Pre-Christmas Confession

So, confession is supposed to be good for the soul, right? What if I don’t feel guilty? Do I still need to confess? Well, I will anyway.

Every morning on the way to my classroom, I pass a bin for used book donations. These books go to our annual school used book sale sponsored by the Parents Association. I love this book sale. I walk away with bags full of books. Books for me, books for Mama Mildred, books for friends, books for my classroom. And now there will be books for the Adorable Grandbaby. A couple of mornings ago, I glanced into the bin and spotted the book above. There was no way I was leaving that book for someone who would not appreciate it as much as I will. So, yes, I snatched it up. Actually, I very casually picked it up, started flipping through it and sauntered into my classroom still perusing cookie porn. I love King Arthur Flour and use no other when baking. 496 pages of recipes, photos, hints and advice when making cookies. Soften up the butter and preheat the oven!

And I promise to make a donation to the book sale in April. Baker’s honor.

Here is the first recipe I am trying (stay tuned- I promise photos, the dough is in the refrigerator chilling as I type)–

King Arthur’s Special Roll-Out Sugar Cookies

The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion, 2004

Often sugar cookies are fat and soft, the cumulus clouds of cookiedom. But when you roll out the dough, rather than drop it from a spoon, you reach the other extreme: thin and snapping-crisp. Make them just a bit thicker, and you’ve got crunchy. These golden cookies, with their comforting vanilla flavor, pair nicely with ice cream or fresh fruit. The dough is also sturdy enough to be cut into fanciful shapes and decorated. (Cookie porn, I warned you)

Yields: 42 cookies (depending on size, of course)

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract, optional (I added another 1/2 tsp. vanilla)
1 large egg, room temperature
1/4 cup heavy cream or sour cream
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

  • In a medium-sized bowl, beat the butter, sugar, salt, baking powder, vanilla, and almond extract (if using) until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat well. Add half the cream, all of the cornstarch, and half the flour; beat well. Add the remaining cream and flour, mixing just until all of the ingredients are well incorporated.
  • Divide the dough in half, flatten into rounds, and wrap well in plastic. Refrigerate for 1 hour or more, to facilitate rolling.
  • Preheat oven to 350˚F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment paper- my preferred method) two baking sheets.
  • Transfer the chilled dough to a lightly floured surface and place a piece of plastic wrap over it while you roll it out to keep it from sticking to the rolling pin. Roll the dough to 1/8-1/4-inch thick. Cut it into the shapes of your choice and transfer to the prepared baking sheets.
  • Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, until they’re set but not browned. Remove them from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a rack to cool completely.
  Bon appétit and happy baking. Warm cookies make people feel loved. I am sure of that. And that’s the best part of baking, in my humble opinion.

4 thoughts on “Pre-Christmas Confession

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