Effie’s Sugar Cookies – A Childhood Favorite

Effie's Sugar Cookies

Recently, I’ve been trying to think of ways to make the time I’m spending social distancing meaningful. These sugar cookies popped into my head when I was thinking about my family. They were some of my favorite cookies when I was a kid. I don’t know if this is still a thing, but when I was in elementary school parents used to bring in treats for the class on their kid’s birthday. There was a stretch of time where these cookies were what I asked my mom to bring for me every year. Now it’s probably been at least 15 years since I had them. They’re super easy to make, so I whipped them out last weekend.

My recipe is a photocopy of my mom’s recipe card, which is written in my grandma’s handwriting. The title of the recipe is “Effie’s Sugar Cookies.” I’ve always wondered who Effie was, but never took the time to ask. I finally called my mom and asked and learned that Effie was my great grandma’s close friend. I’m so glad I asked, because now this recipe is even more meaningful.

This is an old school recipe, so the ingredients are a little unusual. It calls for shortening instead of butter, and sour cream. The result is a fluffly, almost cake-like cookie. I could maybe pass it as a scone if I really wanted to. One other thing to note-the recipe says to bake the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet. This worked fine for me on my nice Williams Sonoma pans (I love these), but did not work out on my cheap Wilton cookie sheet. I should have put parchment paper on that one because the cookies burned a bit on the bottom.

Effie’s Sugar Cookies

These sugar cookies were one of my favorite treats as a kid. I probably haven't had them in 15 years, though. Now I'm sharing the recipe with you!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time8 mins
Keyword: baking, cookies, sugar cookies
Servings: 30 Cookies
Author: Erica (Paint the House Pink)


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  • Cream together the shortening and sugar until smooth
  • Add the eggs and vanilla and mix to combine
  • Add the sour cream and mix to combine
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just incorporated
  • Drop the cookies by the spoonful onto an ungreased baking sheet
  • Sprinkle sugar on top of the cookies
  • Bake for 8 minutes, until edges start to brown
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheets for about five minutes before removing the cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling
  • These will keep in an airtight container for 3-4 days

If you make this recipe, please tag us on Instagram and leave a comment below to let us know what you think! You can also check out our other recipes here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.