Sunday, November 18, 2007

Just Sweet

I was in the mood for some sugar cookies.
You know the kind that are nice and chewy (yet crisp) and are slathered with frosting!

While these are no where near the best sugar cookies I have eaten (moment of silence for G's bakery which closed after G died last year and sadly took my beloved Froting topped chewy yet crisp sugar cookie with him). However, this recipe is one of the best I have baked.
I got the recipe from a wonderful cook/baker who posted this recipe on a cooking board I frequent (Shout out to WC Sistas!!). She got it from a coworker of hers and has been kind enough to pass it along to others! My sweet tooth thanks you Joelen! The dough does need to be chilled overnight for the easier rolling of the dough (but feel free to taste test it before chilling!)Oh, and don't substitute butter for the margarine, the margarine is needed for the cookies to maintain their texture and chewiness. Butter will produce a crisper cookie so if that is what you are after, go for it, heck, they are YOUR cookies after all.

Jon's Super Sugar Cookies
from nestie Joelen
*Check out her blog:
2 eggs
3/4 cup margarine
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon real vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups AP flour
frosting - recipe follows

Cream margarine and sugar well. Add vanilla and eggs; combine well.
In separate bowl, sift the baking powder, salt and flour. Add to wet ingredients slowly until thoroughly combined.
**Cookie dough must be chilled until firm, or overnight.
Remove dough from fridge and roll out to a 1/4 inch thickness.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
With cookie cutters or rim of drinking glass, cut out cookies. Place cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, depending on oven. Check often to prevent over cooking or burning. Cool on baking rack when done.

Meanwhile, to prepare frosting - its a MUST for these cookies! (go all the way or not at all- lol)
1 teaspoon real vanilla
1 stick of real butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon cream or whole milk
Cream butter, milk and vanilla together.
Slowly add powdered sugar to butter until desired consistency. If you'd like, add liquid food coloring for festive cookies.

When cookies are cooled, slather this heavenly frosting. For more texture and color, press the top of the cookies in sprinkles, colored sugar or just eat plain!

Sweet and Spicy

Oh, yes, the adjectives often used to describe me also describe one of my favorite holiday cookies.

Ginger Cookies are a must have in my house around the holiday. NOT the thin little snap type (while I do like those with pumpkin dip) I need a cookie to sink my teeth into and these cookies fit the bill.

I love how the ginger/cloves/cinnamon balance out the delicate sugar "crust" on these cookies. These cookies are so easy to whip up and make your house smell wonderful while they are baking. I will admit, I have not tried any other ginger cookies but don't feel the need to. The texture of these cookies is dense yet chewy and because they are rolled in sugar, the outside has nice crispness to them. These are not thin like a snap, but rather a nice hearty cookie that packs a mouthful of flavor. These are made with shortening, I am not sure they would retain their great texture if you used butter, but it is worth a shot if you insist on avoiding shortening.

Ginger Cookies
from Better Homes and Gardens
4 1/2 cups flour
4 tsps ground ginger
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 cups shortening (I used butter flavor transfat free Crisco)
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup Molasses (NOT Blackstrap)
3/4 cup sugar for rolling

Preheat oven to 350.
In large mixing bowl wisk flour, baking soda, ginger, salt, cinnamon and cloves. Set aside.

In mixing bowl beat shortening for 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat until well combined. Beat in eggs and molasses until combined, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Add as much of the flour mixture as your mixer can handle and fold in the rest by hand.
Shape dough into 2 inch balls and roll into 3/4 cup sugar just to coat. Place on baking sheet at least 2 inches apart. Press down slightly on dough balls so they evenly bake and spread out.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until bottoms are LIGHLTY brown and tops are puffed. Do NOT overbake. Cook on cookie sheet for 2 minutes and finish cooling on wire rack.

**I made mine smaller using my medium size scooper from Pampered Chef and baked for about 7-8 minutes.