Monday, January 29, 2007

Mondays with Maida - Plain Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies

Page 193 in the old book / page 221 in the new book

Every time I make these - and I've made them many, many times - I am always a little surprised by how good they are. There is no secret ingredient or even anything remotely unusual about them, they are very easy to make, and the dough handles like a dream, but mostly and most importantly, they just taste incredibly good. If I were compelled to explain the "secret" to these cookies, I'm afraid all I'd be able to come up with is real butter and real vanilla. There's not much else to explain the fantastic flavor.

I make these almost every Christmas, often at Easter or Valentine's, and on occasions in between. This is a very versatile cookie and can be rolled thick or think and cut large or small. I usually roll them a little less than a quarter of an inch thick and cut them in circles or occasionally hearts. This time, being that it was for no particular occasion, I was not constrained by tradition in any way and decided to try out a cookie cutter I bought years ago in an antique store. I have no idea what it is supposed to be (if anything), but it seemed to be a hit and was cause for much discussion (what is it?).

Here's the panel ...

Suzanne: "I love sugar cookies! Cathy’s cookies had just the right amount of sugar on them so that they were not too sweet. The shape of the cookie was quite unique and whimsical. Rating - 4.5"

Denny: "I liked the unique design of the cookie cutter very much; kind of like a "fleur de lis" for any Saints fans. But it's just a sugar cookie. +1 on presentation (cutter) and -1 for no chocolate. I'd give them a 3. Rating - 3.0"

Laura: "You can never go wrong with a good sugar cookie... and these are good sugar cookies! Light and crunchy, with a great flavor. The sprinkling of crystal sugar on top adds an elegant and tasty touch. (The lovely unique cookie cutter also gets a 5/5) . Rating - 5.0"

Terri: "These are great old-fashioned sugar cookies. The crystal sugar on top adds a nice touch. They're crunchy and not too sweet. I liked the cookie cutter that Cathy used. It looks like a "flying comma". Adds an interesting look to a basic sugar cookie. Rating - 3.5"

Overall rating by the panel - 4.0

In two weeks - Chocolate-Chip Pillows

Nutrition Facts


Anonymous said...

I agree with Laura: you can't go wrong with a good sugar cookie. That cutter is amazing! It really caught my eye. At first I thought it was supposed to be come kind of angel. Maybe a flower...? The cookies look great.

Anonymous said...

Real butter and vanilla indeed...I couldn't agree with you more. Also, just love the cookie cutter---never seen one of those!

Anonymous said...

I'll definitely give these a try! I adore cut-out sugar cookies and love having a good stand-by recipe. The last couple years, I've been using the recipe from the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion...I'm anxious to try this recipe and compare. I also like the cutter...very cool!

Zarah Maria said...

Love that shape!

Cathy said...

Hi Mari! It's funny, I've always thought of that cutter as just being decorative, like paisley or something, so it was interesting to hear all the other ideas about what it might be. There was at least one person who was certain it was an angel!

Hi Rowena! Two of the most important ingredients in cookie baking! :)

Hi Alice! Which one do you use - they have so many in that book! I was looking at them and they all seem to be different from this recipe. I should try another recipe just to compare... but I'm so happy with this one!

Hi Zarah! Me too - not sure why it took me so long to finally get around to using it!

Reid said...


I love sugar cookies and I bet these were good. I love the shape! I think they make them that much more fun to eat!

Cathy said...

Hi Reid! If you love sugar cookies, you really should try this recipe - it's the perfect sugar cookie in my opinion! Nice to hear from you - hope you're doing well Reid!