Soft Sugar Cookies
1 c. butter
2 c. sugar
1 c. sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking soda
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
4 1/2 c. to 5 1/2 c. flour (sifted is best)
Directions: Cream butter, sugar, sour cream, eggs, vanilla until smooth. Add dry ingredients. Mix just until combined. Chill in fridge at least 1 hour.
Roll to 1/2" thick on floured surface (the thicker, the softer, the less flour, the more flavor)
Bake @ 325 for about 11 minutes. (cookies will look barely done)-DO NOT OVER BAKE!
This other is the one I grew up with. These are the very BEST, in my opinion. But I'm not sure if it's just because I grew up on them or if they really are the best.
2 c. butter (softened)
1 c. sugar
4 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. lemon extract
6 c. four
1 tsp. baking powder
Directions: Cream together butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and lemon ext. Mix in flour and baking powder. Chill dough for several hours (I don't). Roll thin and cut into desired shapes. Bake at 425 for 5-6 minutes, (until barely done). Do not overbake!! Cool and frost. Makes 12-14 doz.
Now there IS a difference between these two cookie recipes. The sugar cookies come out puffier and the butter cookies hold the cookie-cutter's form. I love the hint of lemon flavor in the butter cookies, and the way they crumble and almost melt in your mouth. They even taste good plain (without frosting), but I like them best frosted. Sugar cookies are not my fave unfrosted, but with frosting and sprinkles I love the texture. Tasting the two recipes side-by-side and frosted, it's hard to decide which one is my most fave.
(Click on image for closer examination)
For another wonderful sugar cookie recipe, go to Picky Palate. Her sugar cookie recipe is very similar to mine. I have yet to try hers out. She also introduces us to "fondant" which is something else that looks fun to try! (Maybe I'll try it for Valentine's.)
Lastly, here are a few important sugar cookie tips:
1. Never overbake! (or they will not be soft)
2. You can freeze UNfrosted sugar/butter cookies in air-tight containers for several months. (I don't know about you, but rolling out these suckers can get pretty tedious! so why not make a bunch one time and freeze!)
3. Homemade frosting is the best on sugar/butter cookies, in my opinion. Be creative and try using different flavorings in your frosting. Some good ones to try are almond and peppermint. (Not at the same time of course). :)
And here is my favorite frosting recipe:
Butter Frosting (from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook)
1/3 c. butter or margarine
4 1/2 - 5 1/2 c. sifted powdered sugar
1/4 c. milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Cream together with a mixer or beaters.
There you go! Now have fun making the most fabulous Christmas cookies for friends and family! Let me know how it goes!!