Monthly Archives: April 2015

Easter Sugar Cookies/ Sugar Cookie Redux

I first posted this recipe for sugar cookies more than 3 years ago on my LJ account, but I’ve learned things in the interim, so I thought I’d repost it there, and here, for the first time. Plus, the pictures are so cute.

Embossed Easter Cookie Cutters

Sugar Cookies

Amanda’s Amazing Sugar Cookies II (from I Am Baker)

Makes 5-6 dozen 3″ cookies depending whether they were rolled 1/8 or 1/4″ thick

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups fine sugar
2 whole eggs
2 eggs yolks
4 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp almond extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder

In a mixer or food processor, beat or cream the butter and sugar together until they are well combined, which will take about 2 minutes. If you take your butter straight out of the fridge, it will take longer to incorporate the sugar.

Add in 2 eggs and 2 egg yolks and mix until combined.

Add in vanilla and almond extract and mix until combined.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Slowly (about a cup at a time) add flour to the butter mixture and combine. Unless you’ve got a strong arm, the mixer or food processor is preferable to using a wooden spoon for this step.

Wrap the dough in Saran wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 1/2 hours or overnight.

About 15 minutes before you want to start rolling out the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Use a Silpat or a sheet of parchment paper to line a light coloured aluminum baking sheet or the bottoms of the cookies will get too dark.

NOTE: DO NOT OVER-HANDLE the dough or it will soften too much and you won’t be able to lift the cookies to transfer them to the baking sheet.

Roll dough out at least 1/4″ thick, if using embossed cookie cutters, using as little flour as possible. You can roll the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper to help. If the dough sticks, it’s too warm.

Cut out cookies, transfer to the baking sheets and bake for 6-8 minutes or until the edges of the cookies just start to get some color. (In my new oven, I baked the cookies for 15 minutes.) Once you’ve cut your cookies, you may want to put your cookie sheet into the fridge for 10-15 minutes to chill the cookies and reduce spreading.

NOTE 2: I found that when I used BOTH a Silpat sheet and a sheet of parchment paper in this last batch of cookies, they spread too much and I lost the design from my embossed cookie cutters.

The cookie on the left was baked on parchment paper while the one on the right was baked on a Silpat sheet.

Cookies ready to be baked

Gather together the scraps, roll in Saran wrap, refrigerate and once they are cooled, reroll and cut out more cookies.

Once baked, let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack until they cool to room temperature.

Store in an airtight container.

Christmas variation: Replace almond extract with peppermint extract. Add ~1 cup peppermint candies and 1/2 cup peppermint kisses, each finely chopped.

Boston Baked Beans

I spent the day making baked beans, a side dish to go with my Easter Sunday meal, as well as prepping hamburger patties and lamb kofta kebabs for bbq’ing tomorrow. I also finished baking off the last of the sugar cookie dough that I made yesterday. A busy day but very productive.

My previous attempt at baked beans, back in September, was very successful but, although the Korean flavours were tasty, I DID still want to make the very traditional western version, Boston baked beans,  which are flavoured with molasses or maple syrup and salt pork or bacon. However, at the last minute, I didn’t get a chance to go grocery shopping, so I had to leave out the bacon. I just used bacon fat from my fridge to saute the onions. If you want to make a vegan version of these beans, use vegetable oil instead.

Boston Baked Beans – makes 5-6 cups, serves 8 generously

2 cups (1 pound) dried navy, Great Northern or cannellini** beans
1 tbsp bacon fat or vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
3/4 cup fancy molasses
1 tbsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp ground mustard
pinch of cloves
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup (optional)
1 tbsp rum
4 cups cooking liquid

** I had some cannellini beans in my pantry so that’s what I used.

Soak beans overnight. Discard soaking liquid and replace with enough water to cover the beans by about 2-3 inches. Bring the water to the boil, skimming off any foam. Replace any water lost and when the contents return to the boil, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook until the beans are tender (45 min to an hour).

Preheat the oven to 325 deg Fahrenheit.

In a Dutch oven saute the onion in the bacon fat until the onion is translucent and starts to get golden brown around the edges.

Add the cooked beans, molasses, salt, pepper, mustard, cloves, vinegar, ketchup and rum and enough cooking liquid to cover the beans by an inch, to the Dutch oven.

Reserve the remaining cooking liquid in case you need any more at the end.

Place the Dutch oven, covered, in the oven and bake for 4-5 hours, stirring every hour and checking to see that the mixture hasn’t gotten too thick. If it’s too soupy, take the lid off and continue baking until it’s as thick as you prefer. You may wish the top to get a bit crusty at the end.

Serve hot.