28 May 2012

Eats: vanilla butter cookies

A very happy Memorial Day holiday to you, dear readers! I hope that you get to spend a moment or several in reflection for the intent of today’s holiday, but I also hope that you get the fire up the grill and enjoy the break!

As for me, I’ll continue to repurpose our belongings into a cardboard box fort and deal with the chaos that is moving in four days. However, I’ll also be fondly remembering the great weekend Mr. P and I just had with our visiting friends – which is a story for later because there are so many things happening too many stories ahhhh I can’t even bzzzzzzzzt malfunction malfunction.

Point is, we’re moving this week, which means – for this week’s Eats – we need to be cleaning out our fridge. And because we had company, I decided to figure out a way to make some sort of snack for our guests to use up perishable food items. Remember, it’s an unwritten rule that Southern hostesses prepare a snack!

Fortunately, I’d recently thumbed-through of a nine-year-old issue of Cooking Light Quick & Easy (June 2003) before purging it for the move. How it survived the last couple of moves without being read or tossed out is puzzling and troubling, but perhaps it’s for the best because I managed to find something useful.

Hold on, errbody, we’re going old-school today.

A recipe torn out of a magazine. How quaint! No comments section to tell me how to make it differently and better! Hmmm.

These cookies start as so many do: softened butter and sugar. I didn’t cheat and microwave the butter this time! Instead I just sliced up 1/3 cup (just over five tablespoons) of cold butter and added it to 3/4 sugar. Then I wandered off and did something else (that’s code for PACKING) until the butter was indeed softened. The seasoned cookie-making pros claim that properly softened butter yields a fluffier cookie and somehow they’ve deluded me into thinking it’s true.

But you can still totally microwave your butter if you’re needing these cookies, say, tonight. Or right now. I won’t tell.

Once the butter was softened and creamed with the sugar, I added the other wet ingredients: a tablespoon of Karo syrup, a teaspoon of vanilla extract (originally two), a teaspoon of almond extract (originally one-half), and an egg. I mixed until just barely combined – again with the fluffy-cookie business – then added the dry ingredients: a teaspoon of baking powder, a quarter-teaspoon salt, and two cups of flour.

Again, I mixed them up:

And that’s it for making the dough! That’s all you need for these cookies! And you probably already have all of those ingredients already in your kitchen, eh?

Then it was just a matter of scooping them out with my little cookie scoop:

... flattening them with a fork on a greased cookie sheet:

...and popping them in a 375-degree oven for eight to ten minutes! Done! Truly a whip-up-for-company cookie, eh?

Just one little problem. Remember the source of this recipe? A Cooking Light Quick & Easy magazine? Cooking Light?

Yeah, I thought the amount of butter was a little low, too. I haven’t had the chance to make these cookies a second time, but when I do, I’m tossing the whole stick of butter in there. I’ll also use the full two teaspoons of vanilla – or more – next time. I ran out of vanilla while making these, and it shows... err, tastes.

But hey! They made for a pretty plate of cookies, and my guests kindly nibbled away at them anyway.

Mr. P... did not think they were very good. Just being honest. But I bet he’d change his mind a little if they had more butter and extracts!

So if you’re suddenly in need of a quick dessert for an impromptu gathering (today, perhaps), give these a try, because you almost certainly have the ingredients on hand. And please report back if the extra butter is delicious. I’ll just be over here, spending the holiday forlornly packing my mixer and baking sheets.


Christal said...

I've been a cooking-light-eater for so long that they tasted like buttery-deliciousness (and I KNEW there was almond! Yum!) So they were perfect for at least one of your guests. Just my 2 cents. 'CAUSE I GOT TO EAT THEM! I WAS THERE! So nice to see all the awesomely beautiful projects in the flesh! Thanks, Ps!