Sunday, January 13, 2013

sugar 'n' spice cookies

"sugar and spice and all that's nice,
that's what little girls are made of."
These are my new favourite cookies.
I've long since given up chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal raisin cookies due to allergies, and I thought I would be stuck with eating dry gingersnaps or bland flax cookies my whole life.
And I am so glad to have been able to prove myself wrong with this creation.

These may not be end-all-be-all cookies, but they're light, flavourful and quick bites that are nice to pop whenever you're in the mood for something chewy between your teeth. I like them because of the spice more than the sugar - actually, they came about because of my aversion to overly sweet cookies, like sugar cookies. So this is a sort of sugar cookie with a bit of cinnamon and brown sugar to give it a more dimensional taste.
(This aversion of mine actually extends to cakes as well. I tend to favour unfrosted fruity or spiced cakes more than plain cakes with heaps of sugary frosting.)

I baked them in honour of sister bird's homecoming. I was trying to decide between baking a peach cake, an old vermont cake, or these cookies, and it came down to these cookies because mother bird said I would need to be speedy today; she needed the oven from four until six to prepare a special dinner.

And these cookies conveniently take a rough ten minutes per round.

The last round ended up with slightly crispier sides because I suppose I should've checked them sooner. No doubt with the oven running through three rounds of cookie sheets, the temperature would be pretty darn high by now. It overcooked the final batch by a teensy-weensy minute or two but those gosh-darned seconds turned out to be pretty precious. So, my advice? Don't overbake. Underbake, if possible, because that's always best. Remove from oven early, allow to sit in the pan for several minutes to finish cooking by the carry-over heat, then transfer cookies to the cooling rack to cool on their own.

Then, snappy as a swinging door, you must seal them away in an airtight container so no one else can eat them they do not harden.

I think I'll bake a cake on Tuesday. Tuesday is my first half-exam of the study leave, and once I've mauled that in the morning, I'll whip up something nice and celebratory during the afternoon to help me relax.
I swear, baking should be included on the list of therapeutic remedies for stress. I think every kitchen fanatic in the world might agree with me on that.

Sister bird just returned home. She found me in my bedroom insufficiently engrossed in my textbook and said the cookie tasted, "really good!" Well, I wasn't expecting such an enthusiastic response from her, since she doesn't have much of a sweet tooth, but she loved them. She remarked about the cinnamon flavour in particular, so I suppose that might have offset the sweetness for her. Even I find it hard to appreciate sickly sweet treats, so I'm glad this cookie isn't one of them! 
UPDATE - Morning after and they're still intact. Still chewy, still cinnamon-y, still wonderful. Mmm, I love these cookies.

A cookie in ten easy steps, here is what little girls must be made of.

 (yielded 20 cookies)
sugar cookie -
(recipe adapted from Averie)
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp milk, or cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup bread flour (all-purpose flour may be used, too)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • dash of salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
spice -
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 granulated sugar
  • 1/2 brown sugar
directions -
  1. Prepare a cookie sheet and preheat the oven to 350.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter until smooth.
  3. Add the sugars and cream until combined.
  4. Add the egg, cream or milk, and vanilla, and beat until fluffy.
  5. Add the flours, baking soda, and salt, and mix until combined.
  6. Mix in the cinnamon until incorporated and set aside to make the spice mixture.
  7. Combine all the ingredients for the spice mixture and mix well with a fork.
  8. Use a spoon to scoop out cookie batter and flatten with fingers. Spoon a small amount of the spice mixture into the middle - only about 1/4 tsp is needed - and wrap the dough up into a ball. Dip the top of the ball into the spice mixture and place onto cookie sheet. 
  9. Repeat step 8 for remaining cookie batter.
  10. Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. The cookie might seem too soft to remove from oven, but if the toothpick emerges intact, then take them out anyway. Underbaking and allowing them to finish during the cooling process is preferred to overbaking.


  1. Sounds yummy! I need to start posting dessert recipes on my blog so I have an excuse to make them ;)

    1. The only catch is struggling to stay on the healthy-diet tightrope while baking so often! Haha!