It’s not Christmas without decorated sugar cookies. I’ve made these cookies with my Mom for as long as I can remember. When I was growing up, we’d make seasonally themed sugar cookies: hearts, strawberries, ice cream cones, fall leaves, mushrooms, snowmen, stars and Christmas trees – Mom had a cookie cutter for every occasion.
Whenever we’d make the sugar cookies, she’d pull out her Betty Crocker cookbook and get to work. A few months after I got married, I excitedly pulled out my new Betty Crocker cookbook as I set out to make a fall batch of cookies in my new home. I discovered with dismay that the recipe had been altered over the years, and I didn’t have access to the recipe that I had grown up with. A phone call to my Mom and some hastily scribbled notes solved that problem!
It’s crucial to chill the dough thoroughly. Otherwise, the dough will stick horribly to everything. I usually work with the dough in batches, leaving it in the refrigerator until I need it. It’s also important to use a light hand when rolling out the dough and to handle it as little as possible. Rough rolling and excessive handling compresses to dough and results in dense cookies.
These sugar cookies are airy, crisp, crumbly and have a light, buttery sweet flavor.
Betty Crocker’s Classic Sugar Cookies
Yields 48 3″ cookies
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1) Thouroughly mix the shortening, butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla.
2) Blend in flour, baking powder and salt.
3) Cover dough and chill for at least 1 hour.
4) Heat oven to 400.
5) On a lightly floured surface, roll dough 1/8″ thick.
6) Cut out cookies and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Decorate as desired.
7) Bake for 6-8 minutes, until cookies are very lighly browned along the edges