Friday, December 11, 2009

Cookie Masters -- and Their Monsters

When Richie began dabbling in baking, he found the Thurs. Writers an excellent source of feedback. They became his personal taste test staff. Yesterday he dazzled them with --

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teas. backing powder
Pinch of salt
7 T sweet butter, softened. NOTE: When he went to roll the dough into balls, it crumbled; needed more butter so keep that in mind.
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teas. vanilla extract
1/2 cups chocolate chips to finish.

Mix the flour, backing powder and salt together, set aside. Beat the butter until creamy; add the sugar. Beat a bit more, stir in the vanilla. Gradually blend in the flour until you have a soft dough.

Shape the dough into small balls, put them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and make an imprint in each cookies' center. Bake at 350 for 16 - 18 minutes until firm and golden brown. Melt the chocolate and fill the indents.

He took them 12-14 cookies in a plastic box and brought the box home ... empty.

Then my sister e'd in a panic! Did I have THE Sugar Cookie recipe? She and our mother made and decorated them every year until Jane married and, in time, she and her daughter made and iced them. Happily, she'd only misfiled it, but I e'd it to her anyway.

3 cups flour
2 teas. baking powder
1 teas. slt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 teas. vanilla
1/4 cup milk

Sift tother the dry ingredients, cream the shortening and sugar together and the the eggs and beat.
Alternate adding the dry ingredients with the milk and vanilla. Let chill for about 2 hours.
Roll out and cut with cutters -- a star, camel, Santa -- and bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes. Makes about 2 dozen.

I don't bake; I got to Trader Joe's for a box of Pfeffernusse, a German, spicy cookie. These have a wonderful crisp covering that breaks into a soft cake filling as you devour them.

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