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It’s Not Christmas Until Cookies Are Made!

I never thought I’d see the day that I would be writing an article about a recipe like any given mommy blog, with a long story about the recipe before the recipe is given, but with the holidays around the corner and I’ve learned more about the story behind my family’s cookie recipe so I thought I’d share.

My grandfather grew up with his single mother and his grandparents. His mother spent most of her time working, so he was most often raised by his grandparents. My grandpa was particularly close with his grandma, who helped him build model airplanes and took him to the LA farmer’s market as a treat. Every Christmas, they had a special tradition: they would make her sugar cookies together.

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We don’t really know where the recipe came from, but my mom is pretty sure it came off the back of a sack of flour. The origins of this recipe don’t really matter to us, though. It’s the memories that have come from these cookies that make it so special. This tradition was so cherished by my grandfather that he made sure to pass the recipe down, and every year, the same cookies are made. By the time it reached me, as a child, they were a set tradition. I enjoy all the memories this simple recipe has given me. I remember “helping” my mom make them, which really only meant using various cookie cutters to prep the cookies for the oven. I remember using my small hands to make one large cookie, in the rough shape of a long-necked dinosaur, to give to my grandpa when I saw him on Christmas that year. My mom and I still occasionally window shop to find new cookie cutters that might be fun to use for these cookies, although most often we go with the simple circle shape nowadays.

This year has definitely ensured some traditions will get thrown out the window. This Christmas will be weird, but it will still be Christmas and the spirit of the holiday isn’t tarnished. I look forward to baking these cookies with my mom once again, reminiscing over old memories while we forge new ones. I’m sure this will be a Christmas we will all remember for certain reasons, but I’m sure to remember this Christmas as the first year we make our sugar cookies with a stand mixer, instead of forming the dough with sheer willpower and a wooden spoon!

I want to share this recipe with you all to spread some of the happiness it has brought my family through multiple generations. I hope you all enjoy and have fun with it!

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Christmas Sugar Cookies


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 7 ½ cups flour (you may need 8 cups)


  1. Mix softened butter and sugar until creamy
  2. Add eggs and vanilla to the bowl and mix until blended
  3. Mix in salt, baking soda, baking powder, and nutmeg
  4. Slowly add in the milk and the flour, alternating between adding a cup of flour and a little bit of milk, until you have mixed in all of your flour and milk. If you feel that the dough is too sticky, add in the extra ½ cup of flour
  5. Once fully mixed, divide dough into two, wrapping each ball in plastic wrap, and put in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. It is easier to roll the dough out the colder it is, so my family usually leaves them in the fridge overnight
  6. To bake, preheat oven to 325
  7. Dust clean the counter top and rolling pin with flour
  8. Taking smaller chunks off of one of your balls of dough, roll out the dough to about ¼” thickness
  9. Use whatever cookie cutter you’d like to cut out the cookies, place on a baking sheet
  10. Bake cookies for about 10 minutes, the cookies will puff up a little bit, and the bottom will be a light to golden brown color
  11. Let cookies cool completely before decorating
  12. Repeat the same process of rolling out dough and baking cookies until you’ve used all the dough (you will have a lot of cookies!)
  13. Once cooled, decorate the cookies however you’d like! We tend to use a simple buttercream.
Kayley Hall

Cal Lutheran '23

Howdy! I’m a psychology and criminal justice double-major at Cal Lutheran. I enjoy sharing what I’ve learned with other people! When I’m not writing for HC, I’m probably drawing comics or reading graphic novels.
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