The Cookie That Tops All Holiday Cookies

DIY/Recipes / Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

I know, I know…that is a HUGE claim to make. But hear me out! I have proof! Every year, for as long as I can remember, my mom, sister and I have made cookies for Christmas. Sometimes we hand them out, and sometimes we keep them for ourselves 😉 And we ALWAYS make THESE cookies. I know these top any and all holiday cookies because they are the only ones that have withstood the test of time for my family.  Friends and family look forward to our cookies. And when we branched out for a couple years to attempt another type of cookie, (in addition to these cookies, not instead of, of course!) it always ended in disaster. The cookie-cutter sugar cookies were flat and unrecognizable once cooked. The Oreos dipped in white chocolate were gooey. The peppermint cookies were crunchy and sticky.

Basically, we learned our lesson: Stick with what we know and what is ALWAYS a crowd favorite.


Because of my fond memories of making and eating snickerdoodles at Christmas, I don’t enjoy eating them any other time of year! But when this wonderful season comes around, those cookies don’t stand a chance. Even though we always seem to make more than enough for several families to enjoy, the “snicks” are usually gone within a week! Good thing I have Block this year to help with all those extra sugars and carbs!

Still not sold on this little cinnamon covered morsel? Well let me share the recipe with you so you can try it out yourself. Please note, this recipe comes from a book that was copyrighted in 1963!! If a recipe can stand the test of time and STILL taste delicious almost 55 years later…well, to me, that says everything!

The recipe for this delicious ‘family cooky’ came to us from Mrs. Ronald Anfinson, Benson, Minnesota (whoever this woman is, I owe her SO much not only for her amazing recipe, but for creating and growing a family tradition that I now get to experience with my own daughter).

1 cup shortening (part butter or margarine)

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 3/4 cups Gold Medal Flour

2 tsp. cream of tartar

1 tsp. soda

1/4 tsp. salt

2 Tbsp. sugar

2 tsp. cinnamon 

Heat oven to 400 (mod. hot). Mix shortening, sugar, and eggs thoroughly. Measure flour by dipping method or by sifting. Blend flour, cream of tartar, soda, and salt; stir in. Shape dough in 1″ balls. Roll in mixture of 2 tbsp. sugar and cinnamon. Place 2″ apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 8-10 min. These cookies puff up at first, then flatten out. Makes 6 doz. cookies. Note: If you use Gold Medal Self-Rising Flour, omit cream of tartar, soda, and salt (Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book).”

Now, since my family has been personally making these cookies for OVER TWENTY FIVE years, we like to believe we’ve perfected them. Here are some of my family’s tips:

  1. We use 1/2 cup shortening and a stick of butter that we semi-thaw with our hands. This way, when you roll the dough, it’s still cold enough that it doesn’t stick to your fingers too badly, if at all. While waiting for batches to cook, keep the dough in the fridge for this same reason.  Trust me, it can get very difficult to roll balls if the dough would rather collect on your fingers.
  2. We mix 2 tbsp of green sugar “sprinkles” in a small bowl with 2 tsp of cinnamon, and then in a separate bowl mix the same amount but with red sugar “sprinkles” and cinnamon. We essentially use twice the amount (at least!) of the cinnamon and sugar mixture because we love coating the entire ball, so that when it expands, almost the entire cookie has the flavor. And we use the different colored sugar, instead of plain, so our cookies are festive.
  3. For my mom’s oven, we found 9 minutes to be the PERFECT time for the cookies. Only 8 minutes…still a little doughy. A full 10 minutes…the bottom gets burned/”extra crunchy.”
  4. Now I know I should warn you about getting poisoned, but I believe I developed an immunity to salmonella because the dough tastes the best when it’s fresh off of the mixers and straight out of the bowl!
  5. Final tip? Don’t be afraid to roll the balls a little smaller because you absolutely CANNOT have just one. Trust me. And if you have two or three or six, you’ll feel better if you can justify that they were small cookies ;P

My challenge to you this season, is to make these cookies, see how easy the recipe is, and how delicious they will come out. And, even if you decide you prefer a different kind of cookie, I challenge you to focus on starting small traditions with your children, family, or friends. The simple act of baking cookies has become so much more to me than just baking cookies. It’s family time. It’s a time to laugh and catch up. And this year, it was a time for me to step back and reflect on the three generations of women enjoying a long-lasting custom of giggling and making a mess in the kitchen.

Lord bless this busyness ~Jenn



2 Replies to “The Cookie That Tops All Holiday Cookies”

  1. I love Snickerdoodle cookies. Great American Cookie in my mall has them and I found myself there yesterday getting 4 Snickerdoodle cookies (Bad I know lol) I’m definitely going to try and make them myself using this recipe. I don’t have children yet but I’m excited to start traditions in the future!!!

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