Jumbo Sugar Cookie

As much as I love baking, sometimes I’m not in the mood to go through all the setting up and cleaning up involved. That’s why this recipe, courtesy of Sally’s Baking Addiction, caught my eye– it just makes one huge sugar cookie. Meaning, it’s a much smaller project than making a full batch. It requires lower ingredient measures and therefore, smaller baking tools can be used.  I LOVE when a recipe only needs 1 or 2 small mixing bowls and teaspoon/tablespoon measures. Small bowls can be popped in the dishwasher and more of them can simultaneously fit on drying mats. Aka, quicker and easier cleanup. Oh, and did I mention the best part? If you only make one giant cookie you don’t have to worry about cookie vultures*; if there’s only one cookie, they know who it’s for.

*A cookie vulture is a person or animal that circles the kitchen while you’re baking and snags a cookie before it’s even hit the cooling rack. When I’m not the one baking, I am one hundred percent a cookie vulture.

This is the first time I’ve made a small batch version of a classic, and part of the reason I chose this recipe to be my first is that it still calls for an oven. I keep seeing recipes for single serving microwave brownies and microwave cakes, but there’s something about *baking* by *microwave* that feels wrong to me. Would it taste the same? Maybe. Would I think it tasted the same? Most likely not.

fullsizeoutput_1126

INGREDIENTS:

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature

3 Tablespoons sugar

2 Tablespoons beaten egg (crack the egg, beat it, and use 2 tbsp)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 Tablespoons flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

2 Tablespoons sprinkles — the more colorful, the better!

fullsizeoutput_1122

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Either spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray or cover it with a piece of parchment paper.

In a small bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Stir in the 2 Tbsp of egg and the vanilla extract.

Add the remaining ingredients and mix until just combined. Be careful not to overdo it!

fullsizeoutput_1123

Flip the cookie dough out of the bowl and onto the baking sheet so that it looks like a tall ball (if it’s too flat it will be way too thin!). Bake for approximately 15 minutes until the edges are lightly browned. I took mine out at 13 minutes because I wanted an ooey gooey center, but that’s your call! Just remember that it will continue baking for a few minutes after you take it out of the oven, so don’t overcook it.

Allow the cookie to cool completely on the cookie sheet– no cooling rack needed here.

fullsizeoutput_1124

 

Joy the Baker’s Confetti Cookies

Every once in a while, I stop by Joy the Baker’s site to see what she’s been up to. And by “once in a while”, I mean at least once a week. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Joy, she is the epitome of what it means to be an enjoyable food blogger: witty, knowledgeable, and direct. When I found myself on her site this week, two recipes gave me pause. Strawberry rhubarb pie, and these vanilla bean confetti cookies. I’ve ogled both before but had yet to make either.

Initially I chose to make the strawberry rhubarb pie, but it’s still so cold outside that I wasn’t sure that my Fairway would have rhubarb yet. It’s also so cold outside that I did not, in fact, want to go outside. I had all the ingredients for the confetti cookies, so confetti cookies it was. And I am VERY content with my choice. They’re playfully colorful and so soft that eating them is probably the closest one could come to safely consuming a tube of raw cookie dough. I said safely. They also have a depth of flavor that other sugar/butter cookies don’t have, due to the vanilla bean and their chilling time.

The one warning I must give before you embark on your confetti cookie journey is that the dough needs to be refrigerated prior to baking. SO. If there isn’t a lot of time before you want these cookies to meet your face, I would pick a different recipe. Or at the very least find something to distract yourself for two hours while they chill.

IMG_2780

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cream of tartar.. all of mine is from the 80’s and has expired.. shh.. don’t tell

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup granulated sugar

Seeds from 1 vanilla bean

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup sprinkles, more if you want to throw them in the air joyfully while you bake

IMG_2827

DIRECTIONS:

In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the vanilla bean seeds, then the egg and vanilla extract, and beat until thoroughly combined.

With the mixer on low add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in a few doses. The dough will become quite thick– don’t worry, this is correct. Fold in 1/4 cup of the sprinkles.

Place the remaining 1/4 cup sprinkles in a bowl. Scoop up 2 tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball– I was using about 1/4 of dough at first, so I quickly ran out of dough. Gently roll the ball in the bowl of sprinkles to cover lightly. Put the balls on a plate. Repeat with the remaining sprinkles and dough. Chill the soon-to-be cookies for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.

IMG_2836

Place racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Transfer the chilled dough balls to the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches of space in between each ball.

Bake until the cookies have spread very slightly and are just beginning to brown around the edges, but are mostly pale and pillowy, 8 to 10 minutes.* Let cool on the cookie sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely, then transfer to your  mouth ASAP.

*I took mine out a bit before they browned on the edges, since I like my cookies to be very soft and chewy. If you want more of a crisp exterior and a soft interior, stick with Joy’s directives.

 

IMG_2860

Et voila!

Chewy Sugar Cookies

All sugar cookies should be chewy. Even if they’re crispy in texture, they should melt in your mouth. I inherited this belief from my mother, who spreads awareness of the evils of hard, store-made sugar cookies suffocated in cellophane (“they taste stale!”) to anyone eyeballing said cookies at bakeries and on grocery store check out lines. Consequently, I regard these cookies with the utmost disdain. They trick innocent people into believing that they are worthy of consumption, which they are not. Selfish cookies.

IMG_9482

Though hard sugar cookies are, admittedly, easier to decorate than chewy sugar cookies, they aren’t nearly as enjoyable to eat. This is why I compromise by making chewy sugar cookies rolled in granulated sugar and holiday sprinkles; they’re delicious and festive.

IMG_9489

Original Recipe: http://addapinch.com/cooking/chewy-sugar-cookies-recipe/

IMG_9507

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

1½ cups granulated sugar

1 egg

2¼ cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ cup granulated sugar for rolling cookies

1/4 cup festive sprinkles

IMG_9514

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper for an easy clean up.

Cream together butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Make sure to get all of the chunks out, or some cookies will be way too buttery. Add egg and mix until well-combined.

IMG_9469

IMG_9472

Stir in flour, baking powder, salt, and vanilla.

Scoop cookie dough by the tablespoon full and roll into a ball. I usually eyeball this step, which is why I always end up with less, larger cookies than the recipe is supposed to make.

Add granulated sugar to a small bowl for rolling cookie dough in before baking. Add sprinkles to a separate small bowl. Place each ball of cookie dough into the bowl of granulated sugar and roll to coat well. Next, roll each ball in the sprinkles, pressing down slightly so that they stick. Each ball won’t be completely covered in sprinkles- that’s okay!

IMG_9484

Place cookie dough onto baking sheet, spacing about 1½-inches to 2 inches apart. Place cookie sheets in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes before baking so that the cookies retain their round shape.

IMG_9530

^The two cookies on the left were refrigerated prior to baking. The one on the right was not. I.e., refrigerate your cookies prior to baking.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until very lightly browned.

IMG_9495

IMG_9527

Enjoy!

Leslie

The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

If there is one recipe I want you to make from my blog, this is it. It is hands down the best chocolate chip cookie recipe I have ever tried. I discovered it when I first started baking a few years ago on a site called Allrecipes.com. Since then, I’ve adjusted it slightly and have made it countless times. Without fail, it’s always a success.

When I make these gigundo cookies I love eating them at various stages of the recipe. I take my first nibble once I’ve added the chocolate chips to the cookie dough. I don’t like to eat too much of the dough because that means less cookies for me (did I mention I’m legit Cookie Monster?). Next, I steal a pinch right after they come out of the oven. I’m often impatient when it comes to cookies (haha no really, I am Cookie Monster), so I try to move them to the cooling racks too soon. When this happens and a cookie breaks or crumbles, I use its imperfect appearance as an excuse to eat it right then and there. Once the remainder of the cookies have cooled, I eat at least two more. At least.

IMG_3216

So maybe I’m NOT the real Cookie Monster, but I’m pretty darn close. 

fullsizeoutput_11e5

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 cup packed light brown sugar 

1/2 cup white sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 egg

1 egg yolk

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips OR 1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips and 3/4 cup white chocolate chips OR 1 cup peanut butter chips and 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips OR 1 cup milk chocolate chips and 1 cup dark chocolate chips

fullsizeoutput_11e3

DIRECTIONS:

Makes 18 large and in charge cookies

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper for an easy cleanup.

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. Do not skip this step; this is part of what makes these cookies so fluffy!

fullsizeoutput_11d9

In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy (I’ve done this step using an electric beater and by hand; do whichever you prefer). Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips using a wooden spoon.

Roll cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time in your hands then place on the prepared cookie sheets (each cookie should be about the size of a golf ball… every time I make them, my mom comments on how big they are). Thus, cookies should be about 3 inches apart.

fullsizeoutput_11e4

Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. They may seem undercooked to you, but they’re probably not! Take them out as soon as the edges have firmed up a little bit and the egg yolk has created a slight iridescence on the cookies. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely. Use the biggest spatula you have to avoid breaking them when transferring the cookies from the baking sheets to the wire racks. Keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days– if they last that long.

fullsizeoutput_11db