Tuesday, July 14, 2009
“Tastes like more.” My Dad used to say that after his first bite of something tasty. He loved apple pie, so it was often his compliment to pie or another baked good. Whenever my Grandma made him sugar cookies, he would hoard them and cherish each one for their simple comfort. But it's hard to stop at just one.
When you taste something delicious, don’t you want more?
My Grandma’s cookie recipe is a secret. She usually brings them to social gatherings and likes that they are one-of-a-kind. As I live in Oregon and she lives in Iowa, it is unlikely we would bring them to the same event. I promised her I would never make them when she is around; I like it when she bakes them. She was not swayed. I still wanted the cookies, so I tried a few recipes and this one is the closest to Gram’s. (Please don't tell her.)
Like Grandma’s: Soft Sugar Cookies from About.com
3 ¼ c. a-p flour, sift before measuring
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ c. butter, at room temperature
1 c. granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp. vanilla (or sub ground nutmeg)
½ c. sour cream
(I think my Grandma uses Crisco instead of butter, for a lighter texture. This is not confirmed.)
In a bowl, sift together the sifted flour, baking soda, and salt. In a mixing bowl, cream butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla with an electric mixer. Beat for two minutes. Add sour cream and half of the dry ingredients. Beat one minute. Stir in remaining dry ingredients with a wooden spoon. Divide dough in half and roll out each portion on a lightly floured surface to ¼-inch thick. Cut with floured cookie cutter. Place on greased cookie sheets and bake at 400˚ for 8-10 minutes. (They should still be pale on top, but lightly browned on the bottom. I would take them out at 7 minutes, unless you are using parchment paper or something fancy.) When cool, store in an airtight container.
My Grandma dusts them with sugar before baking. I have added lemon zest or ground cardamom before and like the results. My family prefers them plain vanilla, accompanied by milk or coffee. Sometimes my Grandma calls them “cake cookies.” They make excellent strawberry shortcake cakes.