December 18, 2017

Our Family Christmas Cookie Recipe

Merry Christmas to you! I am sharing a very old recipe that has been in my family for generations. This recipe comes from my Grandma Lillian who was my Grandpa's mother (on my moms side). These cookies taste like nostalgia to me. I grew up eating these cookies every Christmas. My grandma would make HUNDREDS of them and have us all over to (stress her out) and decorate them. She had an entire system with sprinkle regulation and wet rags for hand wiping. That accompanied by a strict rule, not to lick your fingers. It was seriously always one of my favorite holiday traditions. We would each go home with a box of cookies too. She was (and is) the real MVP.

 She is now 81 years old and declares that she is "TOO OLD" to bake these cookies. I'm not buying it, but have agreed to carry on the cookie recipe as well as the tradition to bake them every Christmas. Some things are just important, like cookies... worth carrying on through generations.
I was lucky enough to have several private bake sessions with my Grandma and she taught me the tips and tricks to these cookies. Most of them are listed on my recipe paper above but I'll list a few things that are key to the perfect cookies....
1) Do not roll out your entire ball of dough all at once. The more you work with the dough the tougher it gets. Take a handful of dough, roll it out, & cut out as many shapes with it as possible. Roll the "scraps" from that back together and re-roll it out. You continue to do that until the entire handful of dough is cut into shapes.
THEN, you start again with another ball of dough.
This also avoids it getting too much flour coated and re-coated on the outside of the cookies. Which in turn, can make them a bit dry.
2) I make my icing with butter. I feel like it's a bit healthier than margarine. It works just as good! My grandma gave me the thumbs up after she tasted the ones I made with butter, so I feel like we aren't being too naughty altering the recipe there.
3) I've made this recipe many times and it always makes 2 dozen and not the approximate 3-4 dozen it says. So if you end up getting around 2 dozen, you probably rolled out the perfect cookies. I'm thinking grandma Lillian had smaller cookie cutters. So it will just depend on the size of your cookie cutters. 
4) I like my cookies to turn out more soft and chewy, so I only bake them 6 minutes total (3 minutes each rack-it will make sense once you read through the recipe). Then I always take them off the pan immediately with a spatula and let them cool on parchment paper. 
5) I always make my dough and my icing in a kitchen aid. Very easy and whips everything up like a dream. 

These cookies are really very easy to make, especially once you have done it a few times. Don't be intimidated by the "cream of tartar" it's found in the spice aisle. You are welcome....I just saved you 15 minutes of your life. First time I had to buy that, I may or may not have wandered around target like a lost sheep. While muttering, "if I were cream of tartar, where would I be?" Haha. SPICE AISLE. duh.

The recipes are typed out below, just in case you can't read the handwritten recipes above. Let me know if you make these cookies and if you like them! I would love to hear who tries out the recipe, and what your families think. I'm sure my grandma Lillian would be honored you tried out her recipe.... and confused by the internet. Hahah. ENJOY!

Grandma Lillian Widmer's 
Christmas Cookie Recipe:
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees*

Cream Together:
-1&1/2 C Brown Sugar
-1/2 C Crisco
-1 Egg

1/2 C Whole Milk---*but first stir into 1&1/2 tsp. baking soda into milk*

Stir Together in Separate Bowl: 
-1&1/2 tsp. Cream of Tartar
-3&1/3 C Flour
-1/4 tsp. Salt
*Now add this to the big bowl above*

Mix everything together and roll out-
Approx. 1/4 inch thick
*Important: If dough is still sticky, slowly add in flour until not sticky*

Bake on Parchment Paper 6-8 minutes total
*You'll have 2 sheets worth of cookies
Put them on 3rd and 4th oven wrack positions
Bake for 3-4 minutes, then switch them

Grandma Lillian Widmer's 
Christmas Cookie Icing:
-Frosting for 1-2 Dozen Cookies-

Cream Together: 
-1&1/2 C Powdered Sugar
-2&3/4 tbsp Margarine 

Stir In:
-1&1/2 tbsp Cream (Half and Half)
-1/2 tsp Vanilla


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I think I need to try these. They would make a great addition to Christmas at Grandma Sue’s. Hint, hint. : D