Lentz Sugar Cookies

I have made many sugar cookies. This remains my favorite.

You can frost these, but to be honest I have always preferred them plain.

Why “Lentz”, you ask?  That’s the family we got the recipe from, way back in the before time.  My grandmother used to make these recipes with her friends in Pennsylvania, and the Lentz family is where it originated from.  Did they get it from the back of a box of margarine?  The origin is lost to time at this point.

This is not a forgiving recipe, I’m afraid.  It requires a Kitchenaid.  It requires an overnight rest.  It requires either a silicon mat for rolling or a bunch of wax/parchment/freezer paper. It requires an unholy mess of flour and dough scraps everywhere.  If the dough comes out too stiff, you are, unfortunately, somewhat up the creek.  It’s going to crack and be unmanageable.  If the dough comes out too wet, though, no sweat.  Just use a lot of flour while you roll, and it’ll pick it up as you go and get easier and easier.

But the cookies it makes are some of my favorite.  Not too sweet.  Fluffy and tender, but not cake-soft like a Lofthouse.  They bake up pale with a golden underbelly.  They frost nice.  They keep forever.  They are perfect with coffee.

Will they win awards?  No.  They are our family favorite, though, and maybe they’ll be yours, too.

Lentz Sugar Cookies
Print Recipe
I shudder to write this but: use margarine. Someday I need to figure out how to make this recipe work with butter, but for now, due to chemical reasons I don't quite understand, butter just doesn't work the same. So, use margarine, and hope at some point I get the time to figure out why. This recipe is by weight. I imagine if you have bought a Kitchenaid, you have a scale, too, because you're a baker. Bake by weight. Thank me later.
Servings
6 dozen
Passive Time
12 hours
Servings
6 dozen
Passive Time
12 hours
Lentz Sugar Cookies
Print Recipe
I shudder to write this but: use margarine. Someday I need to figure out how to make this recipe work with butter, but for now, due to chemical reasons I don't quite understand, butter just doesn't work the same. So, use margarine, and hope at some point I get the time to figure out why. This recipe is by weight. I imagine if you have bought a Kitchenaid, you have a scale, too, because you're a baker. Bake by weight. Thank me later.
Servings
6 dozen
Passive Time
12 hours
Servings
6 dozen
Passive Time
12 hours
Ingredients
Servings: dozen
Instructions
  1. Unless you have arms of steel, you need a heavy duty mixer for this. Combine the sugar, margarine, egg, vanilla extract, and salt on slow to medium speed using the paddle attachment. Whip for about 5 minutes on medium, or until the mixture is pale and the sugar is well incorporated. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cream of tartar, and baking soda.
  2. Working in batches at slow speed, add the flour and buttermilk. When everything is incorporated, you'll either have a soft dough ball, or a nice wet batter-dough -- pop whatever you get in the fridge to rest overnight. Don't skimp on this step. The dough needs to hydrate, so you need to let it rest at least 8 hours.
  3. Before you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line some cookie sheets with parchment paper and set up your cooling racks.
  4. On floured counter, roll out small balls to 1/4 inch thickness. If your dough came out wet, then be ultra generous with the flour. Otherwise, just flour a little. Use cookie cutters to stamp out shapes.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes. Do not brown. Cookies will be set but pale.
  6. Frost with whatever frosting you like. In our family, it’s powdered sugar plus milk/cream and/or butter. We try to keep it as plain as possible to let the simplicity of this cookie shine through.
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