Sunday, December 22, 2013

Country Crisp Sugar Cookies

I received an Amy Vanderbilt’s Complete Cookbook for a wedding gift back in 1969 and I have used a crisp sugar cookie recipe from it ever since.  I love this recipe and have not strayed from it.  I go by the rule, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. You should start the day before and refrigerate it over night.  I double the recipe because it only makes about 2 dozen cookies for me. You might as well have something to show for the time and mess.

Country Crisp Sugar Cookies

½ cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tbs. heavy cream (No cream in the house use another tablespoon of butter)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
Extra sugar or sprinkles for tops of cookies

As always, I like to sit all the ingredients out to make sure I have everything and then put it away as I use it. You don't forget an ingredient this way or forget if you put it in already.  

Cream the butter with sugar in mixing bowl until light and fluffy.  Add egg, cream and vanilla.  Beat well.  Sift flour with salt and baking powder (I don’t sift but it is an old recipe).  Add to creamed mixture, beating until well combined.  Chill dough overnight for best results (if you are in a hurry, you can chill it for 2 hours, but overnight is best).  If you like you can put the dough in rolls and wrap with Cling Wrap and you can just cut out rounds with a knife to save rolling out the dough. 

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line your cookie sheets with a Silpat or with parchment paper. 

Take your dough out and let it warm up a bit because it will be very hard unless you have made small rolls of cookie dough, then you can cut them right away since you do not roll them out.  Cut them very thin (1/4 of an inch or a little less if possible).  If you are using cookie cutters, roll out a small amount of dough at one time; very thin, on lightly floured board.   Use your favorite holiday cookie cutter or you can make a large circle like a pizza and cut into 8th for Christmas trees cookie shapes.  You may sprinkle cookies lightly with sugar or colored sprinkles.  Place on prepared sheets.  Make sure there is plenty of room between them.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until done (time depends on how thin you get your cookies).  They should just start to turn a light brown around the edge. The recipe says it makes about 36 cookies, but it has never made that many for me.  That is why I double it.  Maybe if they are very little cookies.  I only roll out the dough twice and toss the left over dough after that because it becomes tough.  Maybe that is why.  If you do the roll and slice method there would be no waste in addition to saving time and mess.  You also get a smaller cookie.  I also use small cookie cutters.

I save time by not frosting my sugar cookies.  I like to use sprinkles and/or dragées.  A dragée (pronounced dra-zhay) is a small sugar ball used to decorate cookies, cakes, cupcakes and candy. You can buy them in multicolors and in different diameters. They add a nice accent to the design of your sugar cookies.  If you are making Christmas trees they look like Christmas bulbs.  They do frost nicely if you want to frost them to decorate.  Mine may not win a price for decorating, but they are easy and taste good.  I love the crispness of them. 

This will complete my Christmas baking this year.  I have really cut down.  Giving most of what I have made as Christmas gifts.   I am so anxious for Christmas.  It is my favorite time of year even though we are getting lots of snow.

Hope you have a great Sunday.  Be happy and may God bless you and yours

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