Friday, December 11, 2009

Honey Cookies

I've been making Honey Cookies since ... well since ever! I can remember making these when I was very young and covering them with frosting and then sprinkles of every shape, size and color. My favorite were the little silver balls.

Although I still have some of the cookie cutters I used as a kid, I prefer nice tall ones so I can make a thicker cookie.

This recipe comes from an OLD Betty Crocker cookbook that my mom got as a wedding present in 1963. There is no copyright info and many of the pages have evidence of use and notes of changes penciled in the margins.

Merry Christmas Cookies
1/3 cup soft shortening
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
2/3 cup honey
1tsp lemon flavoring
2 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Mix shortening, sugar, egg, honey and flavoring thoroughly. Measure flour by dip-level-pour method or by sifting. Blend flour, soda and salt: stir in. Chill dough. Heat oven to 375. Roll dough 1/4 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes. Place 1 inch apart on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes. When cool, ice and decorate as desired.

Now for the recipe I use! As many of you know, I just cannot leave a good recipe unchanged!

Honey Cookies
1/3 cup butter, NEVER EVER margarine
1/3 cup sugar (I have used as little as 1/4 cup)
1 egg
2/3 cup honey
1 tsp good vanilla flavor
2 3/4 - 3 cups flour - more makes softer cookies
1 tsp soda

Mix the sugar and butter until creamed. Add egg and mix. Pour in honey and scrape every last drop with a spatula. Mix well and add vanilla. Add the baking soda and slowly add the flour. Mix until very stiff dough forms. Chill at least and hour. Over night is much much better so the dough is very firm. Preheat your oven to 350. Dust your work surface with plenty of flour as this dough gets sticky when it gets warm. Roll out dough at least 1/4 inch thick. Dip cookie cutters into flour and cut. These cookies don't spread much but I still bake no more than 12 per sheet usually fewer to ensure even cooking. I add colored sugar to the tops now since I don't like to frost. Since they are made with honey that will affect the color of the dough and it will be darker and more flavorful than sugar cookies. Bake 8 minutes not 10. Let them cool on the sheet for a couple of minutes before removing to a wire rack.
Although the honey, in theory, will makes these cookies remain soft for longer periods than say... sugar cookies, I would know. They are always gone before any real testing could occur.


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