Throughout my childhood, this was our one must have cookie for cookie decorating. Mama would make a huge batch so we all had plenty to decorate. She cut them in shapes of trees, stars, and reindeer and each of us got our own platter full. She mixed up red, green, and yellow icing and always had plenty of sprinkles to go on top! They will be “wet” right after icing and decorating but if you wait an hour or so they will dry enough to be stacked in a cookie jar.
Mama used to clip coupons, send in rebates, and scrimp and save all year long to help buy us presents. Quite often, our favorite toys were from send in offers and rebate checks. My favorite gift as a child was a little plastic baby doll who came with her very own tiny bar of Ivory soap! I’ll never forget how special that baby was or how much I enjoyed getting to give her a bath with her soap. I also remember coca cola flavored lip gloss, but my younger sister got a hold of mine and ate it, guess that flavor was convincing! Note to Patti: You owe me Coca Cola lip gloss this year.
As much as I loved that doll, though, my best holiday memories as a child were decorating these cookies and all of the other little arts and crafts that Mama did with us to help make the house festive. It seemed we were always busy, up to something, and having a wonderful time together.
You’ll need: Milk, Shortening, Baking Powder, Vanilla, Salt, Sugar, Flour and Eggs.
I am making a double recipe. One recipe will yield about two dozen average sized cookies. I tend to make mine a bit larger though.
Combine sugar, shortening, milk, and vanilla in mixing bowl.
Add eggs and mix well.
until it looks like this!
In a separate bowl, place flour and add your baking powder…
Whisk that together until combined. The recipe says to sift but I don’t like to have to deal with getting my sifter out so this is my way 🙂
Add the dry mixture to your creamed mixture.
Mix until well combined.
Divide dough and chill for at least one hour. I made a double recipe so I just put mine in three sandwich bags. If you are in a hurry, pop it in the freezer for about fifteen minutes and it will be just fine.
Whenever I make cut out cookies, I like to line my counter top with waxed paper for less mess. Dust waxed paper lined counter top with flour.
Place a portion of your chilled dough on top. Dust the top with flour again. With a little bit of flour in your hand, run it over your rolling pin to keep it from sticking to the dough.
Roll the dough out to about 1/8 of an inch (I prefer mine to be about 1/4 of an inch – I’m such a rebel!)
Spray baking sheet with cooking spray.
Cut out cookies…
Be careful not to tear them when you pick them up. I use this really thin cookie spatula I have.
Place on greased cookie sheet.
The dough scraps can be balled up together and rolled out again. I usually only do this once and after the second cutting I throw that dough away. If you keep balling it up and rolling it out, it will get “piece-y” and you’ll start having layered cookies. Just try it a few times and you’ll see what I mean!
Bake for 6-8 minutes. They will still look a lot like they did when they were uncooked, but puffed up slightly and if you look you’ll see just a hint of browning around the bottom.
This is only a teeny tiny portion of my sprinkles and sugars collection. I have an entire storage bin of them!
Gather together some sprinkles and colored sugars for decorating.
Place 1 T of margarine or butter (well softened) in each of three bowls (if you want three different colors of icing).
We ALWAYS had three different colors because there were three of us. 🙂
Add confectioner’s sugar, milk, and flavoring.
Cut that together with a fork. You are really just mooshing it.
until it is smooth and creamy. Feel free to add another tablespoon of milk if you need to.
My mother recommends using squirt butter for this but if you don’t have that just use regular margarine like I did. Since this is a poured icing, you can melt the margarine a bit in the microwave if it is too lumpy.
Dye each bowl and stir until the colors are even.
What I do is lay out a sheet of waxed paper for everyone and put cookies on top of it.
Then I give everyone three spoons so they have one for each icing color.
Just drizzle your icing on the cookie with a spoon, spread it around and sprinkle!
I let my kids pretty much do whatever they want with their cookies. This isn’t a time to produce a “perfectly” decorated cookie, its a time to let kids do it their way and be proud of their creations! They LOVE This part!
Kinda like this. Allow cookies to sit out for an hour or two, until they are completely dried.
Then you can store them in a cookie jar or other airtight bin, stacked on top each other.
Arrange on a plate and enjoy!
- 2/3 Cup shortening
- 3/4 Cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 egg
- 4 teaspoons milk
- 2 Cups plain flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 Cup confectioner's sugar
- 1 Tablespoon softened butter or margarine
- 2 Tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla or butter flavoring
- Thoroughly cream shortening, sugar, and vanilla. Add egg; beat until fluffy. Stir in milk. Sift dry ingredients; stir in and blend. Divide dough in half, chill 1 hour.
- On floured surface, roll half of dough to 1/8 inch thick. Keep remaining dough chilled until ready to roll. Cut into shapes. Bake on greased cookie sheet at 375 for 6-8 minutes. Cool slightly, remove from pan. Cool and decorate with cookie icing.
To make Icing
- In bowl, mix all ingredients together with fork. If too dry, add a little more milk. Once mixed, add a few drops of food coloring.
Mama always made three recipes of this so there would be three different colors. She prefers to use squirt margarine in place of butter for easier blending.