Ethel’s Sugar Cookies

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Ethel’s Sugar Cookies

This is the recipe — originally borrowed from the Betty Crocker Cookie Book — Phyllis uses to make the Christmas cookies that Blaine House sends to the 1,000 Augusta-area Head Start children each year. She multiplies the recipe as needed in several big batches; then, as time permits, bakes up what she can. Another staff member decorates the cookies, after which they are hidden so that the staff and who knows, maybe even the governor — can’t find them before Christmas.

Yield: Makes about 4 dozen.


  • 3/4 cup shortening (part butter)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon flavoring or 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt


Cream shortening and sugar; beat in eggs and flavoring. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt, and blend into egg mixture. Chill dough for at least 1 hour. Roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness on a floured board. Cut into desired shapes and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes at 400 degrees F, until cookies are a delicate golden color.

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