Cookie Calendar: Ultimate Sugar Cookies

OK, this recipe is not the fanciest for sugar cookies out there, but if you're looking for something reliable and planning to smother the things with a thick coat of butter frosting anyway, they will certainly do the trick.

You know, Alton Brown said on the chocolate-chip cookies episode of Good Eats that butter-flavored Crisco somehow tastes more buttery than butter in cookies. It's possible. I'm betting the stuff is chock-full of diacetyl . . . let me check.

Looked it up on Netgrocer . . . no ingredients listed. But I did learn that apparently the "0 g trans fat" thing has moved into the butter-flavored line. Well, you can feel a little less guilty about eating these, unless you're still making that frosting with margarine.

Well, the Crisco web site lists ingredients, and it doesn't mention diacetyl specifically, just "natural and artificial butter flavors." I guess the jury's still out on whether taking a big whiff of hot butter-flavored Crisco every day will give you popcorn lung.

Cookie Tip #12: Be gentle with your roll-out cookie dough. The first roll of the dough will always produce the most tender cookies because subsequent kneading together and rolling of the dough will develop the gluten. Gluten equals nice, chewy bread and yucky, tough cookies. Hmm, tough cookies. Anyway, I don't believe in throwing away a ton of dough, so I always do a second rolling out. Just try not to manipulate the dough too much -- push it into the empty spaces to form a nearly flat cohesive mass again, then gently smooth out the top with the rolling pin.

Ultimate Sugar Cookies
Source: Crisco

  • 1-¼ c. sugar

  • 1-¼ c. (1 stick) butter-flavor Crisco

  • 2 eggs

  • ¼ c. light corn syrup or regular pancake syrup

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

  • 3 c. all-purpose flour

  • ¾ teaspoons baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • Decorations (your choice)

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine sugar and Crisco in large bowl. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs, syrup and vanilla. Beat until well blended and fluffy.

Combine 3 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add gradually to creamed mixture at low speed. Mix until well blended. Divide dough into four quarters. Tip: If dough is too sticky or too soft to roll: Wrap each quarter of dough with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least one hour.

Spread flour on large sheet of waxed paper. Place 1/4 of dough on floured paper. Flatten slightly with hands. Turn dough over and cover with another large sheet of waxed paper. Roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out with floured cutter. Transfer to ungreased baking sheet with large pancake turner. Place two inches apart. Sprinkle with granulated sugar or colored sugar crystals, or leave plain to frost when cooled.

Bake one baking sheet at a time at 375 degrees for 5 to 9 minutes, depending on the size of your cookies. Cool two minutes on baking sheet. Remove cookies to racks to cool completely; frost if desired.

Download Ultimate Sugar Cookies into MacGourmet.

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