Grandma’s Sugar Cookies from Scratch

I’ve made my grandma ce-ce’s Christmas sugar cookies many times before, but never have I tried to frost them with royal icing. Have you heard of that before? It’s the kind that hardens and you can actually make look pretty. Fun, right?!  So I had to go to our local bakery store to get all the supplies for these cookies–the mixture to make the frosting, tips, couplers, bags etc. & $40 later I was on my way home. In all honesty, I was hesitant to start. I hadn’t ever done it before and I was really only going off a picture and the few directions the lady at the store gave me. But last weekend, this activity came up on Rhett’s advent calendar so it was time to take the plunge.  He sat for a little while on his chair to watch, but little grabby hands weren’t going to make it any easier when it came to do the away with dad he went.

My first attempt (see above).. Oh shit. What have I gotten myself into? Gooood thing there were another dozen to practice on.. so I kept at it for the next hour. They aren’t all exactly perfect, but I could definitely see an improvement.  A few tips from this newbie?

  • Make sure you do the outline all in one continuous line.  If you stop, it’ll leave a mark and potential for the fill to seep out later
  • Leave a little space between the tip & the cookie so you can see it lay down and where you’re going
  • The fill should be runny, but not too much.  You should have to move it around a little to frost the whole cookie
  • Those tiny bubbles are inevitable..use a toothpick to pop them before the icing hardens
  • Leave the cookies out overnight (uncovered) to give the icing time to harden
  • Wait until the next day to do the fun details *I didn’t because I was impatient, but should have*
  • Store in an air-tight container once they are complete!

I’ll definitely be making a second attempt on these, but hey! they were good enough to eat so I’m pleased.


If you’re looking for a Christmas Sugar Cookie recipe, try mine! I specify Christmas because there’s a lot of nutmeg in them so they definitely taste festive :)

1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 T milk
2 1/2 cup flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
3/4 t. nutmeg
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375
Cream together shortening & sugar until fluffy
Beat milk & eggs together, add to sugar/shortening mix
Sift together flour, baking powder, salt & nutmeg
Mix all ingredients well, mound & cool in refrigerator for at least 1 hr
Powder sugar the board & roll out to 1/4″ thick
Cut out using cookie cutters
Place on greased sheet in oven for 8 minutes

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