My family loves rolling out sugar cookies and gingerbread cookies and decorating them at Christmas time. For several years when the kids were younger, we would have a regular cookie making day with my mom and sister in December. While my mom and I mixed up and baked simple Christmas cookie recipes, my sister would oversee the decorating of sugar cookies in the dining room.
The kids were very enthusiastic about decorating the cookies. Very enthusiastic. My teeth hurt for days after seeing all the sugary decorations on the cookies!
This perfect rollout cookie recipe comes from a family heirloom, a cookbook once owned by my husband’s grandfather. Shortly after he emigrated from Germany, he worked in a bakery. Years ago, my mother-in-law passed the cookbook, The Twentieth Century Book for the Progressive Baker, along to my husband. Tucked away inside were recipes hand-written by my husband’s grandfather on the backs of receipts from his electrical business.
Take a look inside The Twentieth Century Book for the Progressive Baker! (I found a PDF online)
One recipe passed along to his grandchildren was Papa Bill’s Butter Cookies. Most of his grandchildren make the butter cookies to share with friends and family. One of my brother-in-laws even created a gluten-free version of the butter cookies.
I found this Pate Sucre recipe a few years ago while carefully looking through the cookbook. Since there was a handwritten note by the recipe, I knew Papa Bill had made it himself a few times, maybe more often. I decided to try the recipe myself, updating it a bit to fit our tastes. Since it was originally a recipe for a bakery, I left the measurements as they appeared in the cookbook. Good bakers do weight their ingredients, knowing that humidity can add weight to flour.
- 1 pound unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- two eggs
- 2½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1½ pound all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- a few grains of mace
- Cream the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl.
- Add in the eggs and mix thoroughly. Continue to add the rest of the ingredients one at a time mixing between additions.
- Roll out dough on floured board and cut out shapes using a cookie cutter.
- Place shapes on a cookie sheet covered with a piece of parchment paper.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 16 minutes. Watch for the last few minutes since the cookies can burn easily.
Find More Holiday Cookie and Candy Recipes on my Pinterest Board
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