1972 Sugar Cookies

photo-feb-16-7-56-42-pmI have a boatload of cookbooks, but I have to admit, my 1972 Betty Crocker is my go-to for cookie recipes. I made these one night last week after dinner to take to work the next day. So yeah, I didn’t chill the dough for 2-3 hours like I was supposed to. I took a shortcut, and they turned out fine.

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He knows just where to hang out. Notice mixer above him and flour on his back leg.

It’s best to chill them in the fridge for the recommended time, but sometimes I just don’t have time for that! The primary purpose of chilling is so the cookies won’t spread too much when you bake them. Chilling the dough helps prevent spreading because it makes the fats in the dough solidify (so they won’t melt when they hit the oven). Anyway, I stuck the dough in the freezer while I was making the frosting and the oven was preheating. After rolling out and cutting a batch of the cookies, I wrapped the leftover portion of the dough and stick it in the fridge. I basically had a rotation of dough portions in and out of the fridge until I was finished.

If you don’t have a Betty Crocker cookbook, this recipe from their website is almost identical to the one in the book I have. The icing is the meringue buttercream from Karen’s Cookies. I used ½ tsp of almond extract instead of ¼.

I also made the powdered sugar in my Vitamix. I actually haven’t purchased powdered sugar since I bought my Vitamix. Test it to make sure it isn’t grainy. Sometimes I have to blend a bit longer.

I frosted them in different patterns. I filled some in completely, did some in a zig-zag (like the photo), and some just had an outline. People have varying degrees of like or dislike of frosting, so I wanted to have a variety since I was taking them to work.

Once the cookies were finished and the icing was solid enough not to get on stuff when it touches, I put the cookies in layers separated by wax paper in my Snapware Snap N’ Stack container with the egg trays removed. I always email my coworkers when I have baked goods available. I had a lot of repeat visitors!

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Pumpkin Bread Mini-Loaves

pumpkinmini-loavesI made these to give to coworkers for Halloween and they were a huge hit! I used canned pumpkin the first time, and homemade puree the next time I made them. If you use homemade puree, you’ll need to make sure it’s packed into the measuring cup.

Ingredients 

2 cups bread flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter softened, plus a little more for greasing pans
2 eggs
1 (15oz) can of pumpkin or equivalent of homemade pumpkin puree

Instructions

Preheat oven to 325°.  Grease 4 mini loaf pans with butter. If you’re using full loaf pans instead of minis, use two.

Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, & spices and set aside.

Beat butter & sugar until blended. Add eggs one at a time. Beat well after each addition. Continue beating until it’s light & fluffy, then beat in pumpkin.

Beat in flour gradually.

Pour batter into the loaf pans. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. You’ll need to bake longer for full sized loaves, about 60 minutes.