Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Grandma's Sugar Cookies

Here's another cookie recipe that has been passed down from my grandmother.  These are old-fashioned sugar cookies, and they are no good for icing.  But they are delicious.  And not nearly as frustrating as the stuffed cookies!

First things first...measure out some shortening.  I don't like to measure shortening because it's messy.  I had one of those fancy measuring cups that you slide to adjust, and you can push the messy stuff out into the bowl, but my hubby melted it in the dishwasher one day and I have not found a replacement.  So I use the plastic wrap method now.

Much less muss and fuss.  Line the cup with plastic wrap, then pop it into the mixing bowl. 

Now cream your shortening and sugar until fluffy.

Add the egg and vanilla and mix until well-incorporated.

Sift together the dry ingredients and add, alternately, with milk.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface and roll it into a nice log.

Divide the log into thirds.

Next, divide one of the thirds in half.

Grab some red and green food coloring.

And color the dough.  My mom, and I'm assuming my grandmother, did not have access to gel colors, so their cookies were more pastel, so I usually go easy on the coloring because that's what I'm used to.  If you make these, dye them as dark as you like.

Wrap all of the dough in plastic and chill for at least half an hour, maybe a little more.  When it's well-chilled, roll the uncolored dough 1/4 inch thick and cut into circles.  Fill as many cookie sheets as you have with circles, just don't bake them yet. 

Next, roll the colored dough and cut smaller shapes and place the smaller shapes on top of the circles, like so:

Bake at 350 F for 8-10 minutes.  They will still be fairly pale.  Don't overbake unless you like crispy cookies.

As soon as you remove the cookies from the oven, coat them liberally with table sugar.

Wait a few minutes, then knock off the excess sugar and move the cookies to a cooling rack.  Save the extra sugar for the next batch. 

I usually run out of uncolored dough before I use all of the colored dough, so I make tie-dye cookies with the leftovers.  The kids love them. 

 When they're done, stack them up and put them away.  The baked cookies freeze well , but I don't like to freeze the dough.  I think it's the shortening, but the dough doesn't freeze solid.  Which kind of weirds me out a little.

And, since I don't believe you can readily find this recipe, either, here it is (keep in mind, the dough in the photos above is a triple recipe...this is a very small batch as written):

Grandma's Sugar Cookies

2/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 tsp milk

Cream shortening and sugar until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and mix until well-incorporated.  Sift flour, baking powder and salt.  Add alternately to creamed mixture with milk.  Divide dough into thirds.  Color one third of dough.  Chill for at least half an hour.

Roll out 1/4 inch thick.  Cut white circles and top with colored shapes.  Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.

That's all for today.

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