Very crisp and fragile, these are melt-in-your mouth sugar cookies…
1 lb. unsalted butter (2 cups, or roughly 470 grams if using weight on Filipino butter bars)
1/4 cup Crisco or white vegetable shortening
3/4 lb. white granulated sugar (1 and 2/3 cups)
1/2 lb. confectioners sugar (1 cup)
3 extra large eggyolks (3 tbsp)
1 tbsp. real vanilla extract
2 tbsp. grated lemon rind
1 tsp. fine salt
4 cups unsifted bleached all-purpose flour
1 cup unsifted regular cake flour (not self-rising)
(For sturdier cookies add about 1/4 cup all-purpose flour)
You will need roughly 1/4 cup of colored sprinkles, if using.
This can be made without a mixer. Cut the butter into large cubes and put into a five quart bowl for 5 minutes to soften a bit. Add crisco and sugars and mix for 1 minute. Add eggyolks, vanilla and lemon zest and salt and mix for another minute. Sift the flours together and add to the butter mixture, only until just incorporated, do not over mix. Divide the dough into 3 portions, flatten into thick discs and sprinkle each with 1 tsp flour and chill for 5 minutes. Cut 6 pieces of wax paper the size of your cookie sheet. Roll each portion of dough between two pieces of wax paper until about 3/16th or 1/4 inch thick for sturdier cookies. Peel off and adjust the paper if you get wrinkles. This is the easiest way to avoid adding too much flour. Lift your rolling pin before you get to the edge of the dough. Do not remove your wax paper when done rolling, then stack your rolled dough and place it in the fridge (flat in a pan) for 1 hour or 30 minutes in the freezer. The dough will get very stiff and make it very easy to cut out shapes. Take one sheet of dough at a time, peel of the top sheet, replace, turn over and remove the other sheet. dip your cookie cutter in flour, shake off the excess and cut cookies close to each other. It will be very easy to remove and transfer to line cold cookie sheet if you move quickly before the dough gets too soft again. Place on parchment paper or thin foil lined cookie sheets, roughly 1.5 inches apart. Sprinkle with colored sugar. Try to put only one shape or pattern per pan, so it will cook more evenly. Bake on the midle rack in a pre-heated 350F oven for 12-14 minutes until edges are golden brown. Do not underbake. Cool for 10 minutes and then use a pie spatula to remove to racks to cool completely. They are very fragile. Save all the scraps in a bag and re-roll only once more between more sheets of wax paper, rechill. After that round of cookies, use the scraps to make balls, and press down with bottom of a glass. makes approximately 50+ cookies. Stack same shapes 3 deep and wrap in wax paper, store in air tight tins. Keeps for 2-3 weeks.
(Marketman’s notes for readers based in the Philippines: Buy the best butter you can find, the more expensive Australian or New Zealand butters seem to have a lower water content compared to local brands. Local granulated sugar seems to be a much coarser grind than western sugars, so use caster sugar or our regular sugar and blitz it in a food processor first. Our often extremely humid weather has a habit of turning baked cookies soft and damp, be aware of this. Finally, if you have a really hot kitchen, or are in a foul mood, your dough might melt too fast…)
Recipe by Sister. Photo by Nephew.