Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Balanced Diet is a Cookie in Each Hand

Happy National Sugar Cookie Day! I'm going to admit something that I know will appall alot of people out there, but sugar cookies are not my all time favorite cookies. That honor goes to a coconut sandwich cookie filled with marshmallow and raspberry jam, but I will admit that when it comes to sheer versatility for design and being able to create a theme around cookies, there is nothing that beats a sugar cookie!

So, here is a recipe that I've borrowed from the Food Network and one of my favorite chefs there - Alton Brown - the chemist of cookery. For those of you who have never watched his show, I happen to enjoy the fact that he loves to discuss the actual chemical changes that occur during food preparation and cooking. Such a different slant from the usual cooking show fare!

Ooops, before the recipe, here are a couple tips that I've learned over the years.

  • If you do a lot of rolled dough cookie making, invest in rolling pin rings - they're simple rings that slide over the ends of your rolling pin, holding the rolling pin at the perfect height for whatever you're rolling out, allowing your cookies to have a perfectly uniform thickness
  • Parchment paper is a baker's best friend. It protects your cookie sheets, is moisture and grease resistant and the cookies practically slide off of it. Simply cut (or fold) a piece of parchment paper to fit your cookie sheet (or cake or brownie pan) and you'll have a liner that keeps cookies from sticking, can be easily lifted off the pan (great if you need to transfer cookies that haven't cooled quite enough), and will last through a few trips to the oven if you're making a mega batch of cookies!
  • Using powdered sugar instead of flour to roll out your dough will leave your cookie dough less tough and definitely a little sweeter. Be sure that your oven temperature is accurate though, because the extra sugar can cause the cookies to brown a bit faster.
  • When baking rolled and cut sugar cookies, place cookies of the same approximate size and thickness on the same sheet. This will assure that those smaller cookies aren't overdone while the large ones are undercooked!
  • For softer cookies, experiment with mixing shortening and butter instead of using all butter.
Okie dokie - here's the recipe... enjoy!!!

Sugar Cookies a la Alton Brown

3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon milk
Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric stand mixer and beat until light in color. Add egg and milk and beat to combine. Put mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl. Divide the dough in half, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with powdered sugar. Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator at a time, sprinkle rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Move the dough around and check underneath frequently to make sure it is not sticking. If dough has warmed during rolling, place cold cookie sheet on top for 10 minutes to chill. Cut into desired shape, place at least 1-inch apart on greased baking sheet, parchment, or silicone baking mat, and bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking time. Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes after removal from oven and then move to complete cooling on wire rack. Serve as is or ice as desired. Store in airtight container for up to 1 week.

In addition to all of the other wonderful things that are available on Etsy, be sure to check out the many wonderful baked goods shops there as well. From delicious drop cookies to beautifully decorated sugar cookies like the ones you see here, you can be sure that the cookies you purchase are made with the finest ingredients, plus that extra special pinch of love! The cookies that are making their appearance in this article are just a few of the wonderful sugar cookies available at sugarandflour on Etsy. Pastry chef and mom, Karen specializes in sugar cookies, although you may occasionally find a few other cookie treats in her shop as well! Why not treat yourself and your family and order a dozen today!


Cozy said...

I am a big, big, big Alton Brown fan! Thanks for sharing his recipe. I did not know about national sugar cookie day either. Cookies are a wonderful thing to celebrate.

Baroness Bijoutery said...

I too am a hugh fan of Alton Brown..Love his Good Eats show...I'm not a big fan of sugar cookies either but they were lifesavers when I still had children at home..Great thing to fix on a rainy day when the kids have nothing to do..Let them decorate the living daylight out of them..

Thomson said...


Thanks for sharing the information on cookie diet.

Cookie diets are low in calories, but also suppresses hunger naturally using amino acids and food proteins. Research has shown that many individuals have been very successful in losing 60 or 70 lbs or even more in some cases over a sustained period on the cookie diet program. Overall cookie diet is preferred for anyone looking for an inexpensive approach to weight loss that does not require the use of pills, potions and messy products.

KnockKnocking said...

Oh yum!! How fun!

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