Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Grandma's sugar cookie recipe

1 cup (2 sticks) of butter*
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda mixed into
1 cup of sour cream (light is ok)
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp nutmeg
1+ tsp baking powder
4 cups flour

Oven temp is 375°F
Baking time is about 10 minutes, but you should adjust that up or down as needed.

*original recipe calls for 1 cup of shortening or ½ cup shortening and 1 stick (½ cup) of margarine, but I don’t bake with shortening anymore and we prefer butter over margarine.

There are no instructions on which to mix first, but you can pretty much figure it out if you bake. I cream the butter and sugar, add the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla. Next I put in the sour cream with the baking soda added to it. Into one of the cups of flour, I add the salt, nutmeg and baking powder. Then I slowly add all the flour to the butter/sugar/egg/sour cream mixture. The dough will still be sticky. The original recipe said to use part of the 4th cup for rolling but I’ve never been able to accomplish that. I end up using more flour, as much as needed to get the consistency to where I can roll and cut the cookies. Refrigerating the dough helps some.

My technique for rolling and cutting the cookies is to take out half of the dough and add flour until I can work it. But don’t go overboard with the flour. You want to get the dough to where you can just lift the cookies off the surface. Often, the cookies cut from the edges will come up easier than those in the middle, so go ahead and cut those and rework the center dough with a little more flour for the next go-around.

I make these primarily at Christmas, so I sprinkle colored sugar on them before baking. This last time I made them I wanted to try icing, so I baked them first. I chose to use meringue powder instead of egg whites, which would end up raw in the icing. Since these were for a gathering with other people, I didn’t want to take any risks. I went to a specialty grocery store to find the meringue powder and found that Wilton’s makes it, so you could try the cake decorating area of a craft supply store. The icing recipe from Wilton’s is:

3 tbsp meringue powder
4 cups powdered sugar
6 tbsp water

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