Actually I don't have an Aunt Ethel although she does seem like a member of the family because I have been using her sugar cookie recipe for over thirty years. Aunt Ethel's Sugar Cookies is the tried-and-true sugar cookie recipe that I use to celebrate all occasions. Most recently I made a batch of Valentine's Sugar Cookies for a bake sale at my daughter's high school. I mixed up a batch two nights before the event, chilled the dough in the refrigerator, and then rolled out the cookies and baked them the night before my daughter needed them.
As I've stated before, I love Aunt Ethel's Sugar Cookies because they are soft and flavorful. The dough can be easily cut into any shape and then adorned with sprinkles or iced with a cream frosting. Also, these cookies can be rolled out quite thickly to create a tender and cakey texture. Happy Valentine's Day from Aunt Ethel!
Ethel's Sugar Cookies
adapted from Betty Crocker's Cooky Book (copyright 1977)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
- Mix butter, shortening, sugar, eggs, and vanilla thoroughly.
- Stir flour, baking powder, and salt together.
- Blend butter mixture and flour mixture.
- Divide dough into 2 discs. Cover each with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.
- Heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Remove dough from refrigerator and allow to sit on the counter for 15-30 minutes, depending on the temperature of your kitchen.
- On a board that has been lightly floured with a mixture of flour and confectioner's sugar, roll dough until it is 1/4 inch thick. Cut with your favorite cooky cuter.
- Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Top with colored sanding sugar, if desired.
- Bake 6 to 8 minutes, or until cookies are a delicate light golden color.
- Cool on a wire rack. If desired, decorate with Easy Cream Icing.
Makes 3-4 dozen cookies, depending on the size of the cutter
Easy Cream Icing
1 cup sifted confectioner's sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1-3 Tablespoons cream, milk or water
food coloring or icing tints
- Blend sugar, salt, and vanilla.
- Add liquid (cream, milk, or water) 1 tablespoon at at a time until icing reaches a spreadable consistency.
- Add food coloring.
- Spread on cookies with an off-set spatula.