From your favorite Valentine, your child’s teacher, to those neighbors during the holidays, everyone loves a made-from-scratch sugar cookie.  Here is a wonderful recipe that is simple to follow with amazing results!


  • 4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 3 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks margarine or butter, softened
  • 2/3 c shortening
  • 1 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 T milk
  • 1 t vanilla

Stir flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl.  Set aside.  Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and shortening until just combined.  Gradually add the sugar until light and fluffy (about 1 -2 minutes).  Whisk the eggs milk and vanilla together then add to the butter mixture slowly.  Blend thoroughly.  Add dry ingredients, stirring just to combine.  Flatten the dough into two disks, wrap tightly in plastic and chill at least three hours until firm.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly grease or line baking sheets with parchment paper.  Take one disk of dough and roll flat to about 1/8 inches on a lightly floured surface.  Cut out assorted shapes and transfer to cookie sheets, leaving about a 1/2 inch margin between each.  Bake on the center rack for 8-12 minutes or until the cookies are light brown around the edges.  Cool completely on racks before frosting or storing.

To frost, use a “royal icing” recipe such as this one:


  • 1 pound box confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 t cream of tartar
  • 2-3 large egg whites
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • food coloring, if desired

Blend sugar, cream of tartar and egg whites in large bowl with an electric mixer until just moistened.  Then, beat on low to evenly distribute the egg whites.  Turn to medium-high and continue to beat about 2 minutes until the icing is very white and “slick” looking.  Add water to thin the icing if needed, and add flavoring and food coloring as desired.  This is a great icing for piping or spreading, but use quickly.  It has a quick set-time and turns crisp, like a candy coating, when dry.

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