Nana’s Sugar Cookies

Sugar cookies are a tradition to last the test of time. Decorated with colorful icing and sprinkles, weather eaten or hung on the tree, will warm everyones heart.

Ever since I was a wee little nipper, sugar cookies dressed with icing have been a Christmas time tradition.

My sister, Marcey, & I would put on our little aprons, push up our sleeves and bake our little hearts out.

We would adorn our family tree with the cookies that we had baked and decorated along with candy canes, bows and strings of cranberries & popcorn that we had strung by the fire…

…dressed in our matching stretch & sew outfits that mom had so lovingly made for us.

Just kidding, we didn’t always sit by the fire.

I can still remember the thrill of unwrapping the precious cookies from past years. We would eagerly tear their tissue paper cocoons open and hang them on the tree. The cookies became a growing collection…a connection of the past to the present – an ongoing documentation made of sugar and flour and each precious year frozen in time .

These memories will be forever baked into my sappy nostalgic mind and my sister’s too. We still remember those special moments as if they were yesterday. Marcey can probably remember the time, temperature and exactly which stretch & sew outfit we happened to be wearing. I can still remember the colors of the icing, how many dragees I snuck into my mouth and what outfit I painted onto each cookie.

We both have the minds of an elephant. It can be both a blessing and a curse.

In honor of nostalgia, I decided to rally the troops for a day of memory making, baking, icing, decorating and just plain fun.

My mom, sweet baby sister and darling little *ahem* (they’re taller than my sister) girls couldn’t wait to get started. It doesn’t take much to create a day full of sweet confections and memories that will last a lifetime.

Just gather some sugary bobbles to decorate with,

cookie cutters and baking sheets,

paintbrushes for painting the icing onto the cookies,

and straws for making holes in the cookies to thread ribbon through.

Our day started with Nana and Sweet Cheeks diligently

making the icing.

Sassafrass got busy making the cookie dough.

After the dough chilled, we all took turns rolling,

and cookie cutting.

Nana was in charge of making the straw holes in the tops of the cookies before they went in the oven.

And then after the cookies cooled…

the creativity began.

Paintbrushes make a fabulous tool for applying icing to your cookies.

My sister has Celiac Disease so she wore rubber gloves to ensure that she didn’t absorb any gluten.

Perhaps next time we’ll make a gluten-free version as well.

Imaginations can run wild with a rainbow of icing and a few sprinkles at your finger tips.

A little ribbon tied through a cookie can make a most adorable ornament.

And a day spent in the kitchen making a big ‘ol mess with those you love can make a most lasting memory to enjoy for years to come.

What are you waiting for?

Go bake some memories!

Warmest holiday wishes to you!


Nana’s Sugar Cookies
Recipe Type: cookies
Author: Wenderly | Wendy Hondroulis
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 3 dozen
Sugar cookies are a tradition to last the test of time. Decorated with colorful icing and sprinkles, weather eaten or hung on the tree, will warm everyones heart.
  • 3 cups flour (plus more for dusting)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F
  2. Sift dry ingredients and set aside.
  3. With *hands* mix butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Add sifted flour, baking powder and salt and mix with hands until incorporated.
  4. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
  5. When ready to use dough, sprinkle falt surface with flour and roll dough with a rolling pin until it’s a 1/4 of an inch. Cut into dough with cookie cutters, (poke hole with straw if you want to hang cookies on tree) place cookies on ungreased cookie sheet or silpat baking mat. Bake in a pre-heated 400° oven for 6-8 minutes until golden brown. Repeat process until all of the dough has been used. Let cookies cool completely before icing them.
  6. *Note: For the icing we just followed the recipe on back of confectioners sugar bag and added food coloring.
  7. ENJOY!



Married my soulmate. Mama of 2. Love to inspire. Can't help but to relish in all things beautiful inside & out. Join me in Savoring the Art of Living.


  1. I’ve decided that you’re the best mother and wife and sister and daughter that there ever was. I always get teary reading your posts! So precious and heartwarming. xox Have a wonderful holiday!

  2. Awwwh–what a nice family. And a happy tradition. I am just waiting for my college boy to come home to make our gingerbread cut-outs, but not too soon; we eat them up too quickly! He’s been making them with me since he was a ‘little nipper’–real men bake cookies 🙂

  3. So cute!!! I love this post with all my heart 🙂 So if you have Celiac, you’re not even supposed to bake with gluten and just not eat it? I had no idea… I’ve always told my Mom that it’s okay to handle it but I guess I’m wrong! Eek!

    I must do this cute project with my family next week. We might get ants here in California though so I’m not sure about the tree!

  4. Multi-generational cookie making is THE BEST! Love your photos to pieces. Happy Christmas, sweet Wendy, to you and your family. xoxoxo

  5. I love baking days! My daughter arrives home from college tomorrow so we (she and her 2 younger brothers) and I will have our baking day one day this week. It is our fun day!

  6. You have completely inspired me to start this tradition in our home. With four kids, we may make some “interesting” faces and shapes on those cookies….can’t wait to give it a try. Thank you so much for sharing !! Much love, and Merry HoHo. Lynne xx

  7. There is nothing more wonderful than creating memories made together from the kitchens of those we love. What a wonderful post and a perfect tradition to carry on with your daughters. One day you will be making memories in your kitchen with your grand-children. Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family.

  8. What fun memories you and your sister (and now daughters) share! Decorating sugar cookies is one of my favorite Christmas memories.

  9. These pictures are just amazing! I love the walk down memory lane, and the carrying on of traditions!!! Beautiful sweet Wendy!

  10. OMGOSH….I love this post…every single thing about it. The memories, the old pictures, the new pictures, the cookies, the icing, the SPRINKLES IN THE MUFFIN TIN!!! Ahhhh, love it!!! I want to spend Christmas at YOUR house!!!

  11. I love this post. I will be spending Christmas with my son for the first time in 15 yrs. He lives in Utah and I live in upstate NY. he went there with the Air Force right out of community college. I was honored to be the primary care giver for my parents who have since both passed away (so sad) and I worked full time which are the reasons I never went to UT at Christmas. I am retiring this July so I am spending Christmas in Utah this year. This post inspired me to make cookies with my son and his wife while I am there! You are truly a lovely person. I found your site through Ree’s site.

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