Nourishing takes on different meanings on different days of the year and at different times. Most days, to me, it means filling my family’s bellies with love and health through food. Today, it means just that…minus the health aspect and plus some soul smiling.
Today is my dear Auntie’s birthday. She is one of the most beautiful, hysterical, kind, thoughtful and wonderfully stubborn women I know…and I love her dearly; just so much. She is my moms only sister and has raised four wonderful sons of her own, all with their own beautiful families. We don’t get to see them as often as we would like but we can always count on a “famee reunion” with these guys every other year, which is always so wonderful. It is so fun to catch up, see the kids growing, spend some quality time together and EAT EAT EAT. I tell you, my apple does not fall far from the tree of that side of the family; we all just love food.
So, a couple years ago I brought these sugar cookies to our reunion to share. And this year we met again and boy I did not hear the end of it from Auntie. “Miss…the cookies! I cant believe you didn’t bring the cookies! They were one of the things I was looking forward to the most!” And as of a couple days ago, I am still hearing about them from her, “You have to put them on the blog, Miss, I don’t care if their not healthy, everyone will love them”. And I don’t care who you are, you listen to Auntie when she tells you to do something. So, Auntie, here they are, just for you on your special day:) I hope you know I would much rather deliver these to you in person with a big hug but I guess the miles put a damper on that, so this is the best I can do today. And by the way, Nick and Georgia both thank you…they would have never gotten this treat otherwise. I know I’ve already told you…but your taking up extra real estate in my heart today. xo
And for all of you who have not tried this recipe before…I guarantee these will be the best, chewiest sugar cookies you have ever eaten. Cook’s Illustrated has completely perfected this sweet treat.
Chewy Sugar Cookies
Cook’s Illustrated, November and December 2010
2 1/4 Cups Unbleached All Purpose Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 Cups Sugar, plus 1/3 Cup For Rolling
2 Ounces Cream Cheese, cut into 8 pieces
6 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted and still warm
1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 Large Egg
1 Tablespoon Milk
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 350. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Place 1 1/2 cups sugar and cream cheese into a large bowl. Place remaining 1/3 cup sugar in shallow baking dish and set aside. Pour warm butter over sugar and cream cheese and whisk to combine. Whisk in oil until incorporated. Add egg, milk and vanilla and continue to whisk until smooth. Add flour mixture and mix with a rubber spatula until a soft dough forms.
Use a ice cream scoop to divide dough into pieces then roll into balls (dough will be very soft, just work with it as best you can and do not overwork). Roll balls into reserved sugar to coat and evenly space on prepared baking sheet, 12 balls per sheet. Use the bottom of a drinking glass to press the balls down until they are 2 inches in diameter. Sprinkle tops evenly with the remaining sugar from the rolling dish. Bake, 1 tray at a time, until edges are set and just beginning to brown, 11 to 13 minutes, rotating tray after 7 minutes. Cool cookies completely. Makes 2 dozen.