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Sunday, November 7, 2010

crunchy sugar cookies.

These are not soft sugar cookies, these are crunchy sugar cookies.

These are not just crunchy sugar cookies, these are heart-shaped crunchy sugar cookies. 

Now we're talking. 

But I have a problem. These were crunchy at the edges, but somewhat chewy in the middle. Maybe I'd under-baked them. Flavour-wise, this recipe did not really deliver. Because it called for half butter and half shortening, the cookies turned out less buttery, which was expected but disappointing all the same. Plus, I think they could be a little sweeter. What's a sugar cookie without enough sugar?

However, they certainly made their presence known. With one tablespoon of vanilla, how could they not? My fingers still smell like vanilla. 

I followed the recipe exactly, except that I left out the nutmeg and shaped them into smaller heart-shaped cookies. Would I make these again? Probably not. But trust me, the vanilla flavour was worth the shot.


1/4 cup (1 5/8 ounces) vegetable shortening
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick. 2 ounces) unsalted butter
2/3 cup (4 3/4 ounces) sugar
1/4 cup (2 ounces) milk
1 teaspoon white vinegar or cider vinegar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, to taste
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
In a large mixing bowl, beat together the shortening, butter and sugar till smooth. Add the milk, vinegar and vanilla, again beating till well-combined. The mixture may look a bit curdled; that's OK.

Add the nutmeg, flour, baking soda and salt to the wet ingredients, and beat until the mixture forms a cohesive dough.

Drop the dough in round blobs onto a parchment-lined or greased baking sheet. They should be a bit bigger than a ping-pong ball, a bit smaller than a golf ball. Using a cookie scoop (or, if you have one, a small ice cream scoop, one that will hold about 2 level tablespoons of liquid) makes this task extremely simple. Leave about 2 inches between the dough balls, as they'll spread as they bake.

Bake the cookies in a preheated 350°F oven for about 16 to 18 minutes, or until they're just beginning to brown around the bottom edges. Remove them from the oven, and cool on a rack. As they cool, they'll become crisp. If you want them to remain crisp, store them in an airtight container when they're totally cool. If you want them to get a bit chewy, store them in a bag with a slice of apple or a sugar softener. 
Yield: about 1 1/2 dozen 3-inch cookies.
Note:To make 4-inch cookies, make balls of dough about the size of a hand ball. Flatten them and bake as directed above. Yield: about ten 4-inch cookies.

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