Tuesday, December 9, 2008
TWD: Grandma's All-Occasion Sugar Cookies
I'll admit when I saw that Ulrike of Küchenlatein had chosen Grandma’s All-Occasion Sugar Cookies for this week's Tuesday's with Dorie recipe, I was skeptical. You see, I've tried lots of sugar cookie recipes and I have what I think is the best one.
Mine are cakey and have that sweet buttery saltiness that I've grown to love. I bake them until they're just set (no brown bottom-side allowed!) and they're nice and soft. At this point, if I try a new sugar cookie recipe (which I rarely do), it's only to confirm that mine really is the best. (I can't take credit, though, the recipe came by way of a friend who is a cookie-baking queen.)
I have to admit that I am quite biased on this issue (bordering on arrogance, I know).
The thing is, everybody feels that way. They think their sugar cookies, or their mom's or grandma's or Aunt Josephine's, are the best. Now that I think about it, I don't know why anyone would serve sugar cookies to guests, LOL. Well, at least not if the guests were bakers.
All that being said, I thought Dorie's sugar cookies were pretty darn good. They were close to mine... not quiiiite as good, but they would certainly do in a pinch.
And the idea of doing them as slice and bake cookies... I'm smacking myself in the head wondering why I never thought of that. Sooooo much easier than rolling and cutting.
I made several different versions, all starting out with a log of dough that had been chilled in the refrigerator overnight. For the first set, I made stripes of white and purple sanding sugar on a paper towel and rolled the log through that. Then sliced and baked.
I took it one step further with some of the purple-stripey-edged cookies and pressed the tops into more sanding sugar. I was surprised to find this was my favorite one.
Lastly, I made Trios, which graced the cover of Gourmet magazine's Christmas issue either last year or the year before (different recipe, of course).
The first thing I did was to cut the log of cookie dough in half, and then each half in half again. Then I sliced the new, smaller logs into pieces, in an effort to get evenly sized pieces. (If I did this again, I would try to make them a tad smaller. I thought the smaller cookies turned out best. The goal is to try to get teaspoon sized pieces.) Finally, I rolled the pieces into balls, grouping the balls from each log together.
Next, I took each ball and flattened it ever so slightly, then pressed a well in the center using my finger and the end of a wooden spoon. (I would make the wells larger next time.) Then I placed three balls together, just barely touching. You want to see empty space in the center of the cluster.
Then I grabbed three different jams from my stash and very carefully placed a little gob of each kind in different wells. I used my 1/8 teaspoon measuring spoon for this part (which was quite tedious and not as easy as you might think.)
Then baked... for, I don't know, 10 minutes or so. I always watch for when the cookie no longer looks shiny. I don't wait until I start to seeing browning on the bottom... that's too long for my taste buds.
For this recipe, I think I would chill the Trios for 10-15 minutes first to prevent spreading in the oven. The larger ones spread a little and they weren't quite as cute as the smaller cookies.
OK, that's the report from this corner of the world. If you 'd like to check out this recipe, please visit Ulrike's site above (look for the American/British flag button to see the post in English). Also, please stop by the Tuesday's with Dorie website and check out all of the other bakers and their sugar cookies (blog roll is on the left side, scroll down.) My recipe can be found HERE, by the way :)