The following “Chew This!” column originally appeared in “The Courier-Times” and / or “The Shelbyville News”. Check their websites for further information and dates.
New Year, Old Memories
It is a New Year and as I look ahead to what the New Year holds, my mind immediately replays the past with old memories and things that have gotten me to where I am today. That includes both the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly. One of my favorite things to do when looking back on previous years, is to see where different recipes are today and try to trace them back to where they first started. The recipe I am sharing today with everyone is the perfect example. My Grandma Deloris and Grandpa Max would, every Holiday, make their frosted sugar cookies with my brother Damon and me. It was almost a sure thing, that every Holiday, the cookies I am sharing with you here today, would be made in some form or another.Back when this recipe was a rolled-out cookie version, duringChristmas time, the cookies would be in the shapes of trees and bells. Valentines Day would be hearts of course, followed by four leaf clovers of St. Patrick’s Day, Easter shapes and on and on. The recipe has been since updated to “roll cookies” and then decorated with each Holiday using the appropriate sprinkles.
Stirring up and making these cookies are still a memory that I think about every Holiday, even though the tradition of making these cookies with them are many years gone. The secret here to these is the butter flavored Crisco shortening. If you are afraid to use shortening and would rather use butter, simply skip this recipe. The final results will be no where near what you are looking for. The vegetable shortening in this recipe gives the cookies their overall chew, cracked appearance and butter flavor. The frosting is a “secret” recipe all by itself. The addition of the pure almond extract really adds a pop to the overall flavor of these cookies. You could, depending on your tastes, add a little lime, lemon or orange juice to the frosting to create another unique flavor that always compliments sugar cookies. I hope you will make these cookies each Holiday, throughout this New Year, and make plenty of memories yourself.
Classic Sugar Cookies with Frosting
You can change the color of this frosting by adding some type of food dye, either liquid, gel or powdered.
For the cookies…
1 cup butter flavored Crisco shortening
1 cup white granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups white all-purpose flour
For the frosting…
1/3 cup unsalted butter, soft
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees F.
Line several large baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl cream together the butter flavored Crisco shortening with the white granulated sugar until smooth and creamy.
Beat in the large egg, milk and pure vanilla extract until combined.
Beat in the baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Beat in the white all-purpose flour.
Roll dough into large tablespoon size balls and place 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake, one sheet at a time, in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
Remove and flatten with the bottom of a sugared glass.
Place back into the oven and bake for another 5 minutes.
Remove and cool.
Once cooled, frost with frosting.
To make frosting beat together the soft unsalted butter with the powdered sugar, whole milk, pure vanilla extract and pure almond extract in a large bowl until smooth and creamy.
Ask and Answer: Some of you have been writing in about the peanut butter fudge recipe that seems to be blowing up on Facebook, calling for a jar of vanilla frosting and a jar of peanut butter, mixed together and melted in the microwave, then poured into a pan and chilled. This fudge recipe is simple and delicious,but I recommend not letting it chill for too long in the refrigerator because the fudge will turn hard and after that, there is no going back.