Monday, March 24, 2014

Buttermilk Sugar Cookies

This weekend I compared two family sugar cookie recipes. The first recipe was a sour cream sugar cookie and I really can't figure out which part of our family it's from. It was a drop cookie and I had to adjust the temperature and time because they were getting too dark.
Gramsy's Buttermilk Sugar Cookies with
 Rainbow Sparkling Sugar Sprinkles

The second recipe was Gramsy's, which my father has perfected on his own. Years ago he walked me through all of the steps, showing how to add the flour gradually and stir just until the "shine goes away". However, my cookies never turned out like his - until today!
A funny thing happened when I cut the first set of cookies.  I picked up a scrap of dough, popped it in my mouth and immediately recognized this taste. I closed my eyes and felt like I was 7 years old again as I remembered making these cookies with Gramsy. When she stepped out of the kitchen for a moment I ate a piece of dough. She came back and asked if I had taken any. Even though I was guilty I shook my head "no". She laughed as Grandpa walked in and she pointed at me and said, "Christie said she didn't eat any cookie dough", as she reached over and wiped the flour off my lips.
Wilton Sparkling
Sugar Sprinkles

1 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
5 cups flour
a dash of love

Cream together shortening and sugar. Mix in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla.
Sift in 1 cup of flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix lightly. Mix in 1/3 of the buttermilk.
Alternately add the remaining flour and buttermilk, mix only until the shine goes away. The secret to any cookie is not to over mix the flour or you'll have a tougher cookie.
On a floured surface, roll out 1/4 of the dough at a time, about 1/4 inch thick.
Cut out cookies. Place on cookie sheet, sprinkle with sugar. Gramsy always used regular sugar. I prefer decorating with Sparkling sugar from JoAnn's Fabric.
Bake on ungreased cookie sheets with rack placed in the middle of the oven. It's best to bake one sheet at a time so the air can circulate and bake evenly.
Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Let rest on cookie sheet for 2 minutes before moving to cooling rack.
Makes 4-5 dozen. These have a nice, smooth surface and would be good with icing too.