Monday, July 09, 2012

Nazareth Sugar Cookies

Now that the fireworks are over, we wait for Labor Day, the one day dedicated to our working class who march to the beat of an alarm clock and a time clock.

Every day dedicates itself to one thing, and July 9th targets the Sugar Cookie.  Yup, it's National Sugar Cookie Day.  Man alive,what I'd give for a plate of sugar cookies to dunk in my coffee.  I'm a dunker from way back.  Sometimes when I dunk my cookie, half of it soaks off and falls into my coffee.  Then I use a spoon to scoop out the mushy cookie to eat it.  It's part of the dunking ritual.

In the 1700s, German Protestant settlers near Nazareth, Pennsylvania, created a round, crumbly, buttery cookie that came to be known as the......

Nazareth Sugar Cookie
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1-1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2-1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  1. Butter should be soft but not melted.  1 to 2 hours at room temperature should suffice.
  2. Using a pastry cutter or a fork, cream the butter and sugar until the mixture reaches a uniform consistency and the butter is the size of small pebbles.  Add the eggs and continue mixing.  This will help combine any remaining butter.
  3. Combine dry ingredients and add to egg, butter, and sugar mixture.  Mix well until all ingredients are combined into consistent dough.
  4. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 1 hour.  Dough should be firm and cool.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  6. On floured surface, roll dough to 1/8 inch thickness.  (also flour the rolling pin)  Cut into shapes using cookie cutters or biscuit cutter.  Continue reshaping the dough left from each cutting until all the dough is used up.
  7. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with colored sugar if desired.  Bake 7 to 10 minutes until cookie edges are firm and bottom is lightly brown.
  8. Cool, decorate, and enjoy.
Mixed in with these old recipes is a cup of baker's reverence.  It's like passing a torch, only in this case it's passing a plate of sugar cookies from one generation to the next.

Keeping One Eye Open