Monday, February 14, 2011

On Sugar Cookies and Lessons Learned

I have loved to cook ever since I was a small child. I guess it's just part of that Southern heritage ingrained in my DNA. From a fairly young age I was allowed to cook certain things on my own. I was allowed to bake a cake (from a box), make cookies (from a tube), or things easy like that.

One day I had the idea to make some homemade, from scratch sugar cookies. I have no idea where my mom was at the time, but I don't remember her being home. So, I asked my dad's permission, and he was cool with it. I mean...I think he just wanted a cookie. The man doesn't turn down sweets very often!

So, I found a recipe and got to work. I was so proud of myself. I can't quite remember exactly how old I was at the time, but it was between the ages of 10-12. And I
was making cookies all by myself from scratch! So proud! I even found these heart cookies and L-O-V-E cookies cutters. I knew my dad was going to love it!

As soon as the cookies were done and cooled I called my dad over to have one. I stood and waited for his praise for my delicious creation. I remember him taking a cookie, taking a bite, and then choking and coughing and running for a glass of water. I was shoc
ked. What happened to my cookies! I tasted one and quickly realized I messed up the proportions.

I think instead of adding 1 teaspoon of salt I must have added a tablespoon...or p
ossibly more. Instead of baking delicious sugar cookies I made disgusting salt coo
kies. Yeah...they tasted like salt. And baking soda. My dad wasn't super happy with me, and I'm pretty sure I was banned from making anything from scratch by myself for a long time.

I have since recovered from my salty....treats. And I have learned how to bake a cookie from scratch! And sometimes there just isn't anything better than a warm, homemade sugar cookie. If my dad were with me today, I'm sure he would be singing my praises instead of spitting out and gagging on my poor little cookies. Oh, the lessons I have learned through the years. But hey...Julia Child wasn't born a super awesome cook! You have to go through trials and
tribulations in the kitchen, and along the way you lear
n from your (sometimes numerous) mistakes.

Sugar Cookies


1 cup fine, white sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 large egg
2 cups All-Purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large cooking sheets with parchment paper. (Not really necessary, but that's typically how I do my cookie pans.) Cream together sugar and butter. Add egg salt, baking soda and vanilla. Mix well. Gradually add in flour while mixing.

Roll dough into 1-inch size balls. Pour a little bit of sugar in a small bowl, and roll cookie dough balls in sugar to coat all sides.

Press ball onto cookie sheet to flatten out a bit. For snickerdoodles, add about 1/2 tablespoon of cinnamon to 4 tablespoons of sugar to roll dough balls.

Bake cookies for approximately 11-15 minutes, depending on your oven. Mine were perfecto after 13 minutes! Let cool on pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Or just eat them as soon as they are cool enough to touch! If desired, top with vanilla or buttercream icing and sprinkles. Yields approximately 3 dozen cookies.

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