Monday, November 25, 2013

Chewy Sugar Cookies

Chewy Sugar Cookies - made dough November 14, 2013 from Baking Away
As my high-baking season approaches, otherwise known as the holidays, I start stocking up on cookie doughs.  I make them, portion them into dough balls, place them in freezer bags, mark the bags with what kind of cookie they are, oven temp they should be baked at and the recommended baking time according to the recipe.  Then at any given time in the next 4-6 weeks, I can pull what I need out of the freezer and bake them at the last minute for gifts, parties and get togethers.
Theoretically I should only be making recipes I've tried before and every year when I make that vow, I end up fibbing to myself because I can't resist any excuse to try a new recipe.  I do try to stick to "safe" recipes, meaning the ones I scan and see they look okay, have pictures of from where someone else has made them and decide they look good.  To be really safe, I also plan to bake them with other really tried and true recipes so if they don't turn out as well as I would've liked, I can also mix them in with the better stuff.
It's funny because for a lot of people, holiday baking means they bring out their once-a-year specialty, often steeped in tradition and the flavors of the season: gingerbread cookies, peppermint something-or-the-other, eggnog-ish treats, or even the ubiquitous fruitcake.  Me, since I bake a lot of my holiday gifts, I amp up the volume and am less about the flavors of the season than about a variety of baked goods to gift, preferably something my friends have liked before and I use the holidays to give them something similar again.  Since I bake so much and get easily bored with making the same recipe(s) over and over (no challenge), I tend to try variations of the same thing. Case in point, this sugar cookie.  I have a couple of really good recipes for sugar cookies but I'm always open to trying a new one. This was actually a pretty good find.  It has crisp edges but lives up to its name in being chewy; it also had a great vanilla flavor and, despite its name, isn't too sweet. Sometimes it's good to have something "plain" (I prefer the term "classic") amongst all the holiday fancy. And for kids who don't like chocolate, nuts, or anything fussy in their cookies, this is a safe choice.

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar for rolling cookies
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using a mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and very fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients.
  4. Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and roll in sugar. Place on lined cookie sheets about 1 1/2 inches apart.
  5. Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly browned. Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.

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