Thursday, March 18, 2010

Vanilla Cookies

One of the traditions my Mom used to do with us kids was to make roll out cookies for each holiday. I've never been a huge fan of her recipe, but I loved making them as a kid. She had a collection of cookie cutters for every holiday and some just for fun. Last time we visited, I exclaimed some dismay at my sister taking the Christmas ones and a book of fun activities for kids. Mom, being ever the diplomat, gave me the rest of the cookie cutters, boxing them up and shipping them to me.

Since I moved out of my parent's house, some ten years ago, I have been trying to find the perfect home made cut out cookie recipe. My brother once had a girlfriend who used to make these killer sugar cookies. When I asked for the recipe, I was surprised and delighted to find out they were from the Betty Crocker bag of Sugar Cookies. But, since having kids, I wanted to make them from scratch, not a bag. I take pride in the fact that I take the time to show my kids how to bake and cook from scratch, not just a box. I also wanted a recipe that did not have to be refrigerated, as when I want to bake, I want to do it all at once, not wait an hour or more. Maybe this is why I have not made a lot of breads, no patience for rise.

Imagine my surprise when I came across some yummy homemade cookies from my Hungarian friend. I asked for the recipe, and she obliged. Of course she had to translate the recipe from her Hungarian cookbook into English. And then I had to measure the ingredients in grams and then convert to cups for later use. But, the recipe turned out great and I am sharing it. The original recipe called for Vanilla Sugar, but I did not have any, so I substituted with real vanilla extract and I did not notice a difference in taste. These cookies are buttery, a little soft, but still have that great sugar cookie crunch and flake.

Vanilla Cut Out Cookies

2 3/4 Cups All purpose flour
2 1/2 Sticks of Butter (or 1 1/4 cups)
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
4 Egg Yolks (reserve whites to baste cookies)

Mix all ingredients together until forms a dough. Roll with flour and cut out with favorite cookie cutters. Baste with egg whites, sprinkle with sugar or sprinkles if desired. Bake 350F until golden brown.

The batch I made, I did not sprinkle with sugar or sprinkles (although maybe we should have used sprinkles, but I wanted to taste them without first). You could also frost them if desired...but that might be sugar overload.

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