Saturday, 21 May 2011

Sugar Cookies

Friday afternoon at office... Just a couple of hours to go before I wind up and start on the 1-hour drive back home. It has been a really hectic week, both at work and at home. I haven't been able to spend  much time in the kitchen for dinner preparation, this entire week. Reason: my daughter has started making it a habit of forcing me to join her on her pre- and post-dinner walks with her father. When I get her dressed and hand her over to her dad, she promptly picks up my sandals and forces me to accompany her or refuses to go out with him. So I started wondering what i am going to cook over the weekend and took a short browsing break from work. I went to my favorite website and found the recipe for sugar cookies. I have been apprehensive to try this out earlier, thinking that all other recipes that do not state they are sugary turn out so sweet, so how much sweeter will sugar cookies be?

But looking at the ingredient proportion, it seemed reasonable. Hence I promptly printed that out and decided to try it. Moreover, I have had the no-cook fondant sitting in the pantry for over a week now and I needed to bake something suitable to decorate with it.

Here is the recipe

Sugar Cookies:

3 cups (390 grams) all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For Sugar Cookies: In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. 

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 to 4 minutes). Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture and beat until you have a smooth dough.
Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about one hour or until firm enough to roll. 

I refrigerated the dough for 2 hours. 

Preheat oven to 170 degress C. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper. Reason for this is explained below.
Remove one half of the chilled dough from the refrigerator and, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch (1 cm). (Keep turning the dough as you roll, making sure the dough does not stick to the counter.)  I found the dough manageable only for the first one minute or so. After that it becomes too soft and soggy. You can roll it out by sprinkling some dry flour over the dough to make manageable. Cut out desired shapes using a lightly floured cookie cutter and transfer cookies to the prepared baking sheet. 
Place the baking sheets with the unbaked cookies in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to chill the dough which prevents the cookies from spreading and losing their shape while baking.
  Bake cookies for about 8 - 10 minutes (depending on size) or until the edges are just starting to brown. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. 

Makes about 50 cookies. 

I use the microwave oven in convection mode. It has a turn-table diameter of 10.5 inches. My baking sheet is 10-inches in diameter and I have only one baking sheet. So I used my square and round cake pans too to make three baking sheets.

I cut out the dough and prepared the first baking sheet with unbaked cookies and that went into the refrigerator, while I started preheating the oven. In the meanwhile I prepared the other two baking sheets. When the first baking sheet went into the oven, I set the timer to 60 minutes; the second and third were in the refrigerator. Took the first batch out at the end of 10 minutes, put the second tray in and waited for the first tray to cool down. The third was in the refrigerator ready to go into the oven. When the first had cooled down, I moved the cookies to the wire rack, pulled out the second half of the dough from the fridge and started cutting out the cookies and preparing the fourth batch on the first baking sheet.
Thus the time to preheat and prepare the sheets was minimized and the entire dough could be baked in 60 minutes.

Decorating the cookies:

The website suggests frosting these cookies with royal icing. Royal icing with meringue powder has to wait  for another time. This time it is going to be fondant covered ;).

Wait for the cookies to completely cool down.
Roll the fondant on a clean surface to a really thin layer. Use the cookie cutter and cut into the shapes matching the cookies you want to cover. Lightly brush the top surface of the cookie with corn syrup. Slowly lift the fondant shape and fix it over the cookie. The cookie would have expanded while baking. So the fondant will not cover the entire surface of the cookie. You would have to press it gently to spread and cover the entire surface.

Store the cookies in an airtight container, with a wide base. Arrange the cookies at the bottom of the container in one layer, spread butter paper or parchment paper on top. Start arranging the next layer of cookies and so on. 

Frosted cookies will keep several days in an airtight container. 

Feedback from family and some friends:

While I was just done packing these cookies with mom's help, my neighbor's son dropped in with a box of jack fruit. I immediately offered him one cookie and he simply loved it. So I packed some in his box and returned it. Dad and mom tasted the plain cookies while they were cooling down and loved the melt-in-the-mouth texture. My daughter kept picking them up numerous times and even ate the no-cook fondant rolled in balls while I was decorating ;).

priya's signature image at photobucket


Shanthi said...

Looks wonderful and tempting

Santosh Bangar said...

yummy and inviting
1s time here do visit my site

Santosh Bangar said...

yummy and loveing cookies
1st time here nice space do visit and follow if likes

Ria Mathew said...

Hi Priya,Thank you so much for dropping by my blog.

I love cookies so sugar cookie is no exception!Your cookies look great!