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iced sugar cookie decorated like a christmas tree

My Favorite Sugar Cookie Recipe

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Melissa Griffiths - Bless this Mess
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 dozen medium cookies 1x


  • 1 cup shortening (I use butter flavored)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • dash of nutmeg, optional


  1. In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar. Beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
  3. Add the sour cream and vanilla.
  4. Next, add the baking soda, baking powder, flour, salt, and nutmeg if using, and mix all together. The dough should be tacky without being sticky; adjust the flour as needed until you have a workable dough.
  5. Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes (and up to 2 days).
  6. 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.
  7. Use cookie cutters to make shapes, and transfer to a lightly greased baking sheet.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F. for about 7 to 10 minutes.
  9. Repeat with remaining dough, gathering and re-rolling the scrap dough as you go along.
  10. Decorate cooled cookies with icing and sprinkles; the messier the better.
  11. This is my favorite frosting for sugar cookies if you need a recipe to go with this one.


  • I don’t use shortening for a lot of recipes (this and My Favorite Pie Crust Recipe are about the only ones that I use it in), but it helps the cookies keep their shape and the end result is so much nicer. I figure if you’re just eating stuff like that a few times a year, it’ll balance itself out.
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: American