Soft and tender Christmas sugar cookies that are sweet and keep their shape very well – perfect for decorating; Grandma Lucy’s secret recipe!
There are very few things that Thomas pulls the “but they aren’t like my mom’s” card when it comes to my cooking, but sugar cookies is one of those recipes. My mother-in-law Lucy makes the BEST sugar cookies. I’m so excited to share her recipe with you today because it’s one she’s been making for years and years and we all love it best.
Grandma Lucy sugar cookies are the stuff childhood memories are made of. They are thick, puffy, super soft, and keep their shape perfectly. Bonus: you don’t have to chill the dough before rolling them out BUT you can if you want to make the dough ahead of time (win-win!). These aren’t just Christmas sugar cookies in our world either, Grandma makes them for most major holidays and invites all the grandkids over to decorate them with her. You’ve never seen such a mess!
How do you make soft chewy sugar cookies?
The secret to soft and chewy cookies is a combination of three things when it comes to Lucy’s sugar cookie recipe. Lots of eggs makes the dough tender but hold together well. A generous amount of baking powder helps them to be light and fluffy. The third secret is using butter-flavored shortening. There are very, very few things I make with shortening, but this recipe is one of them. Using shortening helps the cookies to keep their shape while baking (because it doesn’t melt like butter) and it helps them to be very tender.
Tips and Tricks for Making Christmas Sugar Cookies:
- If you want to make the dough and let it sit in the fridge a few hours or overnight until you are ready to bake them, that works great.
- You can press sprinkles or colored sugars into the uncooked cut cookies before baking and then bake as directed. This is a simple way to add a few decorations without much work on your part.
- Because we make this cookie recipe all year long, we LOVE this 101 Cookie Cutter set. It has it all! Plus, you can’t beat the price (around $10). It makes a fun gift idea, too.
- Want to change up the flavor just a bit? I love to add 1 teaspoon vanilla and then add 1/2 teaspoon almond extract and 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract. Delicious!
How do you store soft sugar cookies?
Because these are extra fluffy and soft, it’s best to store them in/on something like a baking sheet or a baking dish. Then cover the dish well with a lid or plastic wrap. They can be stacked, but not more than 2 high. If you need to stack more than 2 cookies, you’ll want to place a piece of parchment paper in between. These cookies also freeze well. Store and freeze before adding icing for best results. Thaw and ice right before eating, gifting, or sharing these cookies.
Grandma Lucy’s secret recipe for soft & chewy Christmas sugar cookies that are sweet and keep their shape very well. Perfect for decorating with the kids!
- 1 cup butter flavored shortening
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 7-8 cups of all-purpose flour +1 more for rolling
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup of milk
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- Cream shortening and sugar together in a medium bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add your eggs and mix to combine. Add the vanilla and mix again.
- Add 3 cups of flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to the bowl and mix well to combine.
- Mix the milk and vinegar together and add it to the cookie dough mixture. Mix well to combine.
- Add the remaining 4 cups of flour and stir until well combined. The dough should be tacky but not gloopy. If you pick it up in your fingers it shouldn’t stick to them though it’s a very soft dough. Add up to 1 cup additional flour as needed.
- Working with ¼ of the dough at a time, roll it out on a well floured surface to ¼ to ½ inch thick. Be generous with your flour on the rolling surface since the dough is very tender, it will stick easily.
- Use cookie cutters to make shapes and transfer to a lightly greased baking sheet.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes.
- Repeat with remaining dough, gathering and re-rolling the scrap dough as you go along.
- Decorate cooled cookies with icing and sprinkles, the messier the better.
- Grandma’s Notes: If you want to make the dough and let it sit in the fridge a few hours or overnight until you are ready to bake them, that works great.
Keywords: christmas cookies, easy cookie recipe, sugar cookie recipes
I took this picture just a few days ago while the grandkids were decorating cookies with Grandma Lucy! Isn’t she a cute grandma? We are so lucky to live right next door to her.
Other great Christmas cookie recipes you might enjoy:
- Soft Gingerbread Cookies (literally the best, ask the thousands of people who have made them!)
- Christmas Magic Cookie Bars
- 1 Dough, 4 Christmas Cookie Recipes
- How to Ship Christmas Cookies
- No-Bake Chocolate-Covered Fluffernutter Cookies
- Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies from my friend Alie at Gimme Some Oven
There you have it, our family-favorite sugar cookie recipe that gets made and enjoyed over and over again. I hope you make these and enjoy them as much as we do. Merry Christmas from my kitchen (and Lucy’s) to yours.