I love these butter cookies because they:
- Have a great texture (slightly crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside)
- Taste delicious
- Are easy to make
- Can match any theme or occasion
They were simply red and green sugar-topped Christmas cookies when I was growing up — my mom got the recipe from Progressive Farmer magazine and they became a staple in our home at the holidays. But we enjoyed them for only those few short winter weeks.
Once I was in my own kitchen, I started making them year-round, relying on an endless array of colored sugar toppings to match any theme. They became cookie chameleons, blending effortlessly with their surroundings no matter the occasion.
They’ve celebrated birthdays, been offered as Valentine’s Day gifts, sweetened Easter dinner, accompanied hot cider at Halloween and marched to school with my daughter to commemorate Veteran’s Day. Of course they still appear, in their traditional green and red, several times over the course of Christmas.
There is something sacred about reserving special foods for special occasions. We savor holiday foods, in part, because they are a rare treat and something we associate with good times and fond memories.
But sometimes, stretching the rules lets you expand a tradition rather than break it!
Adapted from Progressive Farmer magazine
(5 dozen cookies)
1/2 cup soft shortening
1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs (room temperature)
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Colored sugar or sprinkles*
Mix shortening, butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat well. Combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Roll into balls the size of small walnuts. Dip tops in colored sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees 8-10 minutes.
*Make snickerdoodles by dipping tops in mixture of 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon.