Thursday, February 24, 2011

Easy Slice & Bake Cookies

I have been slightly reluctant to post this next recipe.  You see, I have been looking for that PERFECT sugar cookie.  Considering I am still learning quite a bit, I didn't recognize that the recipe I am about to post is more of a shortbread cookie and not a sugar cookie.  DUH lol!  Because I was so unimpressed by their "sugar cookie quality" I only baked up a few and only took one picture of them.  I baked them up next to a new sugar cookie recipe and ate them again only to realize, hey these really melt in your mouth!

Here is the absolute beauty of these cookies...Its one recipe that can be adapted to numerous amounts of flavor combinations.  Seriously.  These are cran-pistachio.  The other flavor I made was lemon poppyseed.  Then I drizzled those with lemon icing.

These are a breeze to whip up.  Now getting them into said "log" shape with exact measurements for me was the challenge.  My cookies came out half dollar size, a skosh small.  The texture was melt in your mouth, light and buttery.  These would be great to keep on hand in the freezer in different combo's for a quick coffee with friends.  They would even fair well on the yearly Christmas platters.  

Slice-and-Bake Cookies
(Courtesy of Smitten Kitchen)
Makes about 50 cookies

2 sticks (8 ounces; 230 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoons vanilla or almond extract
2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour

  • Mix in grated zest of 2 lemons; coat with or mix in 1/4 cup poppy seeds
  • Mix in grated zest of 2 oranges and 1/2 cup dried cranberries 
  • Mix in grated zest of 2 limes; coat with 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • Mix in 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots; mix in 1/2 cup finely chopped pistachios
  • Mix in 1/2 cup mini chocolate or peanut-butter chips
  • Mix in 1/4 cup finely chopped candied ginger; coat with or mix in 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • Swap 1/4 cup of flour for unsweetened cocoa
  • Swap 1/2 to 1 cup of flour for ground almonds, pecans, hazelnuts or walnuts
1. Put the butter in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat at medium speed until it is smooth. Add the sifted confectioners’ sugar and beat again until the mixture is smooth and silky. Beat in the egg yolks, followed by the salt and any dried fruits, zest, nuts or seeds. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, beating just until it disappears. It is better to underbeat than overbeat at this point; if the flour isn't fully incorporated, that’s okay just blend in whatever remaining flour needs blending with a rubber spatula. Turn the dough out onto a counter, gather it into a ball, and divide it in half. Wrap each piece of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. 

 2. Working on a smooth surface, form each piece of dough into a log that is about 1 to 1 1/4 inches (2.5 to 3.2 cm) thick. (Get the thickness right, and the length you end up with will be fine.) Wrap the logs in plastic and chill for 2 hours. (The dough can be wrapped airtight and kept refrigerated for up to 3 days or stored in the freezer for up to 1 month). 

 3. Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  (I used a silpat). 

 4. While the oven is preheating, roll cookie logs in any coatings of your choice. Then, using a sharp slender knife, slice each log into cookies about 1/3 inch (10 mm) thick. (You can make the cookies thicker if you’d like; just bake them longer.) Place the cookies on the lined baking sheets, leaving about 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) space between them. 

 5. Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, or until they are set but not browned. Transfer the cookies to cooling racks to cool to room temperature. 

Do ahead: Packed airtight, the cookies will keep for about 5 days at room temperature, or in the freezer for a month. Unbaked logs can be frozen for longer.

1 comment:

  1. Now I could use one of these with my cup of coffee!!! OK....maybe two or three....whose counting??? Kelli~~~these look so good! Soon, I will have by own cookbook of recipe's from YOU! Hope you are having a nice dinner tonight with your old friend! :o) HUGS~Tory