Monday, June 1, 2009

Sugar Cookies... and some other stuff.

The Husband and I went for a bike ride Saturday afternoon once I finished work. We went searching for a used bookstore in Huntington Beach that a recent commenter recommended. After getting lost and huffing and puffing and peddling up more hills than I count (God, I'm outta shape)... we finally found it.

And it's going out of business.

So, I walked back out with just one book. But it only cost me a dollar. (Boo-yah!) Then we rode back home, picked up some lovely strawberries at a roadside stand, stopped for frozen yogurt (The Husband knows what's good for him), more hills...

By the time we got home, I was dead. No, not really, but I was pretty much a zombie for the rest of the night. (Especially after my too-hot shower. Why do I do that every time?) Which is okay, 'cause The Husband flipped on an Ice Road Truckers marathon and I got totally hooked.

Yesterday we went down to the swap meet. They have a couple of used book vendors there and I was able to find the second and third books of a trilogy I just started. Yes, another Nora Roberts series. So sue me.

I also managed to take time out of my busy schedule to snap a few pictures of the sugar cookies I made last week. (And by "busy" I mean I had nothing else to do, naturally.) I know what you're thinking. Sugar cookies? Really? That's so... boring.

Well, I love sugar cookies. I especially love the giant ones they sell in the grocery store that come in all different shapes and are decorated in all different colors.

Also, there's this little shop a few block away called Cookies In Bloom. They sell bouquets of sugar cookies. They're gorgeous. We went in to poke around last weekend and I almost bought a cookie shaped like a castle that was decorated with different shades of pink icing, but I was afraid to ask how much it was and The Husband was giving me the stink eye, so what could I do but go home and make my own?

(I tried to convince The Husband to send me a bouquet of cookies for our eighth anniversary (first date, not marriage) which was the next day, but apparently eight years only gets you a smile and slap on the ass. Pfffsht.)

I absolutely detest rolling cookie dough. But this time? Wasn't so bad, actually. Maybe it was because I separated and shaped my dough into square-like slabs before chilling.

Or maybe it was because, in the past, I've rolled my cookie dough to death, making these super-thin cookies that would break the minute you picked one up. Don't ask me why. I just thought that's how it was done. And this time I made them thick. Almost a half-inch thick. And they were wonderful!

I was going to leave it at plain white icing (I wasn't feeling too ambitious), but then felt guilty for not doing more. So, I did green and yellow stripes... you know, for Spring and all. (Yeah, still wasn't feeling too ambitious.) But who cares, 'cause they were awesome.

Here's the recipe I use (just in case there's anyone left in the universe that doesn't have a trusty sugar cookie recipe):

3 cups flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar

1. Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
2. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Add egg and milk nice and slow; continue to beat.
4. Very slowly add flour. When the dough pulls away from the sides, it’s done.
5. Separate dough into two different slabs, cover, and chill for at least two hours.

Now, I wrap my dough in parchment paper before chilling. This way, when it comes out of the fridge, I can roll it out while it's still on the parchment. (I tape the corners to the counter to prevent it from sliding around.) I sprinkle powdered sugar on the dough and rolling pin instead of flour. Then bake at 375 degrees for about nine minutes or, you know, until golden brown.

For the royal icing: beat together two egg whites and two teaspoons lemon juice until frothy. Add three cups of powdered sugar and mix until glossy and stiff peaks form (five to seven minutes).

God, I love these cookies. (You can go here for a printer-friendly version of the recipe.)

So, peeps, how was your weekend?


  1. Actually I don't have a sugar cookie recipe. I love the idea of powdered sugar on the rolling pin rather than flour, brilliant! I don't know why I don't have a sugar cookie recipe though, that is really odd. I know I've made them before only because I did that silly rolling it out to thin thing. Loving the 1/4 inch thick thing, works for me! They look very pretty too, like you spent a ton of time on them. BTW what I've learned after 7 years of marriage (we first dated when we were 16, that was 20 years ago so we have no idea when that anniversary hits) is that if you want something specific just buy it yourself and thank the hubby. I just bought my birthday present (May 28th, late much?) today. I didn't tell the hubby but he told me to buy myself that camera bag I wanted this evening. How convenient....

  2. Y'know, the Husband's stink eye might have saved you from serious disappointment. There is a chain shop here called Cookie Bouquet, I think, and the cookies are so cute! But they taste like plywood. So not worth the money.As for my weekend, I went to the circus and then got drunk. It's been way too long since I did either of those things, so it was a good weekend!

  3. I figured you would decorate them with orange and purple colors, or is gold and purple, in honor of your Lakers. Finals start Thursday dear. And yes I am bummed my sweet Chauncey didn't make it to the finals. But I'm glad Orlando beat the hoodlum of Cavs. Sugar cookies go with anything, well maybe except beer and NBA finals. LOL!

  4. I am making these today with the kids. I will let you know how they turn out.

  5. Thanks for the great looking recipe- I've not had any luck with my mom's recipe, maybe these will turn out for me as lovely as they did for you!We also went on a bike ride this weekend. Only 5 miles though- we're trying very hard not to end up a zombie after a bike ride so we can enjoy the rest of the day.

  6. Any time a recipe says roll out the dough, I skip it. Rolling dough is one of my top disliked things to do in cooking. It's up right there with "stir constantly"! So, I will probably never taste these beautiful cookies. Sigh.

  7. I just said to Emma after drinking a sugarless smoothie...I wish I could find something I liked eating on this diet.Those cookies. I think they would fit half the bill.

  8. I lied. I will be making these tomorrow with the kids. Today we cleaned the garage out and I am TIRED!

  9. We really like these! We had so much fun making them. They seemed a bit crumbly at first but, they turned out great. We frosted them with a great buttercream frosting recipe that I came up with. Yum! Thanks Steph.

  10. have you read the blood brothers trilogy yet? just finished it. The series that you just started is a good one enjoy it!Love the cookies Yumm!