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Eclecticisms: Multi-tasking and Sugar Cookies

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Multi-tasking and Sugar Cookies

I was in the mood to bake tonight, but didn't want to start anything too involved. I decided to try out a basic Martha Stewart sugar cookie recipe, and they turned out pretty good. While I was making them I also was making some mushroom and broccoli pasta, and the multi-tasking wasn't too bad... except that while testing a noodle I burned my tongue and lip pretty badly. Here's how it went.

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

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour, baking soda, and salt into a bowl; set aside. 

I don't usually sift my flour. I've noticed that many flours are packaged as "pre-sifted", and honestly, if I'm not using a great flour (I love King Arthur but don't always have it) I feel like it's just.... I don't know. Finer? Don't get me wrong- I'm not a flour snob (though I do tink some generic brands give you a drier dough or batter). Instead of sifting, I will often mix dry ingredients well with a fork. I've never had a problem with clumps, so it seems to work for me.

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.

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.

I didn't realize when reading over the recipe (YES I read this one before I started!) that these were going to be pretty big cookies. I was curious about the flattening them though, as I've never heard that called for in a recipe. So, I decided to leave one as-is and see how it turned out. Yay for mini-experiments!

It was about this time that I went to stir my pasta and veggies. The noodles felt about done, so I gingerly lifted one out with my wooden spoon, watched the steam rise for a few seconds as it cooled, and lifted it to my mouth. That, my dear readers, is when the pain began. The pasta I was making was lumache, which you can see in picture to the left. (I literally just dug through my garbage to get the name of this pasta so I could really explain how I managed to do this.) These little bastards are shaped perfectly to house enough boiling water to do some damage. As I went to bite into the noodle to test it, boiling hot water came spilling out, all over my tongue and lower lip. Holy. Cow. The worst part? Now I couldn't taste any of the goodies I was making! I'm hoping for a speedy recovery, and am thankful I don't have any gross blisters. It still hurts quite a bit though, I must say.

Back to the recipe. Well, back to the recipe in theory. Martha tells us to "Sprinkle tops with sanding sugar, then lightly brush with a wet pastry brush; sprinkle with more sanding sugar" but I was preoccupied with keeping my food from NOT burning and focusing on the pain in my mouth. So, I unintentionally skipped that part. They turned out fine, just not fancy. Also- I planned to use raw sugar instead of sanding. Not that it matters now!

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.

The cookie I didn't flatten is just a little puffier and baked just fine. I'm not able to taste it though!

From what I can taste, these are good and they are super simple to make!  Better luck next time I suppose, but I would still call these cookies a "good thing".



At April 22, 2010 at 5:28 PM , OpenID whisk-kid said...

Oh no! As soon as I saw the shape of that pasta, I figured that was what had happened! I hope it heals quickly!

The cookies look yummy. I am a HUGE fan of sugar cookies :)


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