Ethel’s Sturdy Sugar Cookies

Baking has always held a special place in my heart. It’s not just about creating delicious treats; it’s about crafting memories and treasuring the traditions passed down through generations. One recipe that’s become a time-honored family tradition is Ethel’s Sturdy Sugar Cookies, lovingly named after my grandmother, Ethel Mae. These cookies are not only delicious but also incredibly easy to make, requiring no chilling after mixing.

The Origin of Ethel’s Sturdy Sugar Cookies

Ethel Mae, my grandmother, was a master in the kitchen. Her cookies were legendary, and she had a special talent for creating the most delightful sugar cookies. Over the years, these cookies became synonymous with her love, and they made their way into every family gathering.

As we grew up, my sister and I often found ourselves in her cozy kitchen, covered in flour and decorating sugar cookies. Those moments were filled with laughter, music, and the wonderful scent of freshly baked cookies. It’s no wonder that Ethel’s sugar cookies became a beloved part of our family’s history.

The Recipe: What Makes Them Sturdy

The key to Ethel’s Sturdy Sugar Cookies is their unique texture. These cookies are perfectly sturdy, which means they can hold up to intricate shapes and decorating without breaking. The secret lies in the dough. Instead of requiring chilling before rolling out, this recipe lets you start right away. It’s a time-saver, especially when you have little ones eager to get involved in the kitchen.

Egg-Free Royal Icing: The Finishing Touch

To add an extra layer of delight, we’ve included an egg-free royal icing recipe that pairs perfectly with these cookies. This icing sets up quickly and dries to a glossy finish. It’s ideal for decorating, giving your cookies a professional touch.

Creating New Traditions

Baking Ethel’s Sturdy Sugar Cookies is more than following a recipe; it’s about creating memories and traditions that can be passed down to the next generation. These cookies are perfect for holiday gatherings, birthday parties, or even just a cozy afternoon in the kitchen with your loved ones.

Ethel’s Sturdy Sugar Cookies

Named after my granny, Ethel May, these cookies are the ones she made when I was a kid. Perfect for impatient kitchen helpers because there are few ingredients and no chilling! Numbers of cookies depends on the shape you choose!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 30 cookies


  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 3 cups flour

Royal Icing

  • ¼ cup water warm
  • 1 tbsp light corn syrup
  • ¼ tsp almond extract
  • 3 cups icing sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Cream the butter and sugar.
  • Add vanilla and egg.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder.
  • Mix the flour mixture into the butter mixture.
  • Roll out 1/4 to 1/2 the dough at a time, about ⅙" thick, cut out shapes.
  • Bake for 8 minutes, adjusting time for larger or smaller cookies.

Royal Icing

  • Beat sugar, light corn syrup, almond extract and water until desired consistency. Add more water to thin it out, add more icing sugar to thicken.
Keyword baking, cookies

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