The Best Sugar Cookies

Every year at Valentine’s Day when I was young, Mom and I would make heart-shaped sugar cookies together. It’s one of my favorite memories with her. We would decorate them and give them to neighbors, take them to school/work, and share them with friends at a party. And Mom always reminded me that this delicious recipe was her friend Ethel’s recipe. Harold and Ethel were like family to us, and they’ve been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Harold recently passed away and joined my parents in Heaven. So I’m sharing this recipe from Mom’s cookbook in memory of him and in honor of Ethel as she grieves this significant loss. This is truly the best sugar cookie recipe. And to this day, if I see a frosted heart cookie, I think of Ethel. 🩷

Ethel’s Cookies

1 cup margarine
1½ cup sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3½ cups flour
2 teaspoon cream tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time. Stir in vanilla. Add dry ingredients. Mix well. Chill overnight in refrigerator or until ready to bake. Roll out on a floured board and cut using cookie cutters. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes. After they have cooled, decorate them with your favorite icing and sprinkles.


(As a reminder, Mom wrote/compiled a recipe book when I was young and gave me my very own copy of it for my 19th birthday when I moved out of the house and into my own apartment. She had gone page by page and written notes to me like “Very good”, “Easy”, “Your Dad’s favorite”, etc. Now that she’s been gone 24 years, those notes are priceless to me. It’s so nice to open a book and hear her voice through her writing. I’m thankful.)

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