Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Soft & Chewy Sugar Cookies

I have been searching for a delicious sugar cookie for years. Soft in the middle with browned edges for crunch. Flavorful. A drop cookie/not roll out the dough recipe. Not too greasy. I tried a lot of recipes, but they were all unsatisfactory. I gave up. Every time I got a wee bit excited about a sugar cookie recipe, I would remember all the disappointments and reject the recipe. Until now.
We've had Baking Illustrated for years. I've known for years that inside is a sugar cookie recipe. The America's Test Kitchen recipes are usually winners, but I kept remembering all the sugar cookie fails. Last summer when we made the Snickerdoodles from Baking Illustrated, I re-read the sugar cookie recipe and filed it away in the back of my mind. Way back because I didn't give them a second thought until this past weekend.
We decided to make the sugar cookies. I'm so glad we did - they are delicious. Probably one of my top ten favorite cookies. One curious thing happened, though: we moved our oven racks to the upper & lower middle areas and rotated the cookie sheets halfway through baking as instructed, but one tray spread out thinner than the other - ?
We think it might be because one cookie sheet was a thick, dark metal, non-stick jelly roll cookie sheet and the other was a thinner, non-stick, regular cookie sheet with lower edges.
They taste the same. Crisp, browned edges, Soft, chewy interiors. Crackled & sugary tops. Buttery goodness.
They aren't too soft, though. It still took SP a bit of effort to break one in half for a photo and a taste test.
Two dozen cookies, just about the right amount for the two of us for a week. Since I'll want a cookie or two every night, I'll be able to control my cookie monster urges because I'll want them to last. But they're so good I could easily inhale 3-4 at a time.
Definitely a cookie we'll bake again.

Recipe here.

3 comments:

  1. There was an episode of ATK or Cook's Country where they specified for evenness's sake in some cookie recipe that it was important that the first half of the baking be on the top rack, then rotate and move to the bottom for the second half, so the baking cycle was effectively staggered - the first baking cycle was with only a single rack on the top rack (for its first half of baking time) and the last baking cycle was with only rack on the bottom rack (completing its second half of baking time). Baking two at-a-time 'conventionally' starting one out on top and one of bottom and switching half-way through, led to uneven baking between the two trays similar to what you're seeing here, so this method would probably work here as well. :)

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  2. I made these using my convection oven set at 350 for 12 minutes. They were perfect and delicious. I think that next time I'll use almond extract instead of vanilla and see how that works.

    Barb

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    1. Almond sounds good. The cookbook has 2 variations: one with lime and one with ginger. I'd like to try them both.

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