Monday, November 08, 2004

Soft and Chewy Sugar Cookies

I can't give the Pennsylvania Dutch cookie recipe from last week without giving my favorite recipe for Soft and Chewy Sugar Cookies. After I tasted these it was clear that I need look no further for the best sugar cookies. They are perfectly chewy and delicious. Even when they are made too thin and turn out crisp you can't beat the flavor. The only problem is that this recipe makes plain round cookies. Now I just have to find a recipe for great tasting sugar cookies that are rolled and cut out, the quintessential Christmas cookie. My quest continues...

From Cook's Illustrated

Step 1:
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 375°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk dry ingredients together.

Step 2:
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened but still firm
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
In standing mixer, beat together butter and sugars at medium speed until light and fluffy, approximately 3 minutes.

Step 3:
1 large egg
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Add egg and vanilla; beat until combined, about 30 seconds. Add dry ingredients and beat on low until just combined, about 30 seconds.

Step 4:
1/2 cup sugar for rolling dough
Put sugar for rolling in shallow bowl. Have bowl of cold water nearby for dipping hands in between rolling dough. Dip hands in water and shake off excess every time rolling dough (this not only prevents dough from sticking but also ensures that sugar sticks to dough).

Roll heaping tablespoon dough into 1-1/2" ball; roll in sugar, put on baking sheet. Space balls approximately 2" apart (12 cookies/sheet). Flatten balls with hand or fork until about 3/4" thick.

Bake until golden brown around edges, just set, and very lightly colored in center, about 15-18 minutes. Cool on baking sheet approximately 3 minutes; finish cooling on rack.

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