11 Comments

Gramma’s Sugar Cookies with Buttercream Frosting


This is definitely a tried and true recipe. My grandmother made double and triple batches of these every year for hunting season and Christmas time. We would always plan a sleepover for this occasion, making the cookie dough at night and baking them the next day. The decorating was a chore that had to be done for my grandmother, but for her grandchildren it was more like four dozen canvases awaiting adornment. After frosting them, you will want to let the frosting dry a bit before storing them. They freeze nicely and make a nice treat for a guest if you can keep yourself from eating them all!

During hunting season, men from Pennsylvania and even surrounding states would come to our sleepy little town during hunting season. They would hunt for deer, buck or doe, depending on the season. So many hunters would come that there would literally be no room at the inn to house them all. So enterprising housewives and their husbands would put them up for room and board. The ladies would ready their spare bedrooms, attics, basements with beds for their yearly boarders. During the hunters’ stay, the ladies would wake up way before sunrise to fix them a hearty breakfast and pack each of them a brown bag lunch to take along with them on their excursion into the woods.

My grandmother had a variety of cookies, wrapped in wax paper, stapled shut, prepared weeks in advance stashed in the freezer for this whirlwind week of food preparation. Always the stand-bys were pineapple drop cookies, chocolate chip and sugar cookies. You know, if no deer were caught that year, they at least had the consolation of having my Gramma’s homemade cookies to ease their discontent.

For a new twist on an old recipe, I made these with my kids a couple weeks ago as cookie pizzas like the kind you  make on Club Penguin. Don’t know what Club Penguin is? Ask any computer savvy kid and they will tell you.

Petra and Layali showing off their pizzas

Yesterday, a few friends came over and I served cookies in the shape of hearts, mittens and circles. The kids loved the shapes, but my personal favorite is the round circle that I cut with a biscuit cutter. The shape makes the perfect texture of crisp at the edges and soft, just sink your teeth in. They asked for the recipe so here it is, before I forget! I must forewarn you, once you make these, you will be getting requests to make them and often. As my sister and I always lament, a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips.

Sugar Cookies

1 cup margarine or butter

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

5 cups flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup canned milk (I have substituted regular milk with no problems)

Cream margarine and sugar in mixing bowl. Add eggs, one at a time. Sift dry ingredients in separate bowl. Add flour to egg mixture alternating with milk. Chill dough overnight. Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutters. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes before they turn golden. Remove immediately from cookie sheet. Frost when completely cool.

Buttercream Frosting

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1 pound of powdered sugar

dash of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

2-4 tablespoons milk

Cream butter in mixing bowl. Gradually add powdered sugar, alternating with vanilla and milk. Add as much milk as necessary to get desired consistency.

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11 comments on “Gramma’s Sugar Cookies with Buttercream Frosting

  1. Thank you Joyce, I love the idea of a cookie pizza. I cant wait to make them. Yummylicious.

  2. Oh, those were the days. I miss gram (and her cookies) so much!

  3. Thanks Joyce!! I can’t wait.. . . ! 🙂 They were SOOOOOO yummy! J.A.K.! 🙂

  4. Joyce, I’m so excited to have your recipe… and that your icing doesn’t call for Crisco since I don’t have any!! 🙂 Thanks again and they were soo yummy! BTW, I enjoyed the PA history lesson… I didn’t realize people actually “housed” men during hunting season… I just remember living on a mountain and always having hunters carrying their kill through our backyard… ahh sweet PA memories!

  5. Hey Joyce, what do you mean by canned milk… is that condensed milk or evaporated or ? Can I just use regular milk?

  6. Michelle,
    Actually evaporated milk is on every shelf in every store, even tiny little dukanehs. Lots of folks use it in their coffee. “Carnation” and “LUNA” milk and “RAINBOW” in cans…all evaporated. Around 1.25 JD for the large one. Sweetened condensed is usually Nestle, but pretty easy to find, too.

  7. Oh good to know Umm Farouq… I didn’t know those baby can were evaporated! You learn something new each day! Thanks for the tip!

  8. These are wonderful! I knew a recipe with canned milk AND butter had to be genuine! These bake beautiful and fluffy. I made Mickey Mouse heads and every time I turn around the ears are missing! My family is loving this cookie!

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