Thursday, October 28, 2010

Test Kitchen Thursday - Auntie's Roll Out Sugar Cookies

This week I'm featuring a recipe I have worked very hard on - for number of years.  Had to get this one right because it means so much to my husband and his family.  This is my husband's Great Aunt's (from her mom - his Great Grandma) Christmas Cookie recipe.  Unfortunately I don't have the greatest photos since I didn't actually decorate these - they went to Clark's preschool for their Fall Party today!

Auntie's Sugar Cookie Recipe:

Yield: approximately 5 dozen (depends on the size of cutter you use - warning: these cookies grow in the oven)

2 C     Sugar
1 C     Butter, unsalted (softened)
1 C     Sour Buttermilk (I found this odd at first but yes it helps -- add a little lemon juice if you don't have sour buttermilk on hand - on the flip side great way to use up old buttermilk in the fridge)
2         Eggs
1/2 t    Salt
1 t       soda
2 t       baking powder
1 t       vanilla
1 t       lemon flavoring
5 C     flour

Whisk together the flour, salt, soda and baking powder together; set aside.  Cream the butter and sugar.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Mix in sour buttermilk, vanilla and lemon flavoring. Add in the flour mixture.  This makes an extremely SOFT dough - you may want to add just a little more flour but don't overdo it.  The original recipe says to roll right away but I find giving it an hour or more in the fridge helps the rolling process.  Roll 3/8 inch and cut as desired.  Place cookies on parchment paper lined cookie sheets.  Bake for 8 - 10 minutes at 350 degrees F.  Do not over bake!  The cookies should barely be  colored on the bottom.

While we waited for the dough to set we sorted all the Halloween cookie cutters!  We sorted by shape, and by color, and by size.  So many sorting options!  Now for my family's Christmas cookies there are traditional shapes that must be cut but for other times of year anything goes.  However, for the Fall Party at preschool we needed to make pumpkins.

Required Christmas shapes include (all frosted with white frosting):
Santa (with red sugar)
Wreath (with green sugar and 9 red hots - 3 berry bunches)
Star (with yellow sugar)
Bell (with blue sugar and silver nonperil for clapper)
Tree (with green sugar and red hot on top)

My addition to the list:
Snowflake (with large crystal sugar)
Rudolf (with red hot for nose)

After nap time we rolled the cookies out.  I tested using only 4 1/2 cups of flour like the original recipe and remembered why I don't do that.  The cookies will roll but be prepared to utilize LOTS of flour on the counter.  Even using the 5 cups you will still need to well prepare the counter with flour.  When rolling I usually use the bands you can put on the ends of the rolling pin to roll out to the perfect thickness every time. It really helps with even baking!

Here are some photos of the pre-school party today - there were lots of dinosaurs (including Clark in blue).

Three dinosaurs and three batmen - seemed to be the popular costumes today!

Frosting the cookies and adding M&M faces.

I thought this was an adorable picture.

Also, many thanks to Aunt Em for the Halloween treats that arrived in the mail today!

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