Art Pottery, Politics and Food
Wednesday, December 13, 2006

As woeful Executive branch cowardice procrastinates and soldiers continue to die in the Iraqi abattoir, Christmas nears and duties other than blogging demand my limited attention.
Of course, there were several items that I wanted to write about.
H.W. Bush’s public and symbol-laden blubbering, a record auction price ($11,500) for a kitschy piece of McCoy Pottery and a fascinating new DVD set of Edward R. Murrow’s Person to Person interviews from the 1950’s all fell by the wayside as holiday duties consumed nearly every waking moment.
On the bright side, I was able to come up with a relatively simple sugar cookie recipe amid the smoking wreckage of a failed Pine Nut cookie experiment and (kidding) the recommendations of a hastily assembled, butt-covering Cookie Study Group of former senior cookie advisors.
I hope you will attempt this easy slice and bake sugar cookie.
Its manufacture requires only a mixer, a very sharp knife, a baking sheet and a wary eye on the oven timer.

Refrigerator Sugar Cookie

1 ¾ Cup All-purpose Flour, sifted
2 Tbsp Baking Powder
1/8 Tsp Salt

1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
1/8 Tsp Allspice
1 stick Butter, softened
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Granulated Sugar, with one Tbsp removed

1 Tbsp Dark Brown Sugar, firmly packed into the measure
1 Egg, extra large

Sift Flour, Baking Powder, Salt, Cinnamon and Allspice and set aside.
Beat butter, with an electric mixer to further soften.
Add Vanilla and Sugars and beat for a minute.
Add Egg and beat until incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl.
On lowest mixer speed, add the sifted dry mixture gradually to the Butter and Egg mixture…you may need a spatula to incorporate the last remaining bits of flour.
Turn dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap or waxed paper and form into a long cylinder of dough.
Carefully wrap the dough cylinder in plastic wrap or wax paper and refrigerate or freeze until dough is fairly solid.
For baking, move an oven rack to the top slot and pre-heat the oven to 400.
Remove dough from the fridge, unwrap and, with a very sharp large knife, cut 1/8” slices of cookie (really try for 1/4 to 1/8" slices as thicker cookies may be difficult to bite through...1/4 to 1/8" will be crispy) from the dough log.
Place the slices 1/2 to 1” apart on an ungreased cookie sheet or one covered with parchment paper.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until cookies begin to brown on the edges…Cookie sheet might need to be turned around once to ensure even baking.
Once baked, cool the cookies on the sheet for 3 to 5 minutes before placing them on a cooling rack with a metal spatula....if you like chewy try them when they are warm to the touch otherwise they crisp rapidly and develop deeper flavor as they age...Store only when completely cool.

These cookies can be, except for the sharp knife part, a fun holiday project for adult supervised kiddies, an excellent gift and will fill your home with a wonderful seasonal smell and your tummy with a delicious seasonal taste.


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