Grandma Charlotte's Best Sugar Cookie Recipe

And My Healthier Adaptation of it.

My great grandmother's best sugar cookie recipe. Old fashioned, made from scratch, drop cookies flavored with fresh lemon juice, nutmeg, and raisins. Plus my easy, healthy homemade sugar cookie recipe which is made without butter, shortening, or a mixer.

Homemade sugar cookies cooling on a wire rack.

These are the treats my great grandmother used to make for all the kids in our family when I was a child.  My cousins and I adored them!

Grandma Charlotte would place the cooled cookies inside a ceramic cookie jar in her kitchen and ration them out to us one at a time.  We always wanted more so we would retreat to the living room (on the opposite side of the house) and plan our cookie reconnaissance missions. 

Whichever of us felt most able to sneak past the open door to Grandma Charlotte's bedroom back into the kitchen, lift the cookie jar lid, extract a few cookies and replace the lid quietly, would be chosen.

There were two obstacles to the success of these missions:

  1. Grandma Charlotte's dog-like hearing.
  2. Ceramic cookie jars are almost impossible to open and shut without the lid making a clanking sound.

The surprising thing is how often we actually managed to pull it off! Or maybe Grandma Charlotte just let us think we had.

I'm very thankful that I got this recipe from her before she went the way of all flesh.  I'm putting it here to preserve it for future generations of cookie thieves.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and grease two cookie sheets.


  • 1/2 Cup Crisco vegetable shortening
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • raisins
Sugar cookies and ice cream scoop.


  1. Cream the shortening and sugar in a large mixing bowl.  Add the eggs and beat until the mixture is fluffy.
  2. Mix in the salt, nutmeg, and lemon juice.
  3. In a smaller bowl, whisk the baking powder and baking soda into the flour. Now, add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir until it forms a dough.
  4. Add as much of the milk as you need to make the dough hold together.
  5. Scoop tablespoon-sized balls of dough out and place them on the cookie sheets spaced about 3 inches apart.  A small ice cream scoop works well for this.
  6. Press 3 raisins into each cookie.
  7. Bake for 12-13 minutes or until the edges just begin to brown.  Place the cookies on a rack to cool.

My Best Sugar Cookie Recipe

I still love Grandma Charlotte's best sugar cookie recipe, but I make it differently than my great grandmother did.  In those days, the health risks associated with consuming vegetable shortening were unknown.  Now that we know how health-destroying trans fats are, I have had to change my cookie eating ways.

By substituting coconut oil for the shortening and reducing the sodium, I've come up with a delicious cookie that looks and tastes nearly identical to my grandmother's but is better for us.


  • 1/2 Cup firm coconut oil
  • 1 Cup organic sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Cups all-purpose organic flour
  • 1 teaspoon reduced sodium  baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed meal
  • 1 teaspoon dolomite powder (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
  • raisins
  1. Mix the dough as for Grandma Charlotte's Best Sugar Cookie Recipe above.  
  2. Add the flax seed meal and the dolomite powder, if you are using it, to the flour mixture (step 3 above).
  3. After you place the dough balls on the cookie sheets, use your palm to press them into disks before adding the raisins.

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