Grandma Renee’s Sugar Cookies and a Love Note
WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE. Two weeks ago, I stepped foot into my classroom along with 26 darling little people. The weeks leading up to the first day of school, as well as the past two weeks, have been absolutely exhausting! Like man oh man, I am absolutely nowhere near ready to have children. I sure do love giving hugs and holding hands and reading stories, but I also love that, at 3:55, the bell rings, and I wave goodbye to all the cuties as the head out the door. SEE YA LATER, ALLIGATORS! From there on, the night is mine to yoga and snack and make random trips to Old Navy and leisurely browse Target and catch up on Bachelor in Paradise in my jammies. LIVIN’ THE GOOD LIFE, Y’ALL.
The only sad part to this new chapter in life with school beginning once more is that I had to say goodbye to my favorite summer partner, Sammy, as he headed back to Iowa City for his senior year of school and golf. The past two weeks we have felt a bit like ships in the night. Transitions are always hard, and this one has been especially difficult. It was crazy how quickly I grew accustomed to seeing him every day, so switching back to seeing one another only on the weekends (and that is if he doesn’t have a tournament) has been rough.
The thing about Sammy is that he is actually the best person I know. He is kind to everyone. He is a good brother and son. His friends adore him. He effortlessly makes everyone feel special and valued. I realize that I am not always the easiest person to date. When I feel something, I feel it so deeply. When I’m scared, I’m terrified. When I’m happy, I’m ecstatic. When I’m sad, I’m devastated. When I’m excited, I’m unstoppable. Meanwhile, Sammy is the most calm and level-headed person I have ever met. He so easily balances me out, always knowing just what to say or do.
He goes along with my crazy plans. He doesn’t object when I insist I need to run to Target again for something *essential*. He supports my constant need for a little cookie or ice cream treat. He listens to my long and rambling stories about kindergarten. He has endless patience for the fact that I struggle to sit down and watch tv in increments longer than half hour. He has helped me arrange, then re-arrange all of my classroom furniture. He always makes me feel pretty (even this summer when my face was completely covered in hives and I was having the panics). He turns a blind eye as I slowly steal every over-sized comfy sweatshirt and tee shirt from his closet. Most importantly, I never doubt how much he loves me or how important our relationship is to him.
We are entering a grey area in which our relationship has never been as he begins his job search and plans for next year, once he has graduated. I don’t know where he will be or what things will look like for us. I would be lying if I said this didn’t scare me every single day. However, I have such peace in what we are and who he is that I know it will be nothing short of a wonderful adventure. I love you mostest.
WHERE ARE THE COOKIES, LADY???? This is what you are probably thinking by now. DON’T WORRY, I AM NEVER ONE TO FORGET COOKIES. Trust me, you gotta have these in your life. Grandma Renee’s Sugar Cookies are what your soul needs. They are thick and chewy with the perfect amount of vanilla, and they will make your house smell AMAZING. My Grandma Renee makes these heavenly cookies for every single holiday and they are always gone in no time. The best part about these cookies is that you most likely have every single ingredient already in your pantry! They make A LOT of cookies, so you will have plenty to eat by yourself directly from the pan (or, who are we kidding, in dough form), and also share with those you love.
I know there are lots of store bought frosting haters out there, but I am definitely not one of them. At our house, we usually just whip out the classic Pillsbury frosting to top these guys, but feel free to make a homemade frosting of your preference. WHO AM I TO JUDGE? Believe me when I say that, regardless of your frosting choice, you will want a lot!! When I made these a few weeks ago with the kiddos I nanny, we set out a sprinkles “bar” and had a little cookie decorating party. Since these cookies are so simple to make, it’s the perfect way to involve the little people in your life.
Grandma Renee’s Sugar Cookies
6 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 and 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup shortening
1 and 1/2 cups butter (3 sticks) (room temperature)
2 cups sugar
2 eggs (beaten, at room temperature)
2 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Prepare cookie sheets with parchment paper! This will save you SO much time for clean-up.
Mix together in a medium sized bowl flour, baking soda, and salt. I usually use a fork for this step! Weird, but I feel like it does the best job of (easily) getting everything combined.
Next, in a large bowl, cream together shortening and butter until creamy. Add eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Mix until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Finally, slowly add dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ingredients. I usually complete this step in three increments of dry ingredients.
Finally, use a cookie scoop, spoon, or tablespoon to create ball of dough. Place balls of dough on prepared cookie sheet. Slightly flatten each cookie with the bottom of a glass that has been dipped in sugar.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are just BARELY turning brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before placing on a cooling rack.
Once cookies are cool, top with copious amounts of frosting and sprinkles and enjoy with a ginormous glass of milk (skim for me, whole milk for Sammy – can you even???).
Sending hugs your way this long weekend!