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Tiffany Lemons’s three little girls stand in matching holiday dresses in front of their open closet preparing for the big event. Red, pink, and purple shoes sparkle at them from the shelves, but they carefully select the black patent leather shoes, along with pearl necklaces. Tiffany frantically completes the final preparations for the annual mother-daughter cookie exchange.
  Vegetable shortening 1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs) (You May Use Crisco Butter Flavor)
  Packed light brown sugar 1 Cup (16 tbs)
  Granulated sugar 1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)
  Eggs 2 Large
  Sour cream 1 Cup (16 tbs)
  Vanilla extract 1 Teaspoon
  All purpose flour 2 3⁄4 Cup (44 tbs)
  Baking soda 1⁄2 Teaspoon
  Salt 1 Teaspoon
  Sprinkles/Other decorations 1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)
For cakies frosting
  Confectioners sugar 2 Cup (32 tbs)
  Butter 1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs), melted (1 Stick)
  Hot water 4 Tablespoon

Makes about 6 dozen cakies
Day 1: Place the shortening and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until creamy. Reduce the speed to low and blend in the eggs, one at a time. Add the sour cream, blending until just combined. Add the vanilla and mix until smooth, about 1 minute. Cover tightly with plastic wrap
and chill in the refrigerator overnight.

Day 2: In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. Return the shortening and sugar mixture bowl from the refrigerator to the mixing stand. With the mixer on low speed, blend in the flour mixture, a little at a time, until just incorporated. The cookie dough will look like thick and sticky tapioca pudding. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and return to the refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper (or use nonstick baking spray). When the cookie dough is cold, drop it by rounded tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between cookies. Place the remaining dough in the refrigerator between batches to keep it chilled. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes, until the cookies begin to turn golden. Remove from the oven and cool for 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to let cool completely.

Spread the frosting onto the cooled cookies. Add colored sugar crystals or other decorations while the frosting is warm. —From Sugar, Sugar/Andrews McMeel Publishing

Cakies Frosting
Place the confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Slowly add the butter and vanilla and mix on medium low speed until well combined, about 1 minute. Add 2 tablespoons water and mix until blended. Add more water 1 tablespoon at a time, if
needed, to achieve the desired consistency(thick enough to spread).

sugar mommas notes: There are rules for a successful cookie exchange. Follow Wilton’s book, Wilton Cookie Exchange, or go online to the Martha Stewart Cookie-Swap Party Planner. Use these guidelines or create traditions of your own.

Drop by your local discount store once in a while to pick up festive platters, boxes, or tins, and colored cellophane wrap, and ribbons so guests can transport their loot home in pretty packages.

sass it up: Be the sassiest gal at the party by bringing the best hostess gift. If you want to outshine the other moms, bring decorative, food-safe parchment paper to line the trays or package the cookies. Wilton sells holiday-themed sheets. What a find!

The recipe is excerpted from Sugar Sugar written by Kimberly “Momma” Reiner and Jenna Sanz-Agero. The recipe was originally submitted by Tiffany Lemons, from her mother Bonnie Smith’s recipe, Tucson, Arizona.
To learn more or to purchase the book, visit

Recipe Summary

Tiffany’s mother, Bonnie, started this tradition in Arizona, where Bonnie hosted the annual event. Tiffany helped her mother make the Cakies, then dressed in her black patent shoes and pearls. Bonnie invited her girlfriends and their daughters. Each invitee brought three dozen cookies, which were arranged on the dining room table. Guests took platters around the room, collecting samples from every tray. There was the usual assortment of snickerdoodles, snowballs, peppermint bark, toffee, and chocolate chip cookies, but the Cakies were the most sought after. After enjoying some tea, coffee, or lemonade, and conversation, each mother-daughter set went home with three dozen cookies to enjoy during the holidays. Tiffany moved to California and started the Cakies ritual when her eldest daughter turned two years old. Rules are rules, and according to tradition, this is a girls-only event. No boys allowed. She hopes that, in 20+ years, her daughters will carry on the Cakies tradition. She looks forward to the day her girls call her at midnight asking those familiar questions, comparing techniques, frosting the final batch, and anxiously arranging last-minute party preparations. —From Sugar, Sugar/Andrews McMeel Publishing

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Nutrition Rank

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: Complete recipe

Calories 6041 Calories from Fat 2300

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 260 g400%

Saturated Fat 113.5 g567.5%

Trans Fat 13.5 g

Cholesterol 784.5 mg261.5%

Sodium 2972.7 mg123.9%

Total Carbohydrates 877 g292.4%

Dietary Fiber 9.3 g37.1%

Sugars 607.9 g

Protein 54 g107.6%

Vitamin A 92.5% Vitamin C 3.4%

Calcium 39% Iron 101.7%

*Based on a 2000 Calorie diet

Cakies Recipe