Friday, December 10, 2010

Cookies Day 16 - Sugar Cookies

Today in NOTL:  Cloudy and cool, with temps rising to a high of 36F/2C this afternoon and perhaps a bit of snow later.

We received a gift of books yesterday - two boxes of books ranging from pop culture and entertainment to various approaches to spirituality.  What fun! Some were old and yellowed, and others were in perfect, mint condition.  This prompted us to take a look at our own bookshelves and put a few titles out on the sale shelves in the showroom. 

Of course, some books have just outlived their usefulness.  I have several books in such terrible condition - broken spines, pages loose or missing, that kind of thing - that their greatest value is no longer in the story they tell but in the materials of their composition.  Time to recycle!

 You may have noticed the pear card I put up yesterday - scroll down to see it if not - which was painted on an old, early 1900s page of Kipling.  Using the pages as supports for painting, drawing, etc., is perhaps my favourite use for no-longer-readable books.

Of course, I can't paint on ALL those scrumptious pages, so I'll be going through my craft items and putting some destash packages onto Etsy in the coming days and weeks.  Look for them in my shop,

And speaking of scrumptious, here is a really nice sugar cookie recipe.  Sugar cookies are fabulous for hurried bakers because they are simple to make and endlessly variable.  Here is a basic sugar cookie recipe with variations following.


1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups sifted flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/3 cup milk
Oven 350F.

1.  Cream butter. Add sugar in portions, mixing till smooth.
2.  Add egg yolks and vanilla, mixing well.
3.  Add dry ingredients, blending well.
4.  Chill 1 hour.
5.  Roll to 1/8 inch on well-floured surface with floured rolling pin.
6.  Cut cookies with glass or cutters and place on cookie sheets prepared with paper, silicone, or nonstick spray.
7.  Bake 8 to 10 minutes at 350F.
8.  Cool on racks, decorating when completely cooled.
Makes about 5 dozen.  Store in tightly covered container.

Almond cookies:  Use almond extract instead of vanilla.  Add 1-2 cups finely diced ground nuts to dough.
Pecan cookies:   Use brown sugar instead of granulated.  Add 1-2 cups finely diced ground nuts to dough.
Lemon cookies:  Use lemon extract instead of vanilla.  Add 1-2 teaspoons grated lemon peel to dough. (If you have no lemon extract, you can use 2 or 3 teaspoons of lemon juice instead)
Peppermint cookies:  Use peppermint extract instead of vanilla.  Add crushed candy canes to dough.
Coconut cookies:  Add 1 cup flaked coconut to dough.
Chocolate cookies:  Add 3 tablespoons more milk plus 3 squares of melted chocolate before adding dry ingredients.
Cherry cookies:  Add 2 tbsp. juice from a jar of maraschino cherries to wet mixture and minced cherries to mixture.

You can also vary the cookies by varying the decorations.  Frost some, leave some plain.  Add different kinds of purchased sprinkles to the cookies.  Use nuts instead of sprinkles on some.  Press a pecan half into the frosting for some cookies. 

Melt some chocolate chips. Drizzle melted chocolate over some of the cookies; dip others halfway into the chocolate.  Sprinkle crushed candy cane, chopped nuts, coconut, etc. over the chocolate before it hardens.

You can see how this one recipe can provide an entire cookie party's worth of cookies!

Art today is another blue pear.

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