Swim camp got in the way this week’s riding lesson, so today we are going for a Saturday make-up. Since our instructor was nice enough to reschedule the lesson, I decided to make her some sugar cookies.
Here’s a close-up of the crisp sugar cookies. Usually, the recipe is double what I have below, but I didn’t need that many cookies, so I halved it to make about 3 dozen.
Just for kicks, I used European Style regular (salted) butter. You don’t have to spring for European Style butter, but given the results, I’d do it again. As for salted vs. unsalted butter, I realize most professional bakers (and home cooks who read a lot about baking) use unsalted, but this is an old recipe and it calls for regular salted butter. If you need to use unsalted, you should probably increase the salt a bit to get the same flavor. See note below.
Crisp Sugar Cookies
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons European style butter, room temperature – or just use regular butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon each – vanilla and fresh lemon juice
1 pinch nutmeg
1 large egg
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Sift together flour, soda and cream of tartar. Stir in the salt. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, beat butter, oil, and both sugars until creamy. Beat in vanilla, lemon juice and nutmeg. Beat in egg.
With a mixing spoon, stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture until well mixed.
Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls (or a #70 scoop!) onto a baking sheet lined with parchment, a Silpat or Reynolds Release foil. Dip bottom of a flat glass in sugar and press cookies down to make circles. Bake for 12 minutes or until edges or nicely browned.
This makes about 3 dozen cookies
**Older recipes don’t usually specify “unsalted” butter, especially if the recipe is from a women’s auxiliary book or some sort of private collection. Also, many people use to use margarine, which is salted. So whatever fat was getting used probably had salt. If I come across an older recipe that calls for “butter”, I use salted or I use unsalted and add a bit of salt to the recipe. Different brands of butter have different amounts of salt, but the rule of thumb is about 3/8 teaspoon of salt for every stick of butter. I’m a bit more conservative and tend to use 1/4 teaspoon of salt per stick of unsalted butter (when I’m subbing unsalted for salted).