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Christmas Cookies

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

December 4, 2023


My mother taught me how to bake, and I am forever grateful for her investments into me. I have many precious memories of baking with my mom, and I am trying to replicate with my children the investments that my mom poured into me.

There is one baker that I wish I could reach back into time and touch her worn, flour-kneading hands. I wish that I could have stood in her farmhouse kitchen kneading bread in synchronized rhythm with her.

I dearly wish I had known my great-grandmother. I met her once or twice when I was a child, but I was not mature enough to value her experience and worth. Her name was Mary, wife of Christopher, a Michigan potato farmer.

Apparently, my great-grandmother's cooking was legendary. She hardly used any recipes, and she cooked on a traditional wood-burning stove. She cooked for a local hospital on top of cooking for her large farm family. Though her culinary creations were prolific, only two recipes survive from my great grandmother, a bread recipe and a sugar cookie recipe. Both recipes make enough bread and cookies to feed an army, undoubtedly necessary for the maintenance of a farm. Perhaps someday I will share those recipes in this space.


For now, my sister-in-law has kindly agreed to let me share a cookie recipe with my readers which shares similarities to my great-grandmother’s recipe. This recipe is a bit more manageable for the average home cook, and the dough is easier to manage than my grandmother’s recipe.

Fannie’s Christmas Cookies


2 c. sugar

1 ½ c. shortening

1 ½ c. evaporated milk (1 can)

1 ½ t. vanilla

3 eggs (beaten)

6 to 7 c. flour

4 ½ t. baking powder

1 ½ t. baking soda (I recommend sifting to get out clumps)


Cream sugar and shortening together. Beat in evaporated milk, vanilla, and eggs. Add flour a cup at a time, beating after each addition. The dough will still be sticky. Add baking powder and baking soda and mix again. You can roll out immediately or put in the fridge (either is fine). Roll out and cut with cookie cutters. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 7-9 minutes at 350 degrees.

Buttercream Icing


1 stick butter, softened

4 T. milk

1 t. vanilla

4 c. powdered sugar (add more if needed)


Beat all ingredients together until fluffy. Add food coloring if desired.


My convection oven only took about 6 minutes to bake at 350 degrees.


Happy Christmas baking, friends! If you have littles in your home, may you enjoy making a floury mess together this season. Cherish the moments.


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