Ethel's Sugar Cookies


Ethel’s Sugar Cookies

Photo Credit
Cheryl E. Davis/Shutterstock
Makes 3 to 4 dozen cookies (depending on size of cutter)
Preparation Method
1977 Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book
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This is the BEST sugar cookie recipe—from the Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book—that we make every year. Ethel’s Sugar Cookies are thick and cakey with just the right amount of sweetness and a hint of vanilla. These are popular around the holidays—and every time of year!

We have tried other sugar cookie doughs but always returned to Ethel’s.  They remind us of the sugar cookies that we ate as children. We especially enjoy how easy the dough is to roll with a rolling pin; the combination of butter and shortening creates a nice, sturdy dough. 

The cookies can either be topped with sprinkles before baking or iced after they have been cooked and cooled. For a crowd, multiply the cookie recipe as needed in big batches. 

Find more easy and delicious holiday cookie recipes here.

1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
  1. Mix butter, shortening, sugar, eggs, and vanilla thoroughly.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt, and blend into egg mixture. 
  3. Divide dough into two discs.  Cover each with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  4. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  5. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow it to sit on the counter for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the temperature of your kitchen. 
  6. Roll out dough to 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch thickness on a floured board. 
  7. Cut into desired shapes and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  8. Place on an ungreased baking sheet
  9. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes at 400°F, until cookies are a delicate golden color. Cool on a wire rack.  
  10. If desired, decorate with icing. See recipe below.

Easy Cream Icing

1 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 to 3 Tablespoons cream or milk
food coloring or icing tints
  1. Blend sugar, salt, and vanilla. 
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of cream/milk at a time until icing reaches a spreadable consistency. 
  3. Add food coloring. Spread on cookies with an off-set spatula.
About The Author

Catherine Boeckmann

Catherine Boeckmann loves nature, stargazing, and gardening so it’s not surprising that she and The Old Farmer’s Almanac found each other. She leads digital content for the Almanac website, and is also a certified master gardener in the state of Indiana. Read More from Catherine Boeckmann

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