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Very Best Sugar Cookies



  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Early in the day or the day before: In a large bowl cream the shortening, butter and sugar. Add the eggs, extract, and milk.
  2. In a medium bowl mix the dry ingredients with a wire whisk. Add the dry ingredients to the large bowl containing the shortening, butter and sugar mixture. Mix with mixer until well combined. With hands, shape dough into a ball.
  3. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.
  4. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease cookie sheets.
  5. Roll 1/3 of dough at a time, keeping the rest refrigerated. For crisp cookies, roll dough, paper thin. For softer cookies, roll 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch thick. With floured cookie cutter, cut into shapes. Re-roll trimmings and cut. Place cookies 1/2 inch apart on cookie sheets.
  6. To decorate with colored sugars: Prepare cookies by brushing with heavy cream or an egg white slightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water. Sprinkle with decorative toppings.
  7. To decorate with food colors: Mix 1 egg yolk and 1/4 teaspoon water. Divide mixture among several small ramekins. Tint each with a different food color to make bright colors. If the paint thickens while stand, stir in a few drops of water. Paint designs on cookies with small paint brushes.
  8. Bake for 8 minutes or until very light brown.
  9. With pancake turner, remove cookies to racks; cool.

Makes about 6 dozen cookies.

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