Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies

As far as sugar cookies go, I've never had much luck.  Of the ones that "claimed" they wouldn't spread, one of them held to that but they were tasteless and in spite of shortening the baking time, insisted upon coming out hard and crunchy. If you like hard, crunchy, tasteless sugar cookies, let me know, I've got the recipe for you!

But the recipe I'm sharing with you today is NOT that recipe, and after years of trial, error and failure, THESE are by far the best I've ever made! They will not spread, they hold their form, so you can be sure that the finished product won't be much different than the raw dough. Just place them about an inch to an inch and a half apart (because ALL dough spreads a **little** when it bakes), and you'll be good to go. I tend to cut my cookies a little on the thick side and mine did come out a little puffy, but I noticed that after they sat on the cooling rack a bit, even that wasn't an issue. This cookie is PERFECTION! At least in my book. Something else I always do (with most cookies), is to take them it out of the oven at the minimum recommended time (sometimes I even take it out a little sooner). I want a golden bottom on my cookies and no crunch, at least, not for my sugar cookies. This recipe also makes a LOT of cookies. I rolled out and cut half the dough and put the rest in the freezer, which makes me happy because I think I'm going to want these more than once a year. They are perfect just as they are and I can see them being nice with a cup of tea in the afternoon. I used small cutters, so they ended up being just a little bite, which is plenty for me! Later this week I'll adorn them with a simple white glaze and a sprinkle of sugar, just to dress them up a little for the holidays, but overall, I'd be eating them as is. But just in case you do want to dress yours up, I included a recipe for frosting.

2 cup shortening (Crisco)
2 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest, grated
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs
1/4 cup orange juice
6 cups all purpose flour
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

Cream together shortening, sugar, orange zest, vanilla, and peppermint extract. Add eggs to creamed mixture; mix well. Add orange juice and mix. Sift flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture and blend. Cover and chill for at least two hours.

Once chilled, roll dough to 1/8 to 1/4” thick on lightly floured surface. Cut out with your favorite cookie cutters and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375° for 7-10 minutes. Cool before removing from cookie sheet; ice when cool.

Sugar Cookie Frosting
3 cups powdered sugar
3-4 Tablespoons milk
2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Gel food coloring (optional)
Additional candies and sprinkles for decorating

Combine sugar, 2 Tablespoons of milk, corn syrup, and vanilla extract in a medium-sized bowl and stir until combined. If frosting is too thick, add more milk, about a teaspoon at a time, until the frosting is thick but pipeable. If you accidentally add too much milk, add powdered sugar until desired texture is reached.

If coloring the frosting, divide into bowls and color as desired.Transfer frosting to a piping bag with a Wilton 5 piping tip.

Pipe frosting on cookies and decorate as desired. Allow frosting to harden before eating. (Timinig varies depending on consistency and humidity).

Store cookies at room temperature in an airtight container.


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