Monday, December 06, 2010

The Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies - Old Time Sugar Cookies

This recipe is an original cookie recipe that my mom claimed.  I remember her making these cookies throughout my entire childhood. Eventually letting me help frost them, and finally help with the cut outs.  She had reindeer, star, Santa, wreath, and all manner of cookie cutters which I stupidly sold during a "get rid of everything" move.  Bad mistake.  Bad move.

For the "shortening" in the recipe, she calls for Spry.  (Do they still make it?  Who knows?) Crisco will work just fine, and it's not full of trans fats anymore.  The cookies are so crisp you won't believe it, with a flavor that brings Christmas back to me like Proust's Madeline.
My recipe is yellowed and spotted with "ingredients."  Looks like vanilla.  As far as I know, this recipe has never been published before.

Earla Hess Travis in the twenties.  Maybe taken in Hesston (!) KS

Old Time Sugar Cookies


1//2 cup Crisco shortening or Spry if you can find it
1/2  t. salt
1/2 t. grated lemon rind
1/2 t. cinnamon or nutmeg (Mom always used cinnamon)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 T. orange and lemon juices, mixed
1 cups sifted flour 
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda


Blend shortening, salt, lemon rind and cinnamon.  Add sugar gradually and cream well.  Add eggs and orange and lemon juices and mix. 
Sift flour with baking powder and soda.  Add to the creamed mixture, blending well.  
Chill dough in refrigerator.  Chill cookie sheets to keep cookies from spreading.
Roll dough thin (don't roll too much dough at one time) and cut with cookie cutters. 
Bake in a moderate oven from 350 to 375 degrees F. for ten minutes. 
Watch carefully and don't let the cookies get too brown,

Make about 8 dozen

Frost with an icing made from powdered sugar and water (a few drops of lemon juice are not amiss), divide, and add food colorings of your choice is baking for holidays.  

Note:  a small "t" always denotes a teaspoon, a large "T" denotes a tablespoon.  

Arranged on a plate, this are beautiful and so tasty.  Kids love them.  With a glass of milk, they make a wonderful treat for Santa on his Christmas eve rounds. 

My gift to you.


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