Preserving a Legacy of Family, Faith, and Food – November 1 – December 31
Written by Meghan Carver
It’s a debate that will go on through the ages, like nuts or no nuts. Black or cream and sugar. Coke or Pepsi.
It has caused endless debate as families gather around the dessert table every holiday.
Should sugar cookies be crunchy or soft?
Our family leads the rally cry of “Soft!” Unfortunately, we’ve been unable to raise our banner and lead the troops because every recipe I tried resulted in cookies that belonged in a cracker box, not a cute Christmas tin.
I think there must be something about the chemical make-up of sugar cookie dough that makes them automatically crunchy, no matter how few minutes in the oven. For years, I simply didn’t make sugar cookies. I gave up.
Then, a couple of years ago, I shared my sugar cookie woes with one of our go-to-Titus-two women at church. My children were growing older, and I wanted them to experience the rolling of dough, the pressing of cookie cutters, the sprinkling of brightly-colored sugars. The melt-in-your-mouth goodness of moist, sweet cookies. As happens so often with those wise women, she shared the perfect recipe.
1 ½ cups butter or shortening (I’ve found that Butter-Flavored Crisco works best.)
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
4 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
2 ½ tsp. cream of tartar
1 box instant vanilla pudding
Cream together butter or shortening and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Mix dry ingredients in separate bowl; add to butter mixture gradually. Mix well.
Chill dough. Roll out on floured surface. Cut out desired shapes. After transferring to the cookie sheet, sprinkle with colored sugar.
Bake at 400 degrees for 5 to 8 minutes. (My oven requires only 4 minutes with Speed Bake.) To achieve that softness, remove the cookies when they appear undone.
Makes 5 to 6 dozen.
Giant cookies bake for about 8 minutes.
So dust off those cookie cutters and stock up on sugar sprinkles. And be sure to tell your soft-cookie friends that you’ve found the perfect recipe!
Meghan Carver is the author of several published short stories and articles. She is an English major undergrad and law school graduate who is living the dream she didn’t know she had – stay at home mom to six homeschooled children. She blogs about mothering, homemaking, and homeschooling at www.MeghanCarver.blogspot.com.