Searching for the perfect Pareve Sugar Cookie recipe a few weeks ago, I found a bunch of references online to a now-defunct blog post (if you click the link, you will probably get a message telling you just how defunct) explaining how you could create your own sugar cookie mix in bulk.
Intrigued, I tracked down an old cached copy of the post, with the recipe, and stashed it off-line for safekeeping. And yes, it uses shortening, and if you don’t want to use shortening, then don’t. Sometimes, you kind of have to. I use Butter-flavoured Crisco now that it’s pareve again here.
Here’s the recipe – shamelessly reposted word-for-word as a service to you, my beloved readers:
Sugar Cookies for the YEAR!
Warning: This makes a LOT of sugar cookie mix.
We store it in freezer zip lock bags, pre-measured and ready-to-go at any time. (see below)
12 cups all-purpose flour
6 cups sugar
2 Tablespoons baking powder
1 Tablespoon salt
4 cups shortening (I like to use the butter-flavored kind)
In a LARGE bowl, combine the first 4 ingredients. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles fine crumbs.
**This is your cookie base mix that you can freeze. I freeze 2 cups in Ziplock quart size freezer bags. On the bag, I write: “Add 1 egg and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Bake 375 for 8 minutes.” Really easy to just pull out of the freezer and a child can really make these easily on their own. I got 6 ziplock bags and 5 more batches that we made today.
Directions for sugar cookies:
You will need 2 cups of the cookie base mix, 1 egg, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. (If the dough is still a little dry, you can add a wee bit of water, but you want the dough to be a texture that can be rolled out.)
Combine the cookie base, egg and teaspoon vanilla extract. Using your hands, mix together to form a nice dough. Roll dough to 1/8 inch thick. Using cookie cutters, cut the dough and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375° F for about 8 minutes or until a very light brown. Cool on wire rack. You can decorate with icing and sprinkles. Have fun! Makes about 2 dozen but depends on size of your cookie cutter shapes.
If you don’t have cookie cutters, you can get creative and use the edge of a drinking glass and make nice round sugar cookies.
Another Option is to use the dough to make Cherry - Almond Drops!
Combine 2 cups cookie base mix, 1 egg, and 1/2 teaspoon Almond extract. Add 1/2 cup chopped almonds and 1/4 cup finely chopped maraschino cherries. Drop from teaspoon onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375° F for 8 - 10 minutes or just till edges are lightly browned. Cool on rack. Makes about 2 dozen.
The only catch is that I decided to do it – for quickness’ and laziness’ sake – in my food processor. But even in a big food processor, I could only do half a batch at a time, and even then, it was VERY crowded and would barely mix properly. Anyway, a half-recipe made about 4 2-cup baggies for the freezer, plus one batch I made right away. Not exactly enough for a YEAR, but perhaps for a few months if you don’t overdo things.
I made a batch of plain vanilla sugar cookies for Shabbos, cut out in loose magen david shapes and sprinkled with sugar, and they were quite well-received. I bake them a bit longer than the directions suggest, because we like them crunchy, almost brown but not quite.
Tonight, I pulled out one of the frozen freezer baggies, threw it in back ye olde food processor and tossed in an egg and – instead of the vanilla – a teaspoon of Red Velvet Emulsion to attempt “red velvet cookies,” similar to ones I saw at WalMart the other day. (yeah, yeah, not all my foodie ambitions are all that highbrow…)
A food processor is not strictly necessary to mix up the frozen baggies of “cookie mix,” but I was in a hurry and didn’t want to either a) wait for the mix to thaw slightly or b) get my hands dirty (okay, I know – it’s not dirt, it’s FOOD; that’s what I tell my kids, anyway). For Shabbos, I just stirred it in a bowl, and that worked fine, too.
The Red Velvet colouring/emulsion came about after Shoshana at Couldn’t be Parve mentioned that she uses Lorann’s Buttery Sweet Dough Bakery Emulsion. Naturally, I had to buy some, and I found a localish kitchen place that not only sold it but took paypal (I paid online, then picked up in person). And while I was on their website, I had to pick up the Princess Cake/Cookie Emulsion AND… this bottle of Red Velvet emulsion:
It is a scary, dark blood-red colour – almost black – when it comes out, with a gel-like texture completely unlike any food colouring I’d ever known. Also, it’s not just colouring – it has a distinctive reddish velvety cake-ish flavour which you might or might not like.
So there you have it… Red Velvet Cookies and your very own pareve freezer cookie mix. What I’d love is an oil-based sugar cookie recipe, but I suspect there’s no such thing. At some point, you really need that solid fat as a base.
If you wanted to be totally decadent, you could probably mix up this same mixture using butter as the fat… but my food processor is pareve, so I’d have to do that by hand. And while I’m making dairy cookies by hand, I’d probably pull out the mixer and cream the butter with the sugar – the old-fashioned way.
So… what’s your go-to pareve cookie recipe???