Friday, January 05, 2007

Sugar Cookies

In honor of “Cultures Around the World” I baked sugar cookies for Nate’s class. Since his teacher had chosen Israel, I used my “Hebrew Alphabet” cookie cutters. I bought them a long time ago, but I had never used them. Finally I had gotten the incentive I needed to break them out.

Usually I just make chocolate chip cookies, they are easy to make. The dough doesn’t need to chill, I do not have to roll out the dough and cookie cutters are not used. The chocolate chip cookie is all about immediate gratification. Sugar cookies require advance planning and preparation. As a result, they are rarely made.

The recipe I use is from my beloved 1975 edition of “Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book”. I was all set to make “Mary’s Sugar Cookies” when I encountered a problem, a big problem. I was completely out of powdered sugar. So I decided to go with the neighboring recipe, “Ethel’s Sugar Cookies”. Ethel’s uses regular old granulated sugar and was probably a better choice since I could use vanilla and avoid the almond flavoring in Mary’s and the possibility for nut allergies in the class (I was told there aren’t any, but I like to err on the side of caution). It was a first for me to make this variation, but I have found this book to be very relable and the recipes have all turned out tasty.

Ethel’s Sugar Cookies

¾ cup shorting (part butter or margarine)*
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
½ tsp lemon flavoring or 1 tsp vanilla**
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Mix shortening, sugar, eggs, and flavoring thoroughly. Measure flour by dipping method (p. 5) or by sifting. Stir flour, baking powder, and salt together: blend in. Chill at least 1 hour.

Heat oven to 400 (mod. hot). Roll dough 1/8” thick on a lightly floured board. Cut with 3” cooky cutter. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 6 to 8 minutes, or until the cookies are a delicate golden color. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

*All butter of course
**I used vanilla, but next time maybe lemon

I chilled the dough overnight. In fact I made 1 ½ batches and baked cookies over a three day period. It was nice being able to pull out the dough and bake small batches at a time. Another good trick is to place a sheet of waxed paper or plastic wrap on top of the dough as you roll it out. It creates a smoother top cookie.

And here is a picture of some of the finished product:

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar.

I sprinkled a little blue sugar on them before they went in the oven. I think the effect was quite nice and the cookies were delicious. I baked a small batch for Meryl using my Star of David cutters and she agreed. In fact she wants to borrow my alef-bet cutters in the future.

No comments: