Friday, July 25, 2014

Cooking Quirks: Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies

Hello worldly dots!

A couple of days ago, I decided to take on the challenge of making made from scratch "Old-Fashioned sugar cookies". I came home from a trip to visit family, looked into my fridge and cupboards and realized that I have almost a whole bag of self-rising flour still. I purchased the flour to use for the infamous "cake in a mug" - which I have yet to completely master. I thought, 'what in the world am I to do with all of this self-rising flour?' I then proceeded to look up recipes for easy baked goods to make using self rising flour.

I've always wanted to learn how to cook, baking in particular has struck my fancy. Since I am quite the novice cook, I thought it might be fun to take you all along for the cooking ride by posting blog entries (and possibly vlogs) about my foray into the culinary arts. Here for you, I have my first attempt (in recent years - since cooking camp in fourth grade is much too long ago to count) at making homemade sugar cookies. I used a recipe I found on Yummly of a recipe by Taste of Home.

The recipe can be found on the link for Taste of Home. Normally, it takes about 25 minutes to prep and bake. It took me a bit longer, I also made my own minor modifications to the recipe as I went along. I do not own the original recipe; the recipe below is a slightly modified version of the original recipe found on Taste of Home for "Old-Fashioned Cutout Cookies".

  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine softened (if using stick butter, there should be measurement approximations on the wrapper - on the margarine I used, it was approximately four lines) [butter and margarine have a slight difference, although the original recipe calls for butter, margarine worked just fine. Most of the time, I use margarine to bake - it's a bit cheaper in price than butter, but some would argue that butter is more health concise due to it's configuration -- margarine has more trans fat, which is harder for the body to break down -- please don't quote me on this, it's been a couple of years since I've taken biochemistry.]
  • 3/4 cup sugar
    [I used regular white, granulated sugar. If you really want to be daring, maybe try using pure cane sugar, or maybe brown sugar - keep in mind that brown sugar, etc. tend to be sweeter than regular sugar so you may have to modify the amount - also, the taste would vary from the original recipe.]
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon whole milk
    [Although the recipe calls for whole milk, you can substitute using your milk of choice. Also, although I did use 1 teaspoon whole milk initially for the batter, I ended up adding a splash more later on when the dough became too difficult to mix.]
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 + 1/2  cup self-rising flour
  • additional sugar or ingredients for garnish as you see fit
  1. Cream sugar and butter together in a mixing bowl using a spoon until texture is light and fluffy. Then add in egg, milk, and vanilla. Continue to stir by hand. Gradually add self-rising flour while mixing.
    [As you continue mixing in the flour, the batter will thicken. If there is still flour needed to be mixed, but the dough is too tough to continue stirring, add a splash of milk to make the dough more malleable -- I ended up adding a splash of milk, then kneaded the dough by hand, remembering to rub flour on my hands to prevent excess sticking -- of course the dough was still too sticky and a good amount got stuck to my hands, but I digress.]
  2. Lightly sprinkle flour on a surface (I used foil) to roll the dough on. Roll flat, then use a cookie cutter (the suggested method) to shape the cookies. The original recipe calls to flatten the dough to about 1/8 in.
    [Since I had no cookie cutters on hand, I attempted to hand shape the cookies. I made them each about 1/2 in. in height -- they rose to about 1 in. in height after baking. After a while, I ended up leaving about half of the dough in a flat rectangular-like shape -- I used a knife to perforate the dough into squares/rectangles.]
  3. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 7 to 8 min, or until the edges are lightly brown.
    [It took a little longer to bake my cookies due to the thickness; I also used a lower heat -- 350 degrees Fahrenheit -- make sure to check on cookies after a few minutes to monitor progress.]
  4. When ready, remove from oven and allow to cool. Garnish as you would like.
    [I preferred to leave the cookies as is -- See photo below to see what my cookies looked like after I took them out of the oven.]
Cookie Sheet:
I then cut the cookie 'lump' into squares, using perforated lines.
Although the cookies themselves do not look as appealing as the picture from the original recipe, they did turn out pretty well -- all things considering. They tasted pretty yummy too. Not too sweet, but not tasteless -- I like to think they turned out pretty well for a cooking novice. :)

Finished Product:
 Afterthoughts of a cooking novice:

Well, that was my first attempt at homemade cookies. Not perfect appearance-wise, but pretty tasty anyways. As if I really need to eat anymore cookies. haha. I hope you'll join me on my next cooking adventure. :)

I may not be the best cook, and maybe I should have learned to cook when I was a bit younger, but either way, I am learning now. So, if you want to learn along with me, then feel free to read-on my fellow Internet enthusiasts. :)

Do you have any cooking ventures you'd like to share? Both successes and not so successful attempts? I'd love to hear about them.

Well, keep smiling, lovelies! Tomorrow's a new day filled with new adventures. :)


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