Old-Fashioned Amish Sugar Cookies
Soft and tender Amish Sugar Cookies are just what you need with your glass of milk! A perfect treat for any occasion.
I decked out these melt-in-your-mouth Soft Sugar Cookies in red and green sprinkles for the holidays, but they’re just as delicious rolled in simple granulated sugar or any kind of sprinkles your heart desires!
Why You’ll Love these Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies
- This is a beloved sugar cookie recipe that’s been around since the 1700s originating with the Amish or Pennsylvania Dutch.
- Soft sugar cookies are always a hit. There are those who don’t like chocolate, ginger or mint, but buttery, vanilla-flavored sugar cookies are universally loved.
- They can be jazzed up with sprinkles for any holiday.
I shared a Facebook teaser a couple of weeks ago: I’ve unearthed a closely guarded secret recipe for Helen Rudesill’s signature Amish Sugar Cookies. Stay tuned for the big reveal in a few weeks, but you can sample AND get the recipe by attending the Ensemble Music Society of Indianapolis‘ November 29 concert featuring the Escher String Quartet!
A friend of mine had been on the hunt for this amazing Amish sugar cookie recipe for years. It was from an old church cookbook which is totally out of circulation. Through some sleuthing, she was able to obtain said recipe and use it to promote an upcoming concert. And in exchange for a little social media push, I was given the recipe to test!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Frost Amish Cookies?
Yes, just make sure to press the dough with an oiled glass so they bake up with a flat surface that will make frosting them easier! Don’t roll in sprinkles, but you can dust the frosted cookies with sprinkles before the frosting sets.
How Do You Store Amish Sugar Cookies?
Keep them in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days.
Can You Freeze Amish Sugar Cookies?
Yes, these freeze well. You have two options. Freeze baked cookies in airtight containers or freezer Ziploc bags with the air removed for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight. If you use sprinkles, do a test run with a cookie or two to make sure the brand of sprinkles you use doesn’t bleed when defrosting.
Alternatively, you can scoop out dough balls, freeze them on a baking sheet for 1-2 hours, then put them in a freezer Ziploc bag, removing excess air. The dough will also keep for about 3 months. Defrost the dough balls in the bag in the refrigerator and bake as directed.
Tips for Making this Soft Sugar Cookie Recipe
My family loves the classic, frosted, cut-out sugar cookies for the holidays. There are also these festive Pinwheel Cookies which are also sugar cookies but made of two different colored doughs layered, rolled, and cut to make beautiful spirals. These Amish cookies are just as delicious, but with a totally different texture.
Not chewy like my frosted cookies, nor “short” like the classic shortbread cookies, but uniquely wonderful. Despite the lack of frosting, they got rave reviews from the troops. If you’re looking for a new, classic cookie to bake, give these homemade cookies a try!
- Besides butter, these old-fashioned sugar cookies have a cup of oil as one of the ingredients. I used canola oil, but any mild vegetable oil would work.
- Some recipes use shortening, but butter provides a much better flavor, so always use butter.
- PRO-Tip: An overnight chilling helps the flavors meld and the gluten settle. Don’t try to bake them without chilling first as the cookies will be too flat and not as tender.
- PRO-Tip: I used a Cookie Scoop (affiliate link) so that all the cookies would be the same size, then rolled the dough into balls.
- I did not need to dip the glass into oil when I rolled the cookies in sprinkles but definitely do that when pressing down on the plain cookies.
- Find a flat bottomed glass to do the pressing.
- The key is to press the cookies just until the edges start to separate slightly. The plain ones above were pressed too thin. But, thankfully, I had 5 dozen to practice on!
- Like with most of my cookies, I baked these on Half Sheet Pans lined with Parchment Paper Baking Sheets. The parchment prevents sticking and makes cleanup a breeze.
And for tips on how to make the classic roll-out Christmas sugar cookies, check out this post on How to Make Sugar Cookies. And in this post you’ll find lots of delicious recipes to include in your Food Gift Baskets.
More Old-Fashioned Recipes You’ll Love:
- Old Fashioned Fruit Cocktail Cake from Southern Plate
- Old Fashioned Iced Oatmeal Cookies from Saving Room for Dessert
- Old Fashioned Buttermilk Pie from Bless This Mess
- Old Fashioned Cinnamon Rolls
- Old Fashioned Pumpkin Roll
- Molasses Cookies AKA Chewy Gingersnaps!
- Rosettes Cookies
- Meringue Cookies
- Pecan Tassies or Mini Pecan Pies
- Plus How to Host a Cookie Exchange
- More Holiday Recipes
- Sugar – Regular white, granulated sugar
- Powdered sugar – The cornstarch in powdered sugar helps make tender cookies.
- Butter – At room temperature for easy incorporation. It shouldn’t be so soft that it looks oily. Provides the classic, buttery flavor. Some recipes use shortening instead, but they definitely don’t taste as good.
- Vegetable oil (I used canola) – Adds moisture to the cookies.
- Eggs – Also at room temperature for easy incorporation
- Vanilla – Use real vanilla extract for the best flavor. Artificial vanilla will taste fake.
- Flour – All-purpose flour is best for this recipe.
- Baking soda – Helps the dough rise. But it also needs an acid in the recipe to be activated.
- Cream of tartar – Provides the acid (tartaric acid) needed to activate the baking soda. If you don’t have this on hand, use 2 teaspoons of lemon juice for every 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar in a recipe.
- Salt – Ordinary table salt incorporates best.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup vegetable oil (I used canola)
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 1/4 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Mix together the sugar, powdered sugar, butter, and vegetable oil. Add eggs and vanilla and beat well.
- In another bowl, whisk together, the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the sugar mixture until it's all incorporated.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill a few hours or overnight.
- To make, line baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 325º.
- Roll dough into 1-inch balls and roll in colored sugar or sprinkles if desired.
- Place on baking sheets.
- With a flat bottom glass, first dip the glass in vegetable oil, then sugar before flattening each dough ball. Press down just until the edges separate slightly. Sprinkle tops with coarse sugar if desired.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes.
For more decorative cookies, roll dough balls in festive colored sugar or sprinkles.
If your cookies are covered in sprinkles, you won't need to dip the glass in oil to compress the dough balls as the glass won't stick.
Serving Size:2 cookies
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 228Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 166mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 0gSugar: 10gProtein: 2g