Sugar Cookies

December 18, 2010 § Leave a comment

‘With your feet in the air and your head on the ground

Try this trick and spin

Your head will collapse

but there’s nothing in it

and you’ll ask yourself

Where is my mind?’

-The Pixies

People often ask me how I find time to blog, especially now that we have so much to do before December 28th… I have a variety of responses, but the the only one that is true, is that this is what I do (these days) when I should be doing something else. I should be packing, sorting, tossing, posting odds and ends on craigslist, adding to the donations pile, disassembling Auralee’s crib, pulling things out of the kitchen cupboards. But what I really want to do is tell you about these simple, rustic cookies.

Now that the holiday season is in full swing, I see a lot of cookie-recipes-to-top-all-cookie-recipes out there in the food blogosphere. Yet the recipe that has gotten the most play on this blog over the past couple of weeks is this one, for almond crescent cookies. It’s a humble little recipe, not nearly as exotic as the Caribbean Chocolate-Chili Stars I saw on npr’s website, and certainly not as complicated (or as pretty) as the decorated cookies featured on Pioneer Woman’s site this season. I can only deduce from the evidence at hand, that some people like to keep things simple during a time of over-indulgence, and I am certainly one of them… I think. Anyway, here is another no-nonsense, rustic cookie recipe for you to enjoy.

Lemon Cornmeal Sugar Cookies, adapted from Gourmet Today

Don’t be intimidated by having to roll and cut these cookies. They are very hard to mess up. Just be careful not to roll your dough out too thin or else your cookies will be brittle. If you want to get fancy, you could dip these in melted chocolate or use them for ice-cream sandwiches.

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/4 cup yellow cornmeal

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 stick Earth Balance Vegan margarine, softened (obviously you can use butter)

1/3 cup confectioners sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Granulated sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.

Prepare 2 cookie sheets, lined with parchment paper.

While you gather ingredients, cut margarine into tablespoon-sized pieces and place it (on foil) on top of the preheating oven to soften.

Whisk together flours, cornmeal, cornstarch, and salt.

Blend margarine, confectioners sugar, vanilla, and zest in a food processor until creamy, about 30 seconds. Scrape down side of bowl, then add all of flour mixture and pulse until dough just begins to come together.

Roll out dough on a well-floured surface with a well-floured rolling pin to 1/3 inch thick. Cut out as many rounds as possible with a 2-inch round cookie cutter or drinking glass and transfer to an ungreased large baking sheet (I used a fluted cookie cutter- you can really use any shape you want). Reroll scraps and cut out more rounds. Sprinkle tops with granulated sugar.

Bake until undersides are pale golden, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.


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