This is one of my favorite sugar cookies recipes, of which I do not know the provenance, sadly. But I can tell you that it’s a fabulous base for an array of delicious cookie varieties, like the lemon-ginger suggestion here, a favorite at the Pound Ridge Farmers Market. Or try it with lime-coconut perhaps. Or cherry-almond. The permutations are endless. The version shown in the 2nd photo are the plain sugar cookies. —mrslarkin
Test Kitchen Notes
I had the pleasure of testing Mrs. Larkin's Chewy Sugar Cookies #1. They are delicious. Not too sweet, very buttery, with a big hit of vanilla extract that perfumes each cookie with delicious aroma. They are, as she says, a great vehicle for other flavors. (I included meyer lemon zest in mine; I didn't have candied ginger, but I could see that it would add a lot.) The cookies are soft more than they are chewy with nice crisp edges and great crunch from the turbinado sugar that I sprinkled on the top. They spread quite a bit and benefitted from a little longer chilling than she recommends. After making the first batch and seeing how much they spread, I refrigerated the second on the cookie sheet for another 30 minutes before baking. In my oven they took 14 minutes, and that was doing one sheet at a time. A small technical point -- since you are refrigerating the dough for 1/2 hour after making it, you don't have to line the cookie sheets or preheat the oven until the dough goes into the refrigerator. I think these cookies are wonderful and highly recommend them as an Editors' Pick. - drbabs —The Editors
about 3 dozen
unsalted butter, room temperature
all-purpose unbleached flour (I use King Arthur)
zest of 1 lemon (optional)
finely chopped candied ginger (optional)
turbinado, or course colored sugar
thin lemon glaze made with confectioner's sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice (otional)
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add vanilla. Beat for one minute. Scrape down sides of bowl.
Add egg and beat for 1 minute. Scrape sides of bowl.
Add flour, salt and baking powder. Beat for 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl after 1 minute.
Add lemon zest and ginger, if using, and stir to combine.
Chill dough for ½ hour in refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place course sugar in a small shallow bowl. With a small ice cream/cookie scoop (mine is 1 ½“ in diameter), scoop balls and drop a few at a time into the course sugar. Roll in sugar. Place on parchment-lined pans about an inch apart.
Lay a sheet of parchment over the dough balls. Place a heavy sheet pan on top and press down slightly to flatten all the balls of dough to about 1/4” - 1/2" thick. Remove top pan and peel off top parchment. Sprinkle more sugar on top if desired.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until just lightly golden around edges of cookies.Cool pans on racks.
If you want to glaze the cookies, drizzle lemon glaze over top. Let the glaze firm up before storing in air-tight containers.