Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sugar Cookies

Sugar cookies are a given for Valentine's Day at our house. They are fun to make other times of year as well. This is my very favorite recipe for making a soft and fluffy sugar cookie - if you can call a cookie fluffy. It is not the crunchy texture of some cookies. You have to use an open cookie cutter for this recipe. You cannot use any of the cute cutters that add details because as this cookie bakes it puffs up and you would not be able to see any of those details anyway. 

The original recipe follows just as it was shared with me by Sister Bithell, a senior sister missionary who served in my mission. She made these cookies for my companion and I at Christmas time when we were serving in Burke, VA. This year I decided to try them using bean puree to make them healthier. Instead of using 1 cup of shortening, I used 1/2 cup of shortening and 1/2 cup of white bean puree. Cream them together with the sugar and then add the remaining ingredients. I used powdered milk also. They turned out delicious and there was no change at all in the texture or flavor from the original recipe. Next time I make this recipe, I think I'll try replacing all the shortening with bean puree. (I decided that since I had to take them to school this time, I better not experiment too much! The other thing I want to try is to see if I can get by without adding eggs like I've found I can do when I put beans in muffins. Oh, there is always something else to experiment with.)

I took them to school for the Valentine's Day parties and the kids devoured them all! They had no idea of my healthy switch.  You'll have to experiment in this way with one of your favorite recipes and let me know how it works out.

These freeze well before frosting. You can also freeze them after the frosting has hardened. Just place waxed paper between the layers in your container.

Sugar Cookies

1 cup shortening
2 eggs
3 cups powdered sugar
3 tsp baking powder
4 tsp light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
¼ cup hot water
1 ½ cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
¾ cup milk
½ tsp vanilla
¾ tsp salt
Food coloring or sprinkles as desired
About 4 cups flour


Combine cookie ingredients and chill dough.  Roll and cut out.  Bake at 350° for 7 minutes.  Mix icing and drizzle over cookies.  Lay out on waxed paper for icing to harden.

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