Friday, August 28, 2009

Martha Stewart's Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies

I recently bought Martha Stewart's Cookies Cookbook and I am very glad that I did.

I love cookies, especially as a treat for lunch boxes. I especially love sugar cookies-- you know, the ones that you roll and cut and decorate with frosting. But they take a lot of work, and I save that for the holidays.

There are many recipes in the cookbook that I plan to make, but this is the first one. I liked the idea of adding lemon zest and juice, and the recipe looked very simple, so I got started making these. A note about my philosophy on baking:
I would rather eat a smaller portion of baked goods made with real butter, than trying to save a few calories using margarine and/or Splenda. I don't like the results of using either of these ingredients. If I'm going to eat a dessert, I want the real deal! I simply make a choice not to eat too much at one time. As far as baking for diabetics-- my son has Type I diabetes so I have invested a lot of time taking nutrition classes. Using "fake" sugar, in my opinion (as learned by diabetes experts I know) isn't the answer. Truly, diabetics need to watch their carbs. My son can eat sweets (in moderation, of course) as long as he counts his carbs, exercises and takes the right amount of insulin to compensate for it. I only wanted to share this information, because I read countless people asking how to adjust baked goods for a diabetic. It is "old school" to try and eliminate sugar. It's about carbs! Most importantly-- find a nutritionist who is very familiar with diabetes and follow their advice.
Sorry-- end of soap box.

Back to the cookie recipe... and on the subject of sugar... I was especially glad that I have a bag of sparkling white sugar, that the recipe calls for.

I bought mine at King Arthur Flour, along with a few other fun kitchen goodies that I will be playing with in the next few weeks. If you don't have this product, you can use granulated sugar.

The dry ingredients are simple-- flour, baking soda, and kosher salt are sifted. In a mixing bowl, white and brown sugar and lemon zest.

Before I bake, I always bring the butter (and I prefer to use unsalted butter) and eggs to room temperature. TIP: you can also submerge the eggs in very warm water, as a short cut. Using my faithful Kitchen Aid Stand mixer, I mixed the sugars and the fresh lemon zest and then I creamed the butter until fluffy.
Next, the eggs are added one at a time, the lemon juice and then the dry ingredients are added a little at a time.

This is my newest Kitchen Aid gadget-- a beater blade, recommended by Dorie Greenspan a few months ago, on her blogsite. What I like about this beater blade design is that it really scrapes the batter off the sides of the bowl a lot more efficiently. I bought mine through

The recipe says that it yields 18 large cookies. I used an ice cream scoop for the first batch..

Wow! Godzilla Cookies!

However, I decided I wanted smaller cookies or I'd have to buy a bigger lunch box! I switched over to my smaller scoop size.
TIP: I used a silicone spatula and wet it with water, so that the dough wouldn't stick. That also made flattening the cookies easier, and then I sprinkled the sugar on top. Otherwise, the recipe says to brush each cookie with water to make additional sugar stick.

After 15 minutes of cooling, I gave one a taste. Oh! A little crispy on the outside, and chewy in the middle-- the sparkling sugar adds an extra crunch. The cookies aren't super sweet, with a very subtle taste of lemon-- but the lemon isn't overpowering at all. Yep, these are delicious!

I think it would be a fun twist to make this recipe with almond extract (another personal favorite of mine) and even some ground almonds.

These cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days. These lasted two days, so we wouldn't know!

As always, the recipe is at the bottom of this page. If you are receiving my blog, via Feed Burner, you will need to visit my blog to see and print the recipe.

I'm so glad that it's the weekend and I can catch up on what the rest of you have been making!

Sugar Cookies on Foodista

Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies

These large cookies have a classic lemony flavor, a chewy ...

See Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies on Key Ingredient.

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Monica H said...

I love simple sugar cookies. Even the ones that come out of a bagged mix. Still good! Just not the refrigerated log of dough- that's a disgrace to sugar cookies :-)

I love this book too. I have somany recipes bookmarked that I want to try. Maybe we can bake "together" if you'd like.

BTW, I have the cupcake book and this one for cookies and I prefer this one so much better.

A Feast for the Eyes said...

Monica, you're on! Let's bake together. How fun!

Monica H said...

Oh and I forgot to say how hilarious I thought it was that you gave your soap box speech on diabetes floowed by a picture os a bag of sugar- ha ha!

Yeah, what shall we make next. I'll email you :-)

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

I'm with you on the soap box speech. And, the sugar cookies look excellent - a simple and delicious pleasure. I have that cook book, but I haven't done much cookie baking lately. I should give it a try. Speaking of cookies, you shouldn't miss my Sunday Feature on a very special cookie baker!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Debbie, I totally agree about the butter and Splenda. I want the real thing too and it's all about moderation. This looks like a good book even though I'm not a baker and don't make cookies (because my husband would eat every one of them and he doesn't need them).
The new Kitchenaid attachment looks like a goodie.

Kate said...

Debby, these look delightful! I must make a batch. I love sugar cookies and a friend just gave me rainbow sugar. How fun it will be to sprinkle them with it.

Valerina said...

I'm not sure what I want more, One of your cookies or that Kitchenaid attachment. :) Then again it would be hard to pick between using lemon or almond in the cookies. A lot to think about! The cookies look perfect. Sometimes a sugar cookie hits the spot like nothing else can.

Kate said...

Okay, my friend, I am now on a sugar cookie quest. I have compared numerous recipes this morning and I am going to make yours! I wouldn't want my rainbow sugar to go to waste!

Simple Simon said...

I so want one of those scrapper beater attachments. Amazon will be my next Internet connection after reading everyone's blogs this a.m. Your cookies look great.

Frieda said...

I agree with Valerina...cookies...beater blade....cookies...augghhh! Guess I gotta get the blade and then made the cookies with it~

Bella said...

Debby,I'm like all the other visitors...lovin' simple sugar cookies and THAT GADGET, which I thought that I'd had them all! Wait till I tell my husband! It's all your fault! :-) ~ roz

Judy said...

Your photos are beautiful and I'm sure the cookies were great. There's nothing like a simple, sweet sugar cookie.

Kim said...

Oh weakness is cookies. I just love them. I like you soap box speech!! There is a girl baking her way through Martha's cookie book. Her blog is called Every Last Cookie. It is a great blog and she has made almost 40 of the cookies so far. You might like her blog!

A Feast for the Eyes said...

Kim, you are such a doll for telling me about the cookie blog. I admire anyone who is willing to cook and blog about one cookbook. Such dedication!

Lizzie said...

they look great! and that scraping attachment for the kitchen aid is totally going on my list of cookie gadgets i have to buy. i already got some cookie/icecream scoops, and they really do make like 100 times easier. also, i totally agree with your philosophy on baking with real butter and sugar. though i don't have any dietary restrictions, for me i'd rather eat moderately of food that is spectacular than overindulge in food that is sub par. anyway, great stuff and i look forward to reading more of your blog!

Danielle said...

the cookies look fantastic! and I too am a believer in the "real deal" dessert....real sugar, real butter!

Bunnee said...

I enjoyed reading your blog! Im glad to see others share my views on baking (eating in moderation, using natural ingredients, etc.). I look forward to checking out your website for ideas when it comes to baking or cooking as I'm sure I will like them b/c I like what I've read so far. Thanks for sharing your passion for cooking.