Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Giant Sugar Cookie - Happy Birthday USA!

Giant Sugar Cookie - made dough July 2, 2013 from Sally's Baking Addiction
This took up most of a full-size plate
I still had most of the jar of red, white and blue sprinkles I used for the non-flag pieces of the Red Velvet Flag Brownies and since I didn't have occasion to use them until next year (and by then they'd be old), I decided to incorporate them into a thematic sugar cookie.  I was meeting my cousin and my nephew Vanilla King for a pre-4th of July lunch so it was perfect timing to test out this recipe.  I'm not a fan of sprinkles for their taste but they're great to dress up a confection, especially for the decorating-impaired like yours truly.  Plus, kids like sprinkles, right?

I have to confess I had to make this twice.  The first time, I didn't bake it long enough and the middle sank like a crater.  That's the tricky thing with giant cookies.  The outer circle will be golden brown and perfectly done while the middle is still doughy.  You can't imagine how twitchy I get wanting to take it out of the oven at that point.  For me, it's better to have an underbaked middle and perfectly baked edges than a perfectly baked middle and dry, overbaked edges.  But my first attempt looked a little too underdone when it cooled so I had to try again.  Failure was not an option for something as simple as a sugar cookie.
The unfrosted version
Fortunately, making the cookie dough, especially with such small portions takes practically no time at all so it only took a few minutes to make another cookie and throw it into the freezer to chill briefly before baking.  Of course, the upside of the first failed attempt is it could now be my taste test cookie. The initial plan was to persuade Vanilla King to share a bite with me after I gave him the cookie but this was better (really, was I going to ask for my cookie back after I gave it to him just so I could take a bite and see how it tastes so I could report it on my blog?  He's good-natured enough not to mind but still, that would have been tacky.)  Anyway, the taste test cookie was pretty good.  This is a cakey cookie so don't expect a dense chewiness.  The outer edge that was done was definitely cakey.  Not surprisingly, I preferred the underdone middle in terms of texture.  For taste, I could taste a slight aftertaste from the cream of tartar so this was almost like a snickerdoodle without the cinnamon sugar coating.  Surprisingly for a sugar cookie, it actually wasn't that sweet.  So, to give it more sweetness and a patriotic flair for the occasion, I did a simple vanilla frosting to top Vanilla King's cookie with and added more sprinkles. 
Happy Birthday, America!

Giant Sugar Cookie
2 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons beaten egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 tablespoon sprinkles
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar together until creamy. Mix in the egg and vanilla.
  3. Stir in flour, baking soda, salt, cream of tartar, and sprinkles until just combined. Do NOT overmix.
  4. Place the dough in the center of the prepared cookie sheet into a tall ball. Bake for 14-16 minutes until the edges are browned. The center may appear undone but that's what you want. It will firm up. Allow to cool completely ON the baking sheet. Enjoy!
Vanilla Frosting (optional)
2 tablespoons butter, softened slightly but still cool
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk (or more or less depending on the consistency you want your frosting)

Beat butter and powdered sugar together.  Add vanilla and just enough milk for the desired consistency.  Beat until smooth.  Frost cooled cookie and top with sprinkles if desired.

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