Under the Maple Canopy

Singing Union Songs Since 2009

Cookies for Yule – #5 Grandma’s Sugar Cookies

I may have jinxed myself with Sunday’s post.  In my defense, I didn’t know the kid was going to become ill.  On the other hand?  I probably should have known.  My mom always said that it wasn’t really the holidays (or a trip of some sort) unless someone was sick.  Double bonus points if you spent some portion of said event in Urgent Care.  I may end up struggling to get in seven.

All of this is par for the course these days as I try not to drown in stress (self-imposed and otherwise).  Remembering to breathe helps even if you think that sounds impossible.  Close your eyes and breathe deeply, maybe even with sound as a Yoga teacher once taught me see if you can feel the difference.  Better?  Me too.

What happens…happens.  It’ll be grand either way.

IMG_0478These are my grandmother’s sugar cookies.  When she went into the care facility I received all of her church cookbooks.  This was apparently a very popular recipe in her social circles because the recipe appears in multiple cookbooks and was wrinkled and covered in her notes in each instance.  My apologies to the folks who submitted the recipe to the cookbooks and whomever created the recipe first, but I’ll call this my grandma’s sugar cookies as long as I’m breathing because it will forever more be hers in my mind.

They tasted just like I remembered them, full of all of the good things about her and absent of all the hurt she caused others even before Alzheimer’s took so much of her away.  This is how I’ll choose to remember her when what remains is no longer – plates of cookies for the holidays with these tender bites in the center.

Grandma’s Sugar Cookies

Yield:  about 7 dozen small cookies


1 cup sugar
2 sticks of butter, room temperature
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup powdered sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
5 cups flour

Directions (see notes below)

  1. Cream in two separate bowls – granulated sugar and butter; vegetable oil and powdered sugar.
  2. Mix both together and add eggs, vanilla and salt.
  3. Sift together flour and baking soda.  Blend flour into mixture until incorporated.
  4. Chill well.
  5. Form one-inch balls and flatten with sugared glass.
  6. Bake at 350° until golden brown.


  • I did not cream the ingredients separately.  I started with the butter and granulated sugar in the mixer and creamed them well before drizzling in the vegetable oil, scraping down the sides of the bowl periodically.  Once the mixture was mostly emulsified, I added in the powdered sugar, eggs one at a time, vanilla, salt, and baking soda.
  • I did not sift my flour, but added about 2 cups at a time so that it wouldn’t fly everywhere.
  • We used regular granulated sugar when we were flattening our cookies because it’s canonical, but you could always use colored sugars for a seasonal flair.
  • Another variation would be to roll the balls into a mixture of cinnamon, sugar, and nutmeg before flattening with the glass.  Yum!
  • We baked ours for 14 minutes, but your oven may vary.  I’d start at 10 minutes fully expecting that increase the time by 2 minute intervals until they are browned to your taste.
  • These are very tender cookies and are not well suited for icing or decorating and will break easily if bumped about.
  • Feel free to cut the recipe in half – believe me when I say that it makes A LOT.  :0)

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