Growing up, I always loved it when my mom made cookies for us on Valentine’s Day. It was something special that we really looked forward to each year. Sometimes she would forgo the cookies and make a heart shaped cake instead. But the cookies were always my favorite. It is a tradition I have carried on.
Here is the recipe I use that has been passed down through the years. It was my Great Grandma Allred’s recipe. It’s our very favorite.
The first thing you will need to do, and this is so you don’t forget, is to dissolve the baking soda in the COLD water. Make sure it gets all mixed in and that the mixture appears clear. I have just added it in the picture. I mixed it well before I used it. I promise.
Next, place your butter, sugar, and egg yolk in your mixing bowl. I have a Bosch Mixer, so I am choosing to use it. Great Grandma would probably say I was cheating since she mixed these by hand. Or she would be jealous of the greatness of my mixer. I hope it is the latter.
Beat the butter, sugar, and egg yolk until light and fluffy.
Now add in all of the rest of the ingredients except the flour.
Add 2 Cups of the flour and gently mix until just combined so the flour doesn’t go everywhere.
Now beat the dough for a few minutes until it is nice and smooth. Add in 2 more cups of flour and slowly combine it, again so the flour doesn’t fly everywhere. Now knead the dough for 5 minutes. Grandma always did this by hand. I did it this way growing up. But since I have such a fine kitchen slave in my mixer, I just let it knead it for the 5 minutes. Grandma always said that the kneading is very important and this is what makes them so good. I believe her.
Now it is time to roll out the dough. I have a dough mat that I use for pie crusts and cookies that I roll out. It is fabulous and I highly recommend getting one if you don’t have one. You can use up every little bit of dough without adding in too much flour and making them tough. If you don’t have a mat like mine, then lightly flour your table or working space and roll out your dough. You want it thin, but not too thin. I use half of the dough at a time.
Now cut out your cookies.
Since I use my mat, the cookies lift right off with ease. And then I just combine the scraps and roll the dough out again, repeating until I am finished with all of the dough. Place your cut out cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Now lightly sprinkle the cookies with a little sugar before you bake them.
Bake the cookies at 350* F for 8-12 minutes. Cookies should not turn brown or they will be overdone and be crunchy. In my oven, it takes exactly 10 minutes for perfectly soft sugar cookies. Cook the baked cookies on a cooling rack.
Now frost with your favorite icing and decorate as desired. I just used my favorite buttercream and some sprinkles this time. They are also just plain good without any frosting if you so choose. Enjoy!
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 1/4 lb Butter (1 stick)
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 1/2 tsp Lemon Extract or Lemon Peel
- 1 Level tsp Baking Soda (dissolved in 3/4 Cup COLD Water)
- 4 to 5 Cups Flour
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- Cream butter, sugar and egg until light and fluffy.
- Mix in the rest of the ingredients, using only 2 cups of the flour. Mix until smooth.
- Add in 2 more cups of flour. If needed, mix in enough of the remaining flour to make a dough that doesn’t stick to sides of bowl. Knead dough for 5 minutes. (This is what makes them good.)
- Roll out and bake in 350* F oven for 8-12 minutes.
- Grandma always sprinkled a little sugar on them before baking.
- Decorate cookies when cool. Enjoy!