Sugar Cookies

Here it is, the end of October, about to snow, and I’m finally getting in some recipes.  Did you hear that though?  About to snow?   Yes, it is true.  It is going to snow before Halloween.  This is both unexpected and very wonderful!  I love snow, and am hoping to appreciate it before swim season starts.  During swim season, I often feel like I don’t have enough energy or time to get around to looking at and enjoying the pillowing soft snow.  On the snow days I spend most of my time wishing that we don’t have practice.  Anways, if the snow comes now though, and stays…please, please, please…I will be able to enjoy it for a full MONTH!

Not that this has anything to do with sugar cookies. 

So, I made these cookies because I had to go to a church function, per se.  My mom had made them last year for the same function because though I had wanted to to, I had known I wouldn’t have the time.  Yet this year, because they had been so good, I had to make them myself.  Guess what?  They were perfect again!  Cook’s Illustrated never fails!  Never! 

Well, actually, the recipes have been known to fail a few times.  These times only happened though because, welll, I took the liberty to change a few ingredients.  Good things come to those who wait, you know?  Well, turns out I’m just a bit too impatient and often can’t wait to get one or two of the primary ingredients. 

But, if you actually follow the recipe, things turn out just fine, or, much better than fine, like these cookies!  They are crisp on the edges but soft and chewy in the center.  They are sweet but the flavor is rounded out by the addition of cream cheese. Just as well, they are easy, like the cupcakes, and require only a few small steps before you can put them in the oven to bake a few minutes.  Please try them, and, when you do, please comment on my blog!  In fact, comment on all the recipes, all the time, whether or not you’ve tried them! It would be hugely appreciated!

Chewy Sugar Cookies
Cook’s Illustrated-November/December 2010

Makes 2 Dozen Cookies

Note:  The final dough will be slightly softer than most cookie dough.  For the best results, handle the dough as briefly and as gently as possible when shaping the cookies. Overworking the dough will result in flatter cookies.

2 1/4 cups (11 1/4 ounces)  unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) sugar, plus 1/3 cup for rolling
2 ounces cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and still warm
1/3  cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 tablespon milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1.  Adjust oven to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.  Set aside.
2.  Place 1 1/2 cups sugar and cream cheese in a large bowl.  Place remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a shallow baking dish or pie plate and set aside.  Pour warm butter over sugar and cream cheese and whisk to combine (some small lumps of cream cheese will remain but smooth out later).  Whisk in oil until incorporated.   Add egg, milk, and vanilla; continue to whisk until smooth.  Add flour mixture and mix with rubber spatula until soft homogeneous dough forms.
3.  Divide dough into 24 equal pieces, about 2 tablespoons each (or use # 40 portion scoop).  Using hands, roll dough into balls.  Working in batches, roll balls in reserved sugar to coat and evenly space on prepared baking sheet, 12 dough balls per sheet.   Using bottom of drinking glass, flattten dough balls until 2 inches in diameter.  Sprinkle tops with 4 teaspoons of sugar remaining in shallow dish (2 teaspoons per tray) , discarding any remaining sugar.
4.  Bake, 1 tray at a time, until edges are set and just beginning to brown, 11 to 13 minutes, rotating tray after 7 minutes.   Cool cookies on baking sheet five minutes.   Using wide metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature.

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About Madeleine C.

Hi I'm Madeleine and I am an avid cook and baker! Between school, homework swimming, and everything else in my life, I really enjoy cooking! I am 15 (now 16) years old, and have two brothers, both of whom have celiac disease along with my father. For this reason, I often make gluten-free things that will satisfy them as well as those who can readily consume gluten. I enjoy making the complex and the simple, and enjoy a challenge while cooking. That's just about it!