Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie - Grandma's All Occasion Sugar Cookies


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.

13 comments:

vibi said...

All seems ready for the arrival of Santa, huh? LOL
If I were an elf traveling with him, I'd be sure to also snatch that oh! so beautiful glass! LOL
Lovely, Leslie!

leanne said...

Rolling them in turbinado sugar was a great idea. I will have to try that with the dough I have frozen.

Jacque said...

Your additions sound wonderful. This cookie recipe seems so versatile... the possibilities are endless.

Nice job and I'm glad you decided to bake this week.

Congrats on the new kitchen :)

AmyRuth said...

So glad you got in your new kitchen. That's so awesome. I agree with your impressions of this super easy and delicious cookie. Love the saigon cinnamon. Tastes much like red hots. :-) Crunchy almonds were probably delish-I'll have to try that next time. I just kept it to the raw sugar on the outside this time.
AmyRuth

Liliana said...

The cookies must taste divine with cinnamon. I will have to try that next time!

Tammy said...

I have never heard of turbinado sugar. I really want to try the slice and bake method though and will try that next time

Kimberly Johnson said...

Your cookies turned out great! The ones with almonds look especially delicious!

Megan said...

I thought cocoa nibs would be great, but I agree, they are bitter. I buy Saigon Cinnamon from Costco, and it's SUPER strong, I have to remember to use less. I think these would be good rolled in cinnamon/sugar, too. Oh, the possibilities!! Email me a cookie when you make the coconut version. I love coconut!

Leslie said...

You're on, Megan!

Jaime said...

nice cookies and great idea to roll them in the turbinado sugar :)

Teanna said...

I wish I had tried these with cinnamon! Your cookies look fantastic!!! I hope the kitchen renovations are going well!

Peggy said...

Happy about your new kitchen. Since I just went through renovating mine I can certain sympathize with anyone else. Your cookies look great!

mangomissives said...

good looking cookies! congrats on the kitchen reno, I am hoping to finally start mine soon.