Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sugar Cookies and a Great Dinner

The second cookie this season is the basic sugar cookie. I modified a sour cream filled cookie recipe to use for my sugar cookies and they turned out great. These cookies can be rolled out as thick or thin as you like and they stay soft days. This is an old family recipe so there are no flour measurements...this is all by feel.

Sugar Cookies
2 c sugar
1 c sour cream
1/2 c softened butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Cream sugar and butter. Add egg, vanilla, and sour cream to mixture. Combine dry ingredients with 1 cup flour. Slowly add dry mixture to wet. Add flour 1/2 cup at a time until mixture pulls away from the sides of the bowl. It should be very soft but not too sticky. I often stop slightly before it is ready just to make sure I don't overbeat the dough. Then I flour the counter, turn out the dough, and slightly knead in a little more flour until the dough isn't too sticky. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours. Then roll out as you would normally. Bake at 350 until edges just begin to turn color.

I also wanted to mention the yummy dinner we had last night. I usually hate deep/shallow frying anything because of the mess it makes, but last night I tackled fried chicken. I made a couple alterations to make it extremely easy. First of all, I only used drumsticks for a couple of reasons...the pieces are all the same size so the cooking time is the same for everything, they cook very quickly, and they are kid friendly. The second thing I did was to fry them in batches and finish them off in the oven. This way I could quickly fry them and clean up the mess before we even sat down to eat. This was a very basic flour, salt, and pepper coating but it was very tasty and very crisp. We enjoyed it with some mashed potatoes and some garden green beans from the freezer. All were winners last night. Just take a look at my little potato masher for evidence!

Easy Fried Chicken
2 lbs chicken drumsticks
2 c buttermilk
1 1/2 cups flour
1 T salt
1 T pepper
peanut oil

Bring 2-3 inches of oil up to 360 degrees in a high-sided pot. Meanwhile soak chicken legs in buttermilk for 5-10 minutes (if you have time you could soak them overnight for even more flavor). When oil comes to temp., coat drumsticks in flour, salt, and pepper mixture. Fry 2-3 pieces at a time for 3 minutes on each side and then transfer to a lined baking sheet and place in the oven. Fry remaining batches and finish off in the oven. This should take about 20 minutes.

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