Monday, March 06, 2006

Classic Sugar Cookies

I have a perfectly good sugar cookie recipe that I have used literally for years. Nonetheless, when I saw this sugar cookie recipe in a magazine, I had to try it out. My recipe uses a combination of almond extract and vanilla extract. This one uses only vanilla extract. My recipe calls for confectioner's sugar. This one calls for regular sugar. It's supposed to be for Christmas cookies but I used it for St. Patrick's Day.
I had problems with it right from the start. I looked and looked and looked but couldn't find a shamrock cookie cutter anywhere. So I used my scalloped edge round cookie cutter and green sugar. I took the recipe writer at their word and refrigerated the dough overnight. It fit my schedule better than 4 hours. Big mistake! The dough came out of the refrigerator rock hard. I had to let it warm up to room temperature before I could roll it out thereby defeating the entire purpose of refrigerating it.
Baking the cookies was also a problem. I know from prior recipes that my oven temperature is accurate so I baked the first batch of cookies for 12 minutes. They came out too brown. I baked the second batch for 11 minutes. Still too brown. The third batch baked for only 10 minutes and they still came out brown. The texture was also off. The edges were crispy and the centers chewy. I just didn't care for these cookies. BUT . . . I brought them to a committee meeting and they were a big hit. So it's a split decision.
Verdict: (Me) Not bad, but I don't think I'll be making these again.
(Committee Members) Yum! This one's a keeper.
Classic Sugar Cookies
(Source: Family Circle Magazine, December 2005)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Red and pink decorating sugar

1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

2. In a second large bowl, beat butter and sugar until smooth, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla. On low speed, beat in flour mixture until just combined.

3. Gather dough; divide in half. Form each half into a disk. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 4 hours or as long as overnight.

4. Heat oven to 350F. Roll out one dough disk to 3/16- to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into stars using a 2-inch star cookie cutter. Place on ungreased baking sheets; sprinkle with decorating sugar, and bake at 350F for 10 to 12 minutes until light golden around edges. Remove from baking sheets; cool on wire rack. Repeat with remaining half of dough. Gather scraps and refrigerate. Re-roll and cut into stars. Bake as directed. When completely cool, store in airtight containers for up to 2 weeks.

Makes: 3 1/2 dozen cookies

Recycle: vanilla extract bottle

Compost: eggshell

No comments: