Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sugar Cookies

In general, I don't much care for cookies. There are a few exceptions, though. I do like chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal cookies every now and then; those cookies are easy enough to make. It's the labor-intensive cookies I cannot stand. I won't decorate sugar cookies for Christmas or any other holiday; I've done it once, I don't need to do it again. It's not that I mind decorating cookies, really, but I draw the line at icing. I believe cookies shouldn't need it.
Chewy sugar cookies like these are just about the easiest cookies I've made. They are as simple as a slice and bake cookie, but taste less fake and more like butter, which they say makes everything better. The slightly crisp sugar coated edges of these cookies was born of necessity, rather than vanity. The dough is sticky and it just wouldn't let go of the parchment paper, a problem solved by a quick roll in sugar. All things considered, these are pretty good cookies for any baker feeling less than ambitious.

Chewy Sugar Cookies

With a fork, combine the  flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium sized bowl.
 In the bowl of a standing mixer, or just a regular bowl with a hand-held mixer at the ready, combine the sugar and butter and beat until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs and vanilla, beat until combined. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until combined again, but try not to over mix.
Divide the dough in half and form into logs on parchment paper. It will be sticky, but it will all work out fine.
Sprinkle some sugar over the top of the dough and lightly press to adhere. Roll up the logs and store in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or a week, depending on when you plan to eat the cookies.
Remove from the fridge and slice into half inch thick rounds.
Place on a lined cookie sheet and bake until set, if they become too golden they are probably no longer chewy.

Chewy Sugar Cookies

For the dough:
2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
14 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs

For the edges:
about 5 tablespoons sugar

With a fork, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, beat until incorporated. Slowly add flour mixture and mix only until combined, do not over mix. Turn dough out onto parchment paper and divide in two. Shape each half into a log and sprinkle the edges with sugar, pressing lightly to adhere. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to a week. 15 minutes before you plan to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove dough logs from refrigerator and slice into half inch rounds. Arrange on a lined cookie sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the cookies are just set and not very golden. Let the cookies cool and enjoy!