Sunday, March 1, 2009
How do you spell relief? S-U-G-A-R Bar Cookies
I am convinced that the headache that is still holding my head hostage is fueled by hormones. I say that because I had a burning desire to eat sugar-- not any kind of sugar, mind you. It had to be white cake with frosting. My only explanation for this very specific craving comes from childhood memories-- when I was a little girl, counting down the days until my birthday. I knew that my mother would splurge and buy the birthday cake of my own choosing. I always asked for white cake with white frosting and lots and LOTS of gooey, sugar coma inducing roses.
In recent year, I've pretty much OD'd on eating grocery store bakery white cake with over-the-top frosting-- and I've developed a fondness for my local bakery "Layers". I've abandoned the not-even-on-the-food-pyramid COSTCO style gooey cakes in lieu of French Buttercream, made with quality butter...100% butter. Better yet, my new birthday cake request is currently a Princess Cake with sponge cake, rasberry filling, whipped cream and almond fondant-- please and thank you.
But, yesterday, I wanted my childhood white cake with frosting.
However, I wasn't feeling up to making a white cake from scratch (I've stopped buying cake mixes years ago)-- and then I remembered a few variations of Sugar Cookie Bars I've seen on various food blogs. I settled on the one from Ice Cream Before Dinner.
I confess, that I usually do not keep Crisco in my pantry. Call me an ingredient snob, but I try to use only real butter, olive oil and canola oil in all of my recipes. I was so ready to make my own buttercream frosting, but I decided to try a recipe I saw that uses vegetable shortening.
Forgive me, "Foodie Purists", but I was hormonally driven to put the stick of softened butter and (with trembling hands) I opened up the small can of Crisco I had purchases for a pie crust recipe I've been wanting to make.
NOTE: Since I posted this frosting, I now use 1/2 butter and 1/2 vegetable shortening.
The cookie dough came together in a matter of minutes, thanks to my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer Workhorse.
Once the baked cookie had cooled, I made the frosting. It made a LOT!
I have a Williams & Sonoma Italian off-set spatula that was given to me as a gift (and it cost a fortune), so I got a little carried away in frosting these-- as in I think I went a little crazy with the frosting.
And I still had leftover frosting-- that I will probably use to make homemade Hostess Chocolate Cupcakes... on another day. According to the recipe, the frosting stores for 8-12 weeks-- kinda scary, huh? I read the Crisco label, by the way. They swear that vegetable shortening has less saturated fat than butter. Truth be told, if I am going to eat a dessert, I am going full speed ahead. Forget trying to make baked goods less fattening. That's what exercise was invented for, right?
I will say this-- I took one bite and my craving had been totally satisfied. The frosting was sweet-- as in very, very sweet. It reminded me exactly of my childhood birthday cakes. Is that what the term "comfort food" really means?
The rest of the cookies are the sole property of my 6'3, 20 year old son, who eats continuously and does not gain weight. As for me, I need to stay away from these. They are sinfully good, and would give any kid a case of hyper sugar syndrome.
The cookie was a little too thick, in my opinion-- but I can only blame myself. Next time, I think I'd use a larger pan than a 9X13 and I'd press the dough too be much thinner. As for the frosting-- I'll stick with my butter cream recipe. This particular vanilla frosting is better destined for cupcakes-- white cupcakes. The next time that my hormones scream for white cake, that's what I'll do.
Still, if you have kids and you want to make a special treat-- brace yourself for the sugar shock. These are fast and easy to make.