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Sugar Cookies?
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jmrcrp
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:05 pm    Post subject: Sugar Cookies? Reply with quote

I'm doing my holiday baking, and I seem to have lost some of my recipes. sad I used to have a couple of good recipes for sugar cookies, but I can't find them now. Does anyone have a good fool-proof recipe, and tips for how to roll them out without using so much flour on the board that it ruins them? Thanks a lot for any help!
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DamonDamore
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sorry. I really only deal with drop cookies. There are drop-cookie sugar cookie recipes you could try if you're worried about rolling them right. Not that I remember any of them off the top of my head... whistle
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jmrcrp
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They have to be the roll kind so I can use my tree, star, and bell cutters. The kids won't have it any other way. laugh

Thanks for the reply, though! smile
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17mars
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm very wicked and only use the "dough in a tub" kind from the refrigerator section then pass it off as "homemade" blush
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hjaxon1701
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 4:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

17mars wrote:
I'm very wicked and only use the "dough in a tub" kind from the refrigerator section then pass it off as "homemade" blush


surprise Mars!! That's cheating!! Just kidding... hug I bake cookies the old fashioned way - from scratch and with a wooden spoon - mostly because if you give me an electric mixer, 50% of the dough will end up on the floor or on the walls... rolleyes whistle laugh

JM, if you would like, I can email my Gramma and ask her what recipe she uses when she makes sugar cookies. She'd be happy to pass it along I'm sure. Normally I'd walk up to her house and copy it down, but I'm kind of stuck at my computer for the next few days writing term papers...

I have never made sugar cookie dough, but I have done some rolling of the dough with Gramma. The main thing I remember is to put the least amount of pressue that you can on the pin and still flatten the dough - that way you run less risk of tearing it, and then having to ball it up again and start over. Handling the dough as little as possible with your hands is also important I believe, because handling can wear off the flour or something like that. It's ironic isn't it - sugar cookies are the least complex cookies out there, but much more difficult to bake than chocolate chip cookies, which you just mix up, scoop 'em out on a pan and bake them - no rolling necessary!

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jmrcrp
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with you about hand-mixing - why bother using a mixer when the dough is just going to get all balled up around the beaters, anyway? And I think it makes the cookies tougher. I also use a wooden spoon, which never gets used for anything else. But I usually just make drop cookies, like chocolate chip or oatmeal.

I would love to have your grandmother's recipe if you want to send it along. And thanks for the tips! smile
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ruthml
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you get golden syrup in the USA? It's made from sugar, is a golden brown in colour with a distinctive flavour. Molasses and treacle are not substitutes, although treacle is vaguely close but too dark and too strong in taste. I want to make Anzac biscuits and golden syrup is an essential ingredient.

I have never made cookies that you roll-out, preferring the drop off a teaspoon sort, or the "make little balls and flatten with fork" type. I do have a biscuit cookbook though and found this:

Creamed Sugar Dough
to make 850g (1.5lbs)

175g/6oz butter
300g/10oz castor sugar or 250g/8oz sugar & 50g/2oz vanilla sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp grated lemon rind or other flavouring (optional)
350g/12oz flour
salt

Cream butter, sugar until pale & fluffy. Mix in egg yolk, egg & flavouring. Sift flour and salt. Add flour gradually. When dough becomes too stiff to stir, add flour in by hand.

For a soft dough suitable for piping, add 2 eggs, for a stiffer dough suitable to roll out use the 1 egg.

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jmrcrp
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll have to give that one a try! I'm not sure what castor sugar and vanilla sugar are - can you substitute regular granulated sugar?

I think the golden syrup is Karo Syrup here in the US. It is very pale in color, almost clear. It's actually a corn-based syrup, though, so I don't know if it is the same thing.

Thank you!
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17mars
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, golden syrup isn't Karo. I can get Lyle's Golden here in the Seattle area at several British Import shops and at one local supermarket that offers a lot of specialties.
Personally I like Roger's Golden Syrup which I get in Canada whenever I visit (only about a two hour drive for me.)
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patchover
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just got here to this thread..

My Betty Crocker Book I have had since age 10


3/4 cup of shortening *part butter if you want*
1 cup sugar (granulated)
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

That's what I have done for years.. Was my grandma's too hug

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ruthml
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Castor sugar is just white sugar but finer grade - often used in baking as it creams up faster. It is NOT the sugar used to make cake frosting. I think that's called confectioner's sugar right? Or else known as icing sugar in Oz/UK.

I don't know if you can get castor sugar in the US, but in any case normal white sugar is fine. It's really more of a short cut sugar :)

Vanilla sugar is just white sugar that has been scented with a vanilla bean. You can make it by putting a vanilla bean in a jar with some sugar and leaving it for a few weeks... or you might be able to buy vanilla sugar but that's all it is. Or instead of the lemon rind you could just add a teaspoon of vanilla.

Mars thanks for the tip about Lyle's brand of golden syrup, yes it's definitely not corn syrup! I'll have a look for it in the specialty supermarkets, there's one here called Whole Foods I've been meaning to visit.

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jmrcrp
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the info and turning this into a great discussion! You all are wonderful!

I found a recipe and video from Alton Brown of the Food Network. His method is to use powdered (confectioner's) sugar on the board where you roll out the cookies, rather than using flour. If you think about it, it might make some sense, you wouldn't get that toughness you get from too much flour on the board. He also shows a method for transferring the cookies to the baking sheet, which is a neat trick. He leaves the cutter in the dough, slides the turner under the whole thing, then removed the cutter after it is on the baking sheet. So it doesn't distort the shape of the cookie while you are transferring it (which was always a big problem for me).

I don't like his recipe though, it's one of those "modern baking" recipes that uses practically no salt at all. Don't these new age bakers know that salt brings out the flavors in baked goods? Otherwise, it tastes very bland to me. I like that good old-fashioned way of using salted butter, then adding at least 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the dry ingredients. Everyone says my cookies are excellent (except my sugar cookies laugh ) and I always do it that way.
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ruthml
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Using the confectioner's sugar is a good idea, I would never have thought of that - yes, that's why that person you quoted publishes cookbooks and I don't!

I do know that handling pastry dough too much will make it harder to roll out - do you chill it first before rolling?

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patos
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ruthml wrote:
Mars thanks for the tip about Lyle's brand of golden syrup, yes it's definitely not corn syrup! I'll have a look for it in the specialty supermarkets, there's one here called Whole Foods I've been meaning to visit.


Whole Foods! (drool, drool) I love those stores and do wish there was one here in Mexico in my town. laugh rolleyes

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DamonDamore
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking of this, are there any brown-suqar cookie recipes? Or would that make them more of a molasses cookie? Despite never having brown sugar, it's one of my favorite things to try and work into recipe (like garlic powder; No, not the same recipes, trust me).
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