Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Chewy Sugar Cookies

A sugar cookie is a sugar cookie is a... well, not necessarily!  To me, the perfect sugar cookie has crispy edges with a chewy center.  It needs to have just the right balance of butter flavor and vanilla custard.  The extra sugar coating adds that perfect crunchy texture on your tongue.  I have never been impressed with commercially packaged sugar cookies.   There used to be a cookie franchise business that was located in two of our local malls. But they closed down during the Atkins No-Carb craze.   Every so often, I would buy one of their freshly baked sugar cookies and I missed those.

I haven't made cookies in a long time, and I thought I'd treat my family to a lunchbox treat.

I caught a video of one of my favorite TV cooking shows, "America's Test Kitchen", and I was intrigued with an ingredient that is added to their recipe-- cream cheese!  Interesting!  What I particularly liked about this recipe is that the batter is mixed by hand.   Here's how it's done:


According to the video I watched, weighing the flour is more important the relying on a measuring cup.  I needed 11-1/4 ounces of flour (or 2 1/4 cups).  As it turns out, they measured the same.  Still, I do use my digital scale often.

So, here's the ingredient line-up:  all-purpose flour (I use unbleached), baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, softened cream cheese, vegetable oil, one egg, milk, and vanilla.  (A printable recipe is at the end of this post.)  You'll want to organize your ingredients, because you'll be adding melted butter, while it's still warm.  This happens fast. Ready?

Only 2 ounces of softened cream cheese is used, and it's added to the white sugar.

 Next, we add 3/4 stick of melted, warm, butter. Whisk to combine.

Add the oil, and one egg...

 Add the milk, and pure vanilla.. and I'm not even breaking a sweat!

Dump in the flour and stir with a spatula until it becomes soft and homogenous.


Divide dough into 24 equal pieces, about 2 tablespoons each (or use #40 portion scoop). Using hands, roll dough into balls.  NOTE: The final dough will be slightly softer than most cookie dough. For the best results, handle the dough as briefly and gently as possible when shaping the cookies. Overworking the dough will result in flatter cookies.  Roll them into sugar ...

...and evenly space on prepared baking sheet, 12 dough balls per sheet. Using bottom of drinking glass (I used the bottom of a measuring cup), flatten dough balls until 2 inches in diameter. Sprinkle tops evenly with 4 teaspoons of sugar remaining in shallow dish (2 teaspoons per tray), discarding any remaining sugar.
 
Bake, 1 tray at a time, until edges are set and just beginning to brown, 11 to 13 minutes, rotating tray after 7 minutes.

The cookies will come out nice and puffy.  Now, I'm a fan of a golden cookie.  However, don't be tempted to keep on baking these! You'll end up with an all crispy cookie, and not that chewy center that we're going for. I baked mine for 13 minutes...

You want to test the cookie with a light press. It will indent a bit, but the outside edges have the slightest gold color.  Here's where patience is important...

 You have to let these cool on the baking sheet for five minutes. Tick, tock, tick, tock...

OK, it's been five minutes and five seconds... I can't stand the wait!

The cookies are still pretty warm, and pliable.  I take a bite and chew. Gooey.  Is it underbaked, I wonder? Husband takes a bite, and asks me the same thing.  I read the directions again, and it says to cool to room temperature. Oh, c'mon!

I removed these to a cooking rack, and waited ten more agonizing minutes.  I ate another cookie (purely for research).
I think these are gorgeous cookies!  They're perfectly symmetrical, and look like a professional bakery.  Nice!

VERDICT:  Do I feel a crispy crunch as I bite?  Yes!  Do I get that chewy center? Yes, indeed!  Is it underbaked? No!   What I taste is vanilla custard.  The butter isn't overpowering, but it's there.  This cookie is just like that one I used to buy at that cookie place.   These are excellent!  Now, I had visions of wrapping pretty colored ribbon around a stack of these, and photographing them. Only, I was losing my natural light.  I decided to shoot photos the next day.  Well, that wasn't going to happen...  let's just say that out of the 24 cookies, there were four left!  I'd say that the men in my life liked them.

 If you love sugar cookies, then here's the recipe for you!  You don't need those package mixes or the ones you cut from the wrapped up plastic roll. You know exactly what I'm talking about!

So, here's the printable recipe.  Now make them, and enjoy! By the way, if if there are any left, you can microwave them for about 5 seconds. They become slightly warm and extra chewy.  Mmmmm.

I always post a printable recipe card at the end of each recipe post. If you cannot view it, you might be using an older version of InternetExplorer. You should be able to view my recipe cards with Safari, Mozilla, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer.
If you still can't view the recipe card, all of my recipes are stored on Key Ingredient, by clicking here.

If you still can't figure out how to view the printable recipe card, please email me at foodiewife@gmail.com and I am happy to help







Pin It

13 comments:

Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

That is the perfect sugar cookie! I love that you don't have to use a mixer! I'm keeping this one! Thanks!

bellini said...

I have it bookmarker, a chewy version appeals to me!

Joanne said...

A good sugar cookie is revelatory but oh so hard to make! Seems like you've found the perfect recipe!

Lucie said...

These look perfect! How delicious.

Susan said...

These cookies look so good! This recipe is definitely going on my "to do" list.

Noelle Ritter said...

love the play by play. it's amazing what 10 minutes can do to a cookie! best to always wait. :-)

i've been looking for a sugar cookie inspiration to try some lavender in. been wanting to experiment with this combo. may use this recipe. mmmmmm

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I would never have guessed cream cheese in a sugar cookie. But it works it looks like. good for you for waiting and having patience.

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

I'm going to make this recipe because I like a little bit of a chewy center in a cookie. And if there were only four left that is a good enough recommendation for me.

Chiara "Kika" Assi said...

I'm not a cookie person, but I love a good chewy sugar cookie!

Healthy and Homemade said...

I love chewy sugar cookies! I've never made them from scratch, I always use the mix kind =P I should give these a shot!!

Kate said...

Oh Debby, your sugar cookies look divine!

Monica H said...

This is the base recipe for the chewy coconut lime sugar cookies I made not too long ago. Yes, they are crisp on the edges and chewy in the center. If you like lime and coconut, I'd give the others a try too!

Ashley Huegel said...

Thanks for this fantastic recipe! I wrote about making these cookies on my blog at http://www.ashleymarieskitchen.com/2013/08/sugar-cookies.html

Thanks again!