Grandma Roeder’s Sugar Cookies

When I was a kid, my great grandmother, who everyone lovingly called Mamie, would often bake.  I guess it was something she had grown accustomed to doing as a wife and mother during the Depression.  Her sugar cookies were a family favorite.  There was something special about them.  Not that they were always made with love, but they were just different enough from traditional sugar cookies we eat now.  Mamie always packaged them in large tin coffee cans that she had saved.  When she passed away many years ago, at the fulfilling age of 97, I inherited her old rolling pin and cutting board, along with the original sugar cookie recipe.  While a seemingly “simple” recipe, it’s taken me a long time to get it down just right.  To adjust to accommodate the high altitude of Colorado (Mamie was in Texas).  To roll the dough so thin.  To mix the correct amount of cinnamon and sugar.  Once I had it, a buzz spread in the family.  I was suddenly being expected to make them for holidays and birthdays!  Aunts and uncles were shocked  at my spot-on knack for making Mamie’s sugar cookies come alive again!  What can I say.  I guess when you’ve got it, you’ve got it! 

We think of her often.  Especially when we indulge in these fattening little treats.  It’s hard to just have one…

I think Mamie would be proud that her tradition carries on.

Grandma Roeder’s Sugar Cookies


1/2 cup Crisco
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup sour milk (add 1/4 teaspoon vinegar to milk)
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 or more cups of flour
cinnamon/sugar mix for sprinkling (not shown)


Beat Crisco and margarine with sugar
Sift flour (I never do…)
Add egg and beat
Add all remaining ingredients
Mix well, adding more flour if needed to make a stiff dough
Refrigerate overnight (like all good cookie recipes ask of us)
Roll out dough, very thin, on a floured board
Sprinkle with a cinnamon/sugar mix
Cut in strips
Bake at 400 until brown (5-8 minutes, depending on your oven)

(didn’t take the first picture quick enough; more than half the can is gone!)

-Bon Appetit!


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