Kickin' It Old School with Holiday Sugar Cookies

When I think about Christmas treats, I remember all the amazing cookies Nana used to bake! She would take weeks (sometimes even months) ahead of the holidays to stock her freezer with a delicious variety of cookies - preparing for events, get-togethers, and even just casual visits with tea and a little plate of cookies offered to her guests. 

She made everything from gingerbread to molasses cookies, to shortbread and sugar cookies. And sugar cookies are by far the most versatile.

Sugar cookies are the ultimate base - you can add any flavour or mix-in you want to give a whole bunch of different options for your guests to choose from.

Some personal favourite mix-ins I use are:

  • Maple syrup and bacon crumble
  • Crushed candy canes
  • Chocolate chips, Skor bits and mini marshmallows (S'more goodness)
  • Lemon zest
  • Baileys (yep, that's right!)

The possibilities are endless for the combinations you can add to a sugar cookie base. So enjoy this simple recipe below, compliments of MidwestLiving, and make all your holiday cookie dreams come true by adding your favourite mix-ins to the batter!

Sugar Cookies Like You Remember

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  • Makes: 24 to 48 servings
  • Yield: 48 small or 24 large cookies
  • Prep 30 mins
  • Chill 3 hrs
  • Bake 8 mins per batch


  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/4 cups shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract (optional)
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk


  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and nutmeg.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat shortening for 30 seconds. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla and lemon extract, using; beat well.
  3. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to shortening mixture, beating until mixed. Divide in half. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least 3 hours for easy handling.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees . For small cookies, roll dough 3/8-inch thick on a lightly floured surface and cut into desired shapes with a 2-inch cutter. For large cookies, roll dough 1/2-inch thick and use a 3-inch cutter. Arrange cookies 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
  5. Bake small cookies for 8 to 10 minutes and large cookies for 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool. Frost and decorate as desired.