Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sugar Cookies

I have some news for you.  I like to bake.
We're having a bit of a boring day today-see what qualifies as news?

I have a lot of good cookie recipes.  I have different recipes for different needs, like time requirement, involvement, ingredients, memory attached, etc.  I have both my Grandma's sugar cookie recipes.  My Dad's Mom baked a lot.  She was always making some kind of bread or cookies or pie.  I have tried to make her sugar cookies and mine are not quite as good as hers.  I'll need to practice them a bit more.  My Mom's Mom baked and cooked a lot too.  She was a fantastic cook, specializing in comfort foods, like any respectable Grandma.  Some things I can specifically remember are her sugar cookies, Sloppy Joes (which I can not stop calling Sloppy José's for some reason), potato soup and mashed potatoes.  

I'm a treat-aholic.  I love treats.  Especially sweet treats.  Especially savory treats.  Especially sweet and savory treats.  I like treats.  Can you tell this pregnancy has put a bit of a hiatus on my diet?  Anyway, Tony isn't much for sweets.  He likes pumpkin desserts, fine chocolates, some ice creams, and usually desserts with peanut butter.  Oh-and Rice Krispie Treats (from the store).  Oh, and Dove Bars.  Mmmm...anyway.  Regular old sugar cookies or chocolate chip cookies, he could take them or leave them.  So, when I make cookies, I end up eating most of them.  It's not good for my bum.  Really not good.  I'm looking forward to a lot of calorie burning after baby brother is born.

So-this is my favorite sugar cookie recipe, shared with me by a good friend of mine.  I don't think she'll mind me sharing it with all of you. I decrease the recipe because it makes a lot, but like she says, they freeze well, so maybe stash away a few dozen for a cookie emergency.

Sugar Cookies

4 C flour*
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 ½ C shortening
1 ½ C sugar
2 beaten eggs
1 C milk
1 tsp soda dissolved in 1 T hot water
1 tsp vanilla (or almond or lemon extract)

Mix flour, baking powder, salt, shortening and sugar as you might a pie crust until pea-sized crumbles form.  Combine eggs, milk, soda/water mixture and vanilla.  Add to flour mixture until just combined.  Roll to about 1/4" thick and cut out shapes as desired.   (I usually do that with half the dough at a time).  Bake on lightly greased cookie sheet at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until the cookies brown slightly around the edges.   Cool and frost with your favorite buttercream.  Baked cookies freeze quite well.

*When the dough is mixed, it will be quite sticky.  If it seems so sticky that I can't handle it, I'll sometimes add more flour before rolling it out.  Chilling the dough might also help, although I almost never do.  You'll probably also need to use a pretty liberal amount of flour to roll and cut out.  However, I've found that too much flour/handling can result in a tough dough.  It's a tricky balance, but I think these cookies are totally worth the mess and effort.


Now, after trying several frosting recipes and being disgusted with most of them (too powered sugary-blech!), I turn to where I always turn for something yummy.  You know what I'm going to say.  PW.  Here is our favorite frosting recipe from, MissyDew.  You can find the original post on Tasty Kitchen.

The Best Frosting I've Ever Had

5 T Flour
1 C Milk
1 t Vanilla
1 C Butter
1 C Granulated Sugar

Bake your favorite chocolate cake and let it cool. {or the sugar cookies listed above}
In a small saucepan, whisk flour into milk and heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens. You want it to be very thick, thicker than cake mix, more like a brownie mix is. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. (If I’m in a hurry, I place the saucepan over ice in the sink for about 10 minutes or so until the mixture cools.) It must be completely cool before you use it in the next step. Stir in vanilla.

While the mixture is cooling, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. You don’t want any sugar graininess left. Then add the completely cooled milk/flour/vanilla mixture and beat the living daylights out of it. If it looks separated, you haven’t beaten it enough! Beat it until it all combines and resembles whipped cream.

Grab a spoon and taste this wonderful goodness. If there is any left after your taste test, spread it on a cooled chocolate cake.



Stacie said...

Mmm...today is a good cookie day. (who am I kidding? any day is a good cookie day!) Glad to know you like that frosting recipe. I have been a little unsure about it because there are some mixed reviews. I'll have to do it soon!

katie+brandon said...

I love you and your cookies!

Lindsey said...

Your baking inspires me. Baking to me is a brownie mix and the occasional chocolate chip cookie (preferably from pre-packaged dough). But I am going to file away your frosting recipe "just in case."

Bethany said...

What would you do if you had stomach problems and couldn't eat cookies?

kathleen said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Soda? Is baking soda or something else?2005

Anna said...

Oops typo! Yes, baking soda