Each year I like to bake the traditional family cookie recipes as a thank you to the people in our lives– the local firemen, the veterinarian and his staff, the neighbors…. Here are a couple of my favorite recipes. Those who read the Chloe Boston Mysteries will recognize them.
½ pound salted butter (use the real thing—this is no time to be health conscious)
4 T powdered sugar (make sure it is new and sift it for lumps)
1 tsp vanilla (again—use the good stuff)
1 C almonds (the fresher the better. You can substitute macadamia or pecans— both are great)
2 C flour (again, sift, it makes mixing easier)
1 T water
Cream butter and powdered sugar. Add water, vanilla, flour and nuts. Refrigerate at least one hour. I usually make my next cookie dough while the first is firming. Preheat over to 350* and shape dough into balls. Bake for three minutes on bottom rack. Move to top rack and cook until golden (this will depend on your oven but 10 minutes is a good guess. Watch closely!). Roll in powdered sugar (or cocoa powder if you feel reckless).
Grandpa Mac’s Sugar Cookies:
1 C butter (don’t make me repeat myself— use butter)
1 C sugar (the finest grain you can find)
1 C powdered sugar
1 C vegetable oil (not olive)
4 ¼ C flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
Cream butter, sugar and oil together in large bowl. Add eggs. Beat until smooth. Add flour, salt, cream of tartar, baking soda and vanilla. Mix well. Here you can do variations if you divide the dough. I sometimes add lemon zest, powdered coffee, cinnamon or cocoa powder.
This dough needs to refrigerate over night so it is not a spur of the moment cookie. Preheat oven to 375*. Form dough into balls and place on greased cookie sheet (or use silicone baking mats or parchment paper. I love parchment because clean up is super easy). Flatten cookies with the bottom of a glass dipped in 2 T sugar and 1 T nutmeg (if dough is basic sugar cookie— plain sugar if it is not). Bake at 375* for 8 minutes. Cool on rack (easy if you use parchment paper). You can also roll dough 1/4 inch thick and use cookie cutters and then decorate with sprinkles or icing. That is what I did this year…. and here are the results….
Oh, and Butterscotch Jones helped by supervising.