Monday, April 9, 2012

Old-Fashioned Rolled Sugar Cookies

These cookies are what my great-grandmother used to make and the recipe has been passed down in my mother's family ever since. It is less sweet than modern recipes for sugar cookies. Today's sugar cookies are really what we used to call a "butter cookie," using butter instead of shortening. As much as I enjoy modern buttery sugar cookies, sometimes I choose to make these ones instead, just because they make me nostalgic for my childhood. You may raise your eyebrows at some of the ingredients, which were common place decades ago but are rarely seen in sugar cookies nowadays (soured milk?)

This recipe makes A LOT of cookies, and it is very forgiving of adding flour during the rolling stage.

2 Cups Sugar
1 Cup Shortening
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Eggs
1 Cup Soured Milk (put 1 Tablespoon vinegar in a cup measure and then add milk to make one cup. Stir well and let sit five minutes)
2 tsp Baking Soda
5 1/2 Cups Flour (you can add 1/4 Cup more if you find the dough too sticky)
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Salt

Cream together the shortening, sugar, and vanilla, beating until creamy. Add eggs one at a time and mix well. Add the baking soda into the soured milk and stir until frothy. Then add the milk/baking soda mixture to the creamed sugar mixture and beat until combined. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt and stir well. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients gradually, adding about 1/3 of the mixture each time and beating until combined. When the dough is well-mixed, wrap in plastic wrap and chill 2 hours to overnight (or just stick it in the freezer for an hour).

Roll about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick and cut out the cookies. Bake at 350 until edges are starting to turn brown, about 6-8 minutes (depending on thickness of cookies). Important note: Since these cookies are made with Crisco not butter, they do not brown as quickly and will still be very pale when they are done. I like them crunchy, so I let the edges get brown, but you may not want them that crunchy. After baking one batch, you can adjust the baking time and thickness of cookies according to your own taste.