Monday, May 10, 2010

Granny's Sugar Cookies

Wow, what an interesting few weeks it’s been: Julia has come and gone, as have Dad and Sharmyn; Sami’s on his way to the US, and here Claire and I sit in our new, small house with Dirk poised to leave at any minute. In the meantime, baking has been done and baked goods consumed at an alarming rate, but I simply haven’t had the time to write about it. Now that there’s no Internet and no Abbey students and it’s raining outside, I finally have time to blog about what I’ve been making.

I’m pretty sure I made these sugar cookies exactly two weeks ago. Julia was still here, and I wanted to make a treat for our “château,” whose members were presenting their experiences over the past three months. Sugar cookies seemed like the perfect treat, and these were really good sugar cookies.

I find that sugar cookies can be boring—they can have a mealy or dry texture, they can be hard and cardboardy, and they often have very little flavor. I also tend to avoid them since, as I’ve mentioned before, I don’t much enjoy rolling and cutting out cookies. Now that I have little to no counter space, rolling out cookies has become even more difficult. And thus I decided to do the slice and bake thing, which worked really well.

The texture of these cookies was nice and crisp, and the lemon and cinnamon flavors melded well, which actually rather surprised me. I may have overbaked some, but as you see, they disappeared quickly and everyone enjoyed them a lot.

So if you have a sugar cookie need, I would try these. Bridget at (sorry, can't seem to get the link to work) has done a sugar cookie comparison that I found very entertaining and informative, but I think this recipe could become a go-to. Try it out!

Here’s the recipe. Remember to make the dough the day before so that it has enough time to chill.

Granny’s Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies

4 oz. (1 stick) butter, room temperature

2 t. baking powder

1/4 t. salt

Grated zest of 2 lemons

1 T. lemon juice

1 scant cup (6.5 oz.) sugar

1 large egg

2 T. (1 oz.) cream

1-3/4 c. (8.75 oz.) unsifted flour—I used some whole wheat, and it was good

About a tablespoon of cinnamon sugar—that would be 1 T. sugar to about 1/2 t. cinnamon if you don’t have any made up.

Cream the butter with the baking powder and salt, then add the lemon zest and juice. Beat in the sugar gradually and beat over medium-high speed for about 2-3 minutes or until fluffy. Beat in the egg and cream and give that another couple of minutes, and finally stir in the flour by hand or at low speed until it is completely incorporated.

Turn out the dough onto a piece of waxed or parchment paper and form into a cylinder. Chill overnight or freeze for 3-4 hours (I froze mine overnight, and it was really too hard to slice the next day). When you are ready to bake, heat the oven to 375 and line some cookie sheets with parchment or foil. Slice the dough about 1/4-inch thick and place on the cookie sheets about 1/2 inch apart. Sprinkle the cookies lightly with the cinnamon sugar and bake for 10-13 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Cool and devour.

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