Saturday, December 24, 2011

Dad's Sugar Cookies

Sometime in my childhood, my dad began baking sugar cookies. It didn't take long before they were "famous." He'd make them at Christmas and various other holidays throughout the year for our family and to share with others. When he made them at Christmastime for his coworkers, he usually made two or three batches and people would come from all over the building to get one of his cookies. They're that good!

Usually, the division of labor looked like this...Dad did the mixing and baking and the rest of us decorated them. It was a fun job because if you happened to break one or "mess up" in anyway, you got to eat the mistake.

Five years ago when my dad was sick, he wasn't really feeling up to baking his sugar cookies for Christmas. Instead, I took over the baking. Christmas just wouldn't seem the same without them. That first time was frustrating and I couldn't help but think that they'd never be as good as his. I didn't know all the little tricks he had developed over the years. Still, they turned out. Since he passed away, we have continued the tradition of baking sugar cookies each year. I have to be honest and say that I have gotten better each year, and I think that they're just almost as good as Dad's were and probably as close as I can get.

These sugar cookies are puffy and soft, and topped with cool cream cheese frosting. Even those who profess to not liking sugar cookies like these. They're amazing--at Christmas or anytime!

Dad's Sugar Cookies
2 C. sugar
2 sticks margarine or butter, softened
2 eggs
1 C. sour cream
2 tsp. baking soda
1 rounded tsp. baking powder (Dad actually used a kitchen spoon for this)
1 tsp. salt
5 C. flour (maybe a little more if it's too sticky to roll)
1 tsp. vanilla

Cream sugar and margarine/butter. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend well. Chill overnight. Roll out on floured board to about 1/4 in. (not too thin--it helps with the softness) Cut out with your favorite cookie cutters. Bake at 325 degrees until bottoms are turning golden (not brown). Remove from oven and let them sit on cookie sheet for a minute or two. Remove to wire racks to cool completely before frosting. These also freeze well unfrosted.

We have a small paintbrush designated for brushing off the excess flour.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 stick margarine or butter, softened
1 (8 oz) box cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
4 C. powdered sugar

Cream together margarine/butter, cream cheese, and vanilla. Add powdered sugar and beat well. Add generously to sugar cookies. Cookies must be stored in the refrigerator once they are frosted.

(This is a standard cream cheese frosting that's good on cakes, bars, and other cookies.)

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