Happy National Cookie Day! Today, I am celebrating one of my favorite Christmas traditions, baking cookies!

Baking at the age 7, in my mom’s kitchen with my sisters, cousins and neighbors. We baked cookies for Christmas and every holiday throughout the year. This is the exact cookie recipe that we baked. It is a tried and true delicious Holiday cookie recipe. I guarantee you will love it!

Happy National Cookie Day – Best Cookie Baking Tips:

  • The day before, make the dough, wrap in wax paper and chill overnight.
  • Use room temperature unsalted butter.
  • Before sifting, measure the all-purpose flour.
  • Sift the all-purpose flour four times.
  • Lightly floured Silicone baking mats are the best surface for rolling out the cookie dough.
  • Before rolling out, lightly flour the cookie dough’s surface. Prevents sticking to the rolling pin!
  • Use one cookie cutter per batch. The cookies will bake evenly.
  • After cutting out the shapes, leave the cookies on the silicone baking mat and remove the cookie dough between the cookies.
  • Gather the dough, gently knead it and roll it out for another batch. Once for re-rolling the dough, maybe twice because it becomes dry when too much flour is worked into it.
  • Slide the silicone baking mat onto a cookie sheet.
  • Preheat oven to 350Fº.
  • Set a timer for each batch of cookies – 10 minutes. Check and reset the timer for 1 or 2 minutes. Watch carefully! 
  • Underbaked cookies are the secret to softness. However, decorated cookies need to be cooked long enough to hold their shape!
  • The look of doneness is very light brown around the edges. Be careful not to over bake!
  • When the cookies are done. Place them on wire cooling racks to cool. After about 10 minutes, remove and place directly on the wire racks.

Best Cookie Recipe’s Secret Ingredients:

  • Three tablespoons whole milk makes the cookies moist.
  • Lemon zest gives a citrus flavor to the cookies. 
  • The acid in the cream of tartar reacts with the liquids in the cookie dough to produce carbon-dioxide gas bubbles, which break apart the gluten in the flour and lift the cookie dough.
  • The perfect ratio of butter to shortening! Butter provides flavor! A bit of shortening makes the cookies taller and more tender. 

Happy National Cookie Day – Special Equipment:

The Cookie Hotline:

  • If for any reason the recipe is unclear or you are disappointed with your cookies, please DM or email your question. I will get back with you asap! I’m on Instagram – MyTexasKitchen_ or susanapple@me.com.Decorative Sugar Cookies

Decorative Holiday Cookies

Best flavor, most tender and fun to decorate!

Adapted from Cook's Tour, Junior League cookbook of Shreveport, Louisiana.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chill overnight. 2 hours


  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. cream of tartar
  • 1 cup room temperature unsalted butter (2 sticks)
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 T. whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1 t. lemon juice
  • 1 zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 t. salt

Royal Icing: 5 cups confectioners' sugar, 4 egg whites and 1 t. cream of tartar


  1. Measure the flour. Sift the flour, baking soda and cream of tartar four times; set aside.

  2. Cream the butter, shortening, sugar, milk, egg, vanilla, lemon juice, lemon zest and salt.

  3. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the creamed ingredients.

  4. Shape into a disk, wrap in wax paper and chill. Best chilled overnight.

  5. Preheat oven to 350F®

  6. Roll out on a lightly floured silicone baking mat. Cut into shapes. Remove the cookie dough between cookies.

  7. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes, until lightly brown.

  8. Cool on wire racks.

  9. Decorate with icing:

    1. Outline each cookie with the thicker Royal icing.

    2. Fill in with the thinner icing.

    3. With a chop stick, smooth out the icing to fill in all surfaces of the cookie.

    4. Set aside to dry overnight.

Royal Icing: Beat the ingredients. Add the food coloring. Add the #3 tip to a cake-decorating bag, fill with the thicker icing to outline the cookies. Add a #5 tip to a cake-decorating bag, fill with the thinner royal icing.