Susan Hanson’s (Mother’s) Old-Fashioned Soft Sugar Cookes

This recipe was submitted for entry in our Holiday Heritage Recipe Contest. To view all the entered recipes and read their heritage stories, click on the photo below.

Susan Hanson’s (Mother’s) Old-Fashioned Soft Sugar Cookies
I was very excited to hear about the holiday baking contest. I am entering this on behalf of my mom ~ the best mom, grandmother, wife, friend and baker out there. I knew instantly when I saw the contest I had to enter her homemade sugar cookies.

The recipe actually comes from my grandmother who unfortunately passed away back in the late 70’s when I was young. My mom was quite a bit younger than her 5 brothers and we didn’t get to spend as much time with my grandmother as I would have liked. However, I remember going to her house when I was a kid and the cookie jar was always full.

My mom has made it a tradition to take her mother’s recipe and pass it down to her kids and now her grandkids. However, nobody makes them quite like she does (my kids would agree). I think it is the love that she puts into every batch she makes.

She makes the dough ahead of time and we get to have all the fun! She makes her own homemade frosting and then anything goes… My kids love to put frosting, sprinkles and glitter all over their cookies. She has a day with them every year where they just make cookies. Each grandchild gets to take home a special creation to eat.

When my mom visits my sister and her kids in Georgia that is one of the first things she is asked to do.  I remember when my sister was in college and had no money – all her friends would ask for was these cookies. She was always happy to comply.

We often buy her a new cookie cutter every year for Christmas so we have another excuse to make the cookies. However, my mom still has the original cookies cutters from when she was married over 45 years ago (and probably still works the best). She tries to make everyone’s favorite shape even though they all taste the same. I actually am not a big fan of frosting so she keeps a few cookies for me without frosting.

To me, this is what the holiday is about. It is the traditions we have, the friends and family we surround ourselves with, and grandma’s homemade sugar cookies. I cannot imagine the holidays without these cookies and the woman who has made them for the past 60+ years for us…

 Grandma’s Old Fashioned Soft Sugar Cookies

½ cup soft butter
1 cup white sugar
1 egg (unbeaten)
2 teaspoon vanilla or almond flavoring
½ cup sour cream
2 ½ cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon soda
½ teaspoon salt

Mix butter, sugar, egg and vanilla together. Add sour cream. Then add flour, soda and salt. Mix well. Chill dough for 2 hours. Remove from refrigerator and roll out and use your favorite cookie cutters.

Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. Leave on pan for 5 minutes after baking.


1 ½ cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla or almond flavoring
Milk as desired

Mix ingredients together and add mild until you get desired consistency. Add food coloring for added holiday sparkle.

Submitted by Susan Hanson of Fargo, ND on behalf of her mother, Mary Fornes

3 Responses

  1. Kimberly Beyer

    Are u related to Caroline Hanson by chance. My mom was a Hanson. Her father Hanson O Hanson. My mom was the youngest of eight chilldren. She was from from prosper, north Dakota. Was born in Cass county . Thank you my dad’s mother was clara pierce . And she was the one who made the Cookes. I just saw you were from Fargo

    1. Sarah Nasello

      Hi Kimberly,

      So glad you found our site! I will forward your message to Susan, who submitted her recipe to our site for consideration in a recipe contest so she is probably not aware of your comments here. I will let you know if I receive any reply.

      Warm regards,

    2. Barb Hanson

      I am Susan Hanson’s mother-in-law and Mary Fonres friend.

      My husband Bruce Tylon Hanson,fathernwas Orien Tylon Hanson,and grandfather was Henry Tylon Hanson.

      I am sure sure of any others. They are from Fargo.

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