Monday, December 7, 2009

Sugar Cookies (For LT)

Ethel's Sugar Cookies

Before you ask, no, there is no one named Ethel in my family. This recipe comes to us courtesy of Betty Crocker's CookyBook, of which, my copy is my Grandmother's from 1973. Not that old, I know, but the recipe itself goes back at least another 30 years prior to this edition...and the book has Grandma's hand-written notes about additions and changes she made...

These cookies are crispy, not soft, but are FABULOUS for decorating and sharing with neighbors, classrooms, teachers, small groups etc. It is a MESS to make them what with the floured rolling surface, and it makes right around 4 dozen, unless you use a really little cookie cutter. I try to use nothing smaller than 3 inches...but takes a looooong time to get all that flour actually cleaned up when we're done.

3/4 C shortening (I use all butter in mine, but a combo, or just Crisco works too)
1 C sugar
2 eggs (at room temp works best)
1/2 tsp flavoring (we use good old vanilla, but lemon, or almond are yummy too!)
2 1/2 C all-purpose flour **
1 tsp baking POWDER
1 tsp salt

Cream the sugar, butter, eggs, and flavoring. Measure flour using dipping method (just dip your cup and sort of tap it against the side of your container lightly), and stir with baking powder and salt. Add gradually. Chill at least 1 hour (if you can't bake right away, it can sit covered tightly overnight, and then just let it come a bit warm before rolling, so you can work it).

Roll dough on floured surface (even using my good ol' Tupperware mat, I still have to flour) to 1/8 inch thick. Cut using desired cutters. Bake at 400F for 6 - 8 minutes (I only do about 5 at my altitude) or until delicate golden. Let cool completely and decorate as desired.

** If you use "self-rising" flour, don't add the baking powder or salt. I always use "Hungarian Flour", unbleached and they turn out ok.