Sweet, soft, and chewy cookies. And pretty yet, too! While I really enjoy a rolled, shaped and frosted sugar cookie, sometimes I just want a dropped sugar cookie, maybe with some colored sugar. These totally fit the bills, so I made them for an afternoon work meeting. They were met with much appreciation. To the point that after the meeting, I asked one of the attendees if he wanted to take any home for his young sons. He said, "No, I already had 4!" I said, "Not for you, the boys!" His response: "Oh, yeah, the boys." Guess if the cookies are good enough you forget that you have children, they're pretty good.
This is one of the essential recipes from the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion, the Essential Chewy Sugar Cookie. It's a basic recipe that can be adapted in to loads of different flavor combinations, but before I attempt a variation, I wanted to master the basic. This is a simple recipe, bringing together the perfect blend of flavors to the ultimate in soft and chewy sugar cookies. I especially liked the use of nutmeg, which offered another level to the sweetness without making it taste like a spiced cookie--very subtle. I also added a half teaspoon of Princess Cake and Cookie Flavor, in lieu of one teaspoon of vanilla, which lent a light and citrus-like flavor to the cookies. It's a bakery emulsion that is thicker and bakes out more slowly than regular extract, keeping the richness of the flavor. I'd gotten it from King Arthur Flour on a recommendation to add into the various layers of flavor. Enjoy the simplicity of this recipe, roll them in some pretty colored sugar, and treat yourself to a sweet afternoon.
Soft Sugar Cookies
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon bakery emulsion)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg or 1/4 teaspoon lemon oil (optional, your choice)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup coarse sugar or colored sugar crystals, for coating
In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl, beat together butter, sugars, corn syrup, vanilla, emulsion (if using), nutmeg or lemon oil, baking powder, baking soda, salt and egg until combined, scraping sides of bowl as necessary.
If using a stand mixer, switch to a paddle attachment (or a wooden spoon if mixing by hand) and gradually stir in flour until incorporated.
Place coarse sugar or crystals in a small bowl. Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop out dough and roll into a smooth ball. Roll dough ball in sugar or crystals to coat and place on a parchment or Silpat lined cookie sheets.
Bake at 375 degrees F for 10 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Turn baking sheet 180 degrees halfway through baking. If using more than one sheet at a time, rotate positions in the oven for more even baking. Be careful not to bake to long, or they'll turn crunchy, not chewy.
Remove from oven and cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 3 dozen cookies.
The Cookie Princess
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