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.


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 ⅛-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.

Cooking & Recipes


Makes about 4 dozen.

Preparation Method

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I have been making these for

I have been making these for over 48 years. They are a no fail cut out cookie -- perfect for cut outs. To speed up the chilling, I divide the dough in half and roll them into 2 slabs indie of plastic wrap and shill in the freezer for about 1/2 hour. Then put on a well-flowered board it rolls out very well. You may have to re-chill in refrigerator in between batches. For better flavor, I use 1/2 butter and half margarine (not the kind where first ingredient is water). I may try coconut oil this year for healthy reasons. I use vanilla, almond extract or for lemon ones add some lemon rind as well (if need more liquid, lemon juice) and frosting with lemon frosting.

I have been making these

I have been making these cookies at Christmas time,using Holiday shapes, for probably 40 yrs at least! The recipe was in my old Betty Crocker cookbook. Just before my husband passed, he bought me the new addition book and a lot of the old recipes are not in there and he insisted I throw my old, falling apart book away! Big mistake, but I'm very happy to find this recipe again and so is my family!!

I grew up with this recipe

I grew up with this recipe and it is still my favorite one to this day (I am 32). I have tried many other sugar cookies, but nothing has been better.