Grandma’s Italian Sugar Cookie Recipe

Christmas Eve dessert would not be complete without these flavorful, moist cookies.  Grandma Veno and my Mother faithfully rolled out these family favorites year after year.   Mom became my culinary teacher and we continued this baking tradition.  Now I enjoy creating these treats with my kids.

  Anna Veno’s Sugar Cookies

5 cups of flour

1 1/2 cups of sugar

1 c. melted shortening

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

2 beaten eggs

1 c. buttermilk

1 tsp. vanilla

1 – 2 tsp almond extract

1/8 tsp. of salt

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Melt shortening on stove or in microwave.  Remove and cool.  When completely cooled beat in sugar.  Mix dry ingredients in a separate large bowl.  Alternate dry ingredients with buttermilk, then mix thoroughly.  Roll dough on to clean floured surface.  Cut out desired shapes with cookie cutters. (1/8 of an inch thick) Decorate cooled cookies with buttercream icing and sprinkles.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Makes three dozen cookies.   Buon Natale!

Quick Buttercream Icing

3 1/2 cups of confectioners’ sugar

1 stick of butter

1 tsp vanilla

4-1/2 Tbsp milk

Mix all ingredients in a medium size bowl until well blended.

Italian Bonding

Two Italian women sit and talk about, life, family and advocating.  I’m describing  time with Bettina from The Arthritis Foundation.  Not a quiet moment at the breakfast table.  Can you imagine?  Few things are more satisfying than truly being understood by another human being.  It’s a bonus when that being is Italian. My new-found friend invited me to participate at an upcoming event for the organization October 9th.   Coincidentally enough, the guest speaker will be the rheumatologist I interviewed for my book!  I have yet to meet her face to face.  We also kicked around a few website ideas.  I am humbled and grateful or these opportunities to share my Mom’s story.