Just realized that this is my 100th post!
There are always memories that play a part in why a cookie recipe becomes a family tradition - a standard that is baked Christmas after Christmas in a mother's kitchen.
When I was a little girl, my dad would drive quite a ways in greater Chicagoland to stock up on goodies from an old bakery in Oak Park. My mom did not bake and maintained that if God had intended her to bake, he would not have invented Sara Lee. Many times Dad would take me along on these outings. This delicious place was called Smithfield Bakery, and my mouth still waters when I remember the cakes and donuts and cream cheese sweet rolls and bear claws and eclairs. And, of course, the cookies! They were huge - about the size of the palm of my father's hand.
"Now that's a cookie!" he would say.
Smithfield's baked many varieties, but the most outstanding were the sugar cookies. On a winter night, Dad would brew a pot of coffee after dinner and dunk his cookie in the hot mug. I either had milk or maybe some cocoa. We would sit together on the couch to watch Rocky and Bullwinkle. Good god, that man loved Boris and Natasha and even Mr Peabody.
Years later my wedding cake was baked by Smithfield's. I became a young wife and soon a young mother. I taught myself to bake and
As my boys grew, they chose their own cookie cutter shapes and
Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies
4 cups sifted all-purpose flour 1 egg
1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg Topping:
1 cup soft butter or shortening 1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups sugar
- Sift flour with baking powder, soda, salt, and nutmeg; set aside.
- In large bowl use mixer at medium speed, beat butter, sugar, and egg until light and fluffy. (I never use a mixer; a wooden spoon works just as well, and goodness knows I have enough of those! Also, I much prefer Buttery Crisco shortening.)
- At low speed, beat in sour cream and vanilla until smooth.
- Gradually add flour mixture, beating until well combined.
- With rubber scraper, form dough into a ball. Wrap in waxed paper or foil; refrigerate several hours, or overnight.
- Divide dough into 4 parts. Refrigerate until ready to roll out.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease cookie sheets.
- On well-floured surface, roll dough, one part at a time, 1/4 inch thick. (Go thicker than that.)
- With floured, 2 1/2 inch round or scalloped cookie cutter, cut out cookies. Using spatula, place, 2 inches apart, on cookie sheets.
- Sprinkle tops of cookies with sugar. Reroll trimmings, and cut.
- Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden. Remove to wire rack; cool. (Be sure not to overbake. I usually go for 9 minutes and let them sit on the tray for another couple minutes. I just cool them on the counter top.)
Every year when I have one warm from the oven, I think about my crazy, wonderful dad and wish he was there to help me eat them.
Don't forget to leave a few out for Santa.
They are his favorite!
"Happy Christmas to all and to all a Good Night."
Links to Cookie Day Participants