10. Sprinkle tops of cookies with sugar or other toppings of your choice.  Reroll trimmings, and cut.
  11. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden. Remove to wire rack; cool.


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