Soft Halloween Sugar Cookies

When it comes to Halloween and Halloween treats there are many things that I like…to the point that I try not to buy too much candy before the actual holiday because chocolate taunts me, it does!  However, there is also a special place in my heart for homemade treats and soft sugar cookies come in near the top of that list.

This year, in particular, I experienced a lot of sugar cookies at various events, but none of them were quite what I wanted.  In my brain perfect cut out sugar cookies are puffy, soft and chewy and stay that way for about a week.  Top them with a creamy buttercream icing and it’s just about perfection.  Now, in the past making these cookies was a matter of cooking just enough to feed the hordes without many leftovers because even frozen they really dry out quickly.  Enter our favorite starch for all seasons, Ultra Gel.  When Ultra Gel is added to my sugar cookie recipe it goes from one level of yummy to a week’s worth of yummy with extras put in the freezer for Christmas.  Yes…we’re going to have Christmas pumpkins and ghosts…somehow…  I’ll make it work.

So here’s my favorite cut out sugar cookie recipe.  As it puffs so nicely it is NOT a good choice for those cute cookie cutters that press in all kinds of details, but it does well for block shapes and the cookie tastes fantastic whether alone or with the addition of icing.

soft cut out cookies

Ultra Gel Soft Sugar Cookies

1/2 cup shortening

1/2 cup butter

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 tbl vanilla

1 tsp lemon zest

2 tsp lemon juice

1/2 cup Ultra Gel

1 cup lite sour cream

5 cups flour

1 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

Cream together shortening, butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add eggs, lemon and vanilla and beat until light.  Mix in Ultra Gel.  Add 1/2 cup of the sour cream, then 4 cups of flour and other dry ingredients.  Mix well, then add remaining sour cream and additional flour to make a soft dough.  Let stand for 5 minutes.  Roll out 1/4″ thick and cut into shapes.  Bake for 8-10 minutes at 375 until edges are barely browned.  Frost or devour plain.  If desired package in freezer bags, press out as much air as possible and freeze for upto 3 months.

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