Grandma’s Sugar Cookies

Happy Valentine’s Day! Hope you are loving somebody today and somebody is loving you! I am loving these Valentine Sugar Cookies!! Oh, and my husband! :)

These cookies are actually my great grandmother’s recipe. Growing up my mom would make these cookies every single Valentine’s day. Even when we moved away for school or work she would send my siblings and me packages of these cookies nested in 18 layers of bubble wrap so as to arrive safely. Needless to say, it’s not quite Valentine’s Day until these cookies get made.¬†

For Christmas this year my mom gave my sisters and me an awesome gift: a cook book filled with all our favorite family recipes! I am loving having all these awesome recipes right at my fingertips-especially Grandma Rusness’ sugar cookies!

The secret ingredient to these cookies? Sour cream! Grandma Rusness would probably not be happy that I used light sour cream as the recipe calls for “extra thick,” but I had it in the fridge and couldn’t put off making these cookies to run to the store! The cookies still turned out great but next time I will listen to Grandma and use the extra thick stuff!

First up, cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer (or using an electric hand mixer) until light and fluffy.

Then add your eggs and sour cream. Beat until combined. Remove the bowl and it’s time to add the dry ingredients. 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and “flour to roll.” Ummm, what’s that Grandma? Flour to roll? Apparently Grandma was not into exact measurements! Luckily when my mom transcribed the recipe she added in “(about 5 1/2 cups)” so at least it wasn’t a complete shot in the dark! I started with five cups and began to mix with a wooden spoon. I added another 1/4 cup and thought the dough was sturdy enough, but as usual, mom was right. After I tried to roll out my first batch and the dough was wayyyy to sticky, I added another 1/4 cup and the dough was perfect.

Can you tell this makes A LOT of cookies? Your co-workers, neighbors, family members, postman, pizza delivery guy, etc. will be thankful for the cookies, I promise :)

Prepare your work surface with a good dusting of flour and start rolling out your cookies! 

I grab a piece of dough about the size of a softball and roll it out to about 1/4″ thick. The thicker the cookies the softer they will be. I looove soft cookies so I make mine a little thick, if you like crispier cookies, I would roll the dough to about 1/8″ thick. I’m sure Grandma Rusness would aprove of either way!

Place the cookies on a silpat or parchment lined cookie sheet. Then sprinkle sugar over the top of the cookies. No egg wash necessary (I had to call my mom to confirm), just sprinkle “a good amount” on top.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 6-9 minutes. The cookies don’t brown on top (unless you want them crunchy) so don’t worry if you pull yours out and they are still a delicious shade of pale yellow.

Now, the cookies are fantastic eaten just like that. I should know, I ate about 12 right out of the oven! But my mom would always frost them. The frosting recipe is a little tricky, much like “flour to roll,” it doesn’t give any measurements. Just calls for butter, powdered sugar, and cream.

I had to play around with it a bit, but what I ended up using was 1 stick of softened butter, 1 box of powdered sugar, and about 2 T of cream. Add the cream slowly and carefully as you don’t want your frosting to be too runny! Then, it’s time for some fun!

Told you it makes a lot of cookies!! :) My mom always decorated these the same way: a pink rose in the middle and green leaves on the sides. I tired my best but they are definitely not as good as mom’s!

Guess I need a few more years of practice! Even though they weren’t perfect, they still tasted great! And gave me that warm, fuzzy feeling of home.

I hope everyone has a fantastic Valentine’s day!


Grandma’s Sugar Cookies

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • “flour to roll” about 5 1/2 cups, plus more for rolling

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in eggs and mix to combine. Add soda, baking powder, and flour and mix until fully incorporated.

Roll out dough in softball sized chunks and cut with cookie cutters. Sprinkle with sugar before baking.

Bake at 400 degrees for 6-9 minutes. Let cook completely before frosting.

For frosting:

In a stand mixer combine butter (about 1 stick), powdered sugar (about 1 box), and cream (1-2 Tablespoons). Mix on medium high until fluffy. Separate to add food coloring. Get creative! :)

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  1. Sarah says:

    These are the prettiest little cookies! Hubby loves sugar cookies, and since it’s Valentine’s Day and all…well…I should make these this week for him. They’re so cute!

    I love the Christmas present you got with all the family recipes. Great idea! I’d love to have something like that.

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