March 14, 2011

Martha Stewart's Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies

I want to be Martha Stewart.

Not to have her wealth or power - although a little bit of money would be nice, don't get me wrong - but I want to cook and decorate and do all the homey things that she espouses. It's taken me a while to realize that I'm just too lazy to ever be Martha Stewart-like, but I like her recipes. And I've also realized that it takes a team of people to be "Martha Stewart".

This is MS recipe I made a few days ago, when my oldest son was home sick from school with a bad cough. I have it in my Martha Stewart Cookies book, but the recipe is also available on her website.

I only had light and dark green sanding sugars on hand, so we had half a batch light, half a batch dark.

My changes:
  • I added about 1 tsp vanilla 'cause I think a sugar cookie demands vanilla.
  • I used dark brown sugar and salted butter as it's what I stock.
  • I used a smaller scoop and got 69 good sized cookies. Anything larger wouldn't have been manageable for small hands.
  • I rolled the whole dough ball in sugar and placed on the cookie sheet.
  • I used a small plastic IKEA tumbler to almost completely flatten the cookies. I like these as they are slightly raised in the middle so you get a slightly thicker cookie in the centre (yum!) and thinner, crispier edge.

Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies

These large cookies have a classic lemony flavor, a chewy texture, and glistening, crackly tops created with a double sprinkling of sanding sugar.

Makes about 20 (3 1/2-inch) cookies

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup unsalted butter, (2 sticks), softened
2 large eggs
Sanding sugar, for sprinkling


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour, baking soda, and salt into a bowl; set aside.
2. Put sugars and lemon zest in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed 30 seconds. Add butter; mix until pale and fluffy, about 1 minute. Mix in eggs, 1 at a time, and then the lemon juice. Reduce speed; gradually add flour mixture, and mix until just combined.
3. Scoop dough using a 2-inch ice cream scoop; space cookies 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Flatten cookies slightly with a spatula. Sprinkle tops with sanding sugar, then lightly brush with a wet pastry brush; sprinkle with more sanding sugar.
4. Bake cookies until golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to racks using a spatula; let cool completely. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

From Martha Stewart Living, August 2005

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