Very few memories are etched as permanently in my mind as making sugar cookies with my grandmother.
She would prepare the dough the night before and allow it to chill overnight. I would join her in the kitchen the next day, aprons tied around our waists, where I would balance on a 3-legged stool. She would take the chilled dough from the refrigerator, sprinkle flour on the counter, and place her hands upon mine as we rolled out the delicate dough with an antique rolling pin. The thickness was always perfect, as we pressed in holiday shaped cookie cutters.
One batch would go into the oven, while we repeated the process again with the remaining dough. When the final tray of cookies was in the oven, Grandmother would start making her impeccable icing. She would dish it out in little bowls and let me dye it different colors. We would then sit at the kitchen table and ice, sprinkle, and sample for the rest of the afternoon.
In the fast paced world in which we now live, we don’t often take the time for these time honored recipes and traditions. There was nothing rushed or hasty about our time together. There was nowhere else to be and no cell phone distracting us from being fully present. We didn’t even snap pictures to share on Instagram. But these moments were perfect!!
To this day, there are very few desserts I would choose over Grandmother’s iced sugar cookies, especially since making them with her is but a distant memory. As a mom to three precious girls, intentional time together is one of my highest priorities. Whether making sugar cookies or creating treats to take to neighbors, I desire to use our kitchen as place to connect, create, and cultivate a lifelong desire to share love (and sprinkles!)
Grandmother’s Iced Sugar Cookies by Erica Stidham
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Prep: 2 hours 15 minutes (2 of those hours are dough chilling in the fridge)
Cook: 12 minutes
- 2 1/4 cups sifted flour
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 Tbsp. milk
- 1 Tbsp. shortening
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 Tbsp. milk (or more, for desired consistency)
- Sift flour, salt, and baking powder together. Cream shortening and sugar together, add eggs and vanilla, then add sifted ingredients and milk. Chill covered dough in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.
- Roll out dough and cut with cookie cutters.
- Bake on a cookie sheet at 375˚F for 12 minutes
- To make the icing, blend 1 Tbsp. shortening with 1 cup powdered sugar. Slowly add 2 Tbsp. of milk at a time until desired consistency is reached. Use food coloring to create different colors.
- Ice cookies and decorate with sprinkles.