Saturday, February 16, 2013

Grandma's Sugar Cookies... with Lemon and Nutmeg


For my sweet boys, I decided to make some sweet treats for Valentine's Day.  I had intended to make some of my husband's favorite sugar cookies around Christmastime but never got to it.  So for Valentine's Day, I thought I'd surprise him with heart shaped sugar cookies. 

Wouldn't you know... I don't have a heart shaped cookie cutter... I have a football, a snowflake, a pig, every Halloween and Christmas shape you can imagine... and from a deck of cards... a spade, a diamond, and a club... but no HEART!

I settled on mittens.  These photos don't do these cookies justice.  I do like the look of fancy icing on sugar cookies but my husband likes them best with colored sugar sprinkled on top.  I got the recipe from my husband's aunt who lives in Southern Illinois.  The recipe comes from my husband's grandma on his dad's side.  The are really great cookies.  The dough is beautiful to work with and the flavors are great!

Grandma's Sugar Cookies
Handwritten recipe and instructions from Aunt Jeanette

1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel from a fresh lemon (about the zest of 1 lemon)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated if you have it)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs beaten
2 tablespoon milk
2 1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour (I used unbleached)
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Blend sugar, butter, salt, lemon rind, and nutmeg together and cream well.  Add beaten eggs and milk and mix well.  Mix flour, baking powder, and soda together; add to the cream mixture.  The amount of flour may vary, mix and put in refrigerator till well chilled, so that you make cut these in different shapes.  Bake 325 degrees about 10 to 12 minutes.

It used to drive me nuts that some of the recipes from my husband's grandma came with imprecise measurements.  Her German Anise Molasses Cookie recipes calls for "1/2 a juice glass of whiskey". 

For these cookies, I measured the flour by carefully spooning the flour into the measuring cups and sweeping level with the back of a knife. I started with 2 1/2 cups of flour but the dough seemed quite wet so I added in about 2 more tablespoons of flour.  I refrigerated the dough in two disks wrapped in plastic wrap so the dough would cool more quickly.  I even threw it in the freezer for a few minutes... I was in a hurry! To roll the dough out, I sprinked flour on a tea towel and used that as my work surface.  I find I like the thicker cookies better than the thinner cookies.  If you give this recipe a try, I would love to hear about it!

Great mitten shape, huh? 
I have stocking cap cookie cutter to match.

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