Mason County News
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The Practical Baker
Wednesday, April 21, 2010 • Posted April 21, 2010

Simple, Traditional Sugar Cookies

from Cook’s Illustrated

This recipe caught my attention because Sheila makes sugar cookies frequently, and this didn’t look anything like the "old time" recipe that she uses. You will produce a couple of dozen cookies with balanced flavor, crisp edges, chewy centers, and a nice crackled top.


2 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon table salt

1 ½ cups sugar (plus 1/3rd cup for rolling)

2 ounces of cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and still warm

1/3rd cup vegetable oil

1 large egg

1 tablespoon milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1) Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together in medium bowl. Set aside.

2) Place 1 ½ cups sugar and the cream cheese in a large bowl. Place remaining 1/3rd cup sugar in shallow baking dish or pie plate and set aside. Pour warm butter over sugar and cream cheese and whisk together. (Some small lumps of cream cheese may remain, but will smooth out later.) Whisk in oil until incorporated. Add egg, milk, and vanilla; continue to whisk until smooth. Add flour mixture and mix with rubber spatula until homogeneous dough forms.

3) Divide dough into 24 equal pieces of about 2 tablespoons each. Using hands, roll dough into balls, then roll in the sugar to coat completely. Set each ball on the prepared baking sheet. Using the bottom of a drinking glass, flatten each dough ball until it’s about 2 inches in diameter. Sprinkle tops of cookies evenly with the remaining sugar.

4) Bake, one tray at a time, until the edges are set and beginning to brown, 11 to 13 minutes, rotating the baking sheet at the 7 minute mark.. Allow cookies to cool on the pan for 5 minutes; using a wide metal spatula, transfer cookies to a wire rack and let them cool to room temperature.

I’m pretty sure that these cookies will become a family favorite in your house; they sure did in ours! And in the Mason County News office!!

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