The Perfect Christmas Cookie

Maya Weaver, Staff Writer

As the blistering winter weather blows in, sweeping in Christmas music and the rich scent of pine, it’s the ideal time to snuggle inside and enjoy the beginnings of the Christmas season. There’s no better way to do so than by baking up batches of sugar cookies, enjoying the warmth of the oven, and spending an afternoon decorating with sprinkles and icing! That said, it’s safe to have a carefully tested, well loved recipe to rely on instead of gambling with potential bland, tough cookies. I decided to seek out my grandma, the best baker I know who has decades of baking under her belt, to find the best cookie recipe. We agreed that soft cookies are the superior cookie and sifted through several recipes, eventually choosing a well worn recipe hidden in the many pages of a Mennonite cookbook. I tested the recipe out, and it’s safe to say that the cookies are delicious!

Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup shortening (or butter)
  • 2 cups sugar, granulated or light brown
  • 2 eggs
  • Approximately 5 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 and ½ tsps baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ cup milk 
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Cream shortening and sugar together. Add flavoring.
  2. Add eggs and beat until fluffy.
  3. Sift flour. Measure and add salt, soda, and baking powder. Sift again.
  4. Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with milk.
  5. Stir until dough is smooth.
  6. Chill in refrigerator for several hours.
  7. Roll out to ¼ inch thickness and cut into fancy shapes.
  8. Place 1 inch apart on greased cookie sheet and bake at 400° for 8-10 minutes

 

Recipe Notes:

  • This recipe makes about 60-70 cookies, so you may want to cut it in half, but Christmas cookies are great for sharing with friends, neighbours, and the entire extended family. 
  • I found that I used a scanter amount of flour than they called for, but the proportions will probably be different in every kitchen. I would stress adding the dry ingredients in small increments like the recipe asks- it makes it easy to mix and then you can make sure you haven’t added too much.
  • Chilling cookie dough isn’t always necessary, but for this recipe, it’s important because the dough is meant to be rolled out and cut into shapes. Make sure to chill for at least an hour. 
  • When you’re rolling out the dough, take care to flour your surface and regularly flip the dough to make sure it doesn’t stick to the counter.
  • Decorating: Decorating is my favourite part, and there’s lots of room for creativity. You can make festive shapes with cookie cutters or use a glass for circular cookies. I usually decorate with confectioner’s sugar glaze or sprinkles, but you can probably use icing or another sweet spread if you’re inspired. My only tip is that you allow the cookies to sufficiently cool so the toppings don’t melt off.