Wednesday, June 11, 2014

No-Roll Sugar Cookies

It's Flag Day this Saturday. What better way to celebrate than with some patriotic cookies?

I love sugar cookies, but I'm not a fan of rolling them and cutting them out. While these don't have exactly the same consistency as rolled cookies, they are full of flavor and just the right ratio of crunchy exterior to moist interior.

Our PEO group traditionally provides cookies for a grieving PEO sister's family so they can share a sweet treat and memories with their relatives and friends following services. Recently, I provided cookies for a PEO whose husband had served in the Vietnam War. I was glad I found both red and blue sugar in my Lazy Susan stash to give the cookies a patriotic feel. 
I left them unfrosted for the reception, but adding a simple frosting made of butter, powdered sugar, almond extract and a little milk with patriotic sprinkles further satisfies anyone's sweet tooth.
The idea of an annual day specifically celebrating the Flag is believed to have first originated in 1885. Schoolteacher B.J. Cigrand arranged for the pupils in the Fredonia (Wisconsin) Public School, District 6, to observe June 14, the 108th anniversary of the official adoption of The Stars and Stripes, as 'Flag Birthday.'

In 1914, Franklin K. Lane, Secretary of the Interior, delivered an address in which he repeated words that he said the flag had spoken to him that morning: "I am what you make me; nothing more. I swing before your eyes as a bright gleam of color, a symbol of yourself."

It was not until August 3, 1949, that President Harry S. Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14 as National Flag Day.

Hooray for the red, white and blue!

No-Roll Sugar Cookies 
Adapted from the Pratt United Methodist Church cookbook

1 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cream of tartar
Colored sugar or granulated sugar for rolling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream shortening and sugar until blended. Add eggs and almond extract; blend until thoroughly mixed. Sift together flour, soda, cream of tartar and salt. Blend flour mixture with creamed mixture. Use a cookie scoop or shape dough into walnut-sized balls. Roll in regular or colored sugar mixture. Bake in 350-degree oven on greased cookie sheet for 8 to 10 minutes. Don't overbake!

As usual, I doubled this recipe, so that I could stash some in the freezer for future use. They freeze well. 

If you prefer, you may frost the cookies with a frosting made from butter, powdered sugar, almond extract and milk. Sprinkle with holiday sprinkles, if you'd like.

Need other ideas for Flag Day or the upcoming 4th of July celebrations? Check out these links to other tried and true recipes from my County Line kitchen.