Do you like sugar cookies?
October 16, 2017

Are you tired of exchanging gifts (but really, clutter) over the holidays? Would you like to excuse yourself from the madness?

When Darrell and I used to send sugar cookies to friends and family and people we did business with, word got around. Before long we were baking two hundred dozen every year.

We don’t eat sugar cookies anymore, and we stopped baking them a long time ago. But if you want to pass along a gift people will love, these cookies will be a hit. Promise!

Mix two eggs, two tablespoons milk, two tablespoons of vanilla, a half-teaspoon of baking powder, and a half-teaspoon of salt. Then mix in a cup of Crisco butter-flavored shortening, one and a half cups of sugar, and three cups of flour. You’ll want to mix it really well, obviously.

That’s your dough. Sprinkle flour liberally over your work surface, and get ready to roll the dough out. Roll it out really thin -- which is the secret. Well, that -- and lots of flour.

Bake the cookies at 350 degrees for five minutes or so, depending on the oven. You want them just a little brown around the edges. Let them cool before you try to remove them from the baking sheet. They’re delicate. The longer you let them cool before you frost them, the better. We used frosting out of a can, by the way. Not too much. Then dust them with some sugary sprinkles, but don’t start eating them yet! If you do, you won’t be able to stop -- and you won’t have any to share.

If you’re mailing them, here’s what I did. I wrapped each one in a tissue like you get from a bakery. The bakery at our local grocery store sold them to me by the box. Put two or three dozen of the individually-wrapped cookies in a zippered plastic bag. If you size the bag right for the number of cookies the little bit of air in the bag makes a nice cushion. Then wrap that bag in bubble wrap -- at least a couple of layers, if not more -- and slide it into a Priority Mail box from the post office. The boxes are sturdy, and in several years of mailing these cookies all over the country I had zero problems with breakage. And, yes. I checked in with people about that!

There you go. The perfect gift. Unless you’re conflicted about keeping people hooked on sugar. I still think it’s better than giving them something to dust. If they don’t want to indulge in sugar cookies they won’t have to look far for takers. But a tchotchke? You don’t want people to say “you shouldn’t have” -- and mean it!