This week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was chosen by Ulrike of Kuchenlatein. I was initially not terribly excited about a sugar cookie recipe, and to be honest, I considered using my kitchen renovation as a justification for not baking this week. But I did have use of the kitchen this weekend, and I decided to play with the recipe as Dorie suggested and see what I could come up with. I considered rolling the cookie dough in chopped hazelnuts or almonds, or even in chopped flake coconut or cocoa nibs (which I rejected after tasting them-too bitter), but I kept coming back to this wonderful Vietnamese cinnamon from Penzey's. It's very spicy and aromatic, so I probably only added 1/4 teaspoon to the dry ingredients. The recipe is super quick to make. Some of the TWD bakers had trouble with the dough being sticky, so I tried to handle it as little as possible. I finished adding the dry ingredients with a spatula so I wouldn't over mix it. Since I was going to do slice and bake cookies, I plopped the dough on to two pieces of plastic wrap and tried to form it into two perfectly round logs. Well, I tried. My logs were more elliptical. The dough was then refrigerated for two hours before baking.
Before slicing the logs, I rolled them in turbinado sugar. I sliced them about 1/4" thick and got three dozen (the recipe said it yields 50 cookies, so maybe my logs were a little chubby). I pressed one side of some of the cookies in chopped almonds before baking. They baked for 9 minutes at 325 degrees in a convection oven (the recipe called for 350).
I loved these cookies! I was so surprised by the hint of cinnamon and the crunch of the turbinado sugar. The sweetness of the cookie was nicely balanced by the salt the recipe called for. I thought it was a terrific cookie, and friends I shared them with agreed. I will definitely use this recipe in the future, and I do plan to make a coconut variation. The next time I use nuts, I will toast them in the oven before using them as the 9 minute baking time wasn't enough to punch up their flavor. If you want the recipe, check out Ulrike's blog. And visit some of the other TWD bakers here. They are a creative and inspiring group of people.
FOLLOW UP 12/14/08:
I baked a batch of these with coconut extract and rolled them in toasted coconut before baking. The coconut flavor was understated, except in the ones I also pressed the tops in the toasted coconut. I prefer the cinnamon version I made, but am glad I tried these in coconut.