Wednesday 1 January 2014

Sugar Cookies

When I was 21 I packed up everything, quit my job, sold my house and went on an adventure. I landed at JFK airport and after a week in New York City, flew to San Francisco where I spent 7 months as a nanny to four very delightful and very busy boys, they were 9,7,4 & 18ths at the time. One day, when I was grocery shopping in Draegers, I found a cute little cookie cutter set, which I thought was gorgeous, so I bought it and tucked it away in my suitcase. Years later when I finally opened it, there was a recipe in the tin for 'sugar cookies'. It soon became ritual at Easter time to make these cookies using the tiny shaped cutters I bought in the States. Over the years I have slightly changed the recipe and now converted it to the Thermomix. It's a great recipe for kids baking, as it rolls out well and is great for cookie cutters. The dough is very forgiving and is easily able to be brought together again numerous times after it has been used to cut out the first lot of shapes.

I think of my time in the Bay Area whenever I make these. The four cheeky boys are now handsome young men and just as delightful as they were as children. 

Sugar Cookies

125 grams Butter
200 grams sugar, (raw, caster or white)
300 grams plain flour
1 egg
half vanilla bean, or a dash of vanilla essence
1 pinch salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder 

1. If you are using raw sugar, mill for 5 seconds to make caster sugar.
2. Add butter and sugar to TM bowl, cream for 20 secs | sp 4
3. Scrape vanilla seeds from vanilla pod into the bowl (if  using) add rest of the ingredients and bring together 10 secs | sp 6, scrape down sides and then mix for a further 10 secs | sp 6  again.
4. Turn to closed lid and mix on wheat setting for 20 seconds - mixture should resemble bread crumbs but wont be brought together entirely.
5. Tip out onto Thermomat or a floured board and gently bring together into a ball. Put into a zip lock bag or wrap in glad wrap and rest in the fridge for minimum of an hour.
6. Take dough from fridge cut into into 4 and keep out 1/4 of the dough, putting the rest back into the fridge. Roll out on a floured board with a rolling pin to approximately 5 ml thickness. Cut shapes and place onto a cookie tray lined with baking paper ready to bake. 
7. Cookies can be decorated with a scattering of sugar or coloured cashou balls or left plain. 
8. I use a small start cutter and get approximately 80 cookies out of a batch. Bak for 5-7 minutes, 180 degrees on a fan bake and cool on a wire rack.

Note: For a larger cookie cutter, your cooking time may vary and need to be adjusted accordingly. The star cutter I use is 5cms wide. 

If you are doing different sized shapes, try to keep similar sizes on the same tray or you will have some smaller ones burning while the larger ones are not quite done. 

We made a batch this afternoon & had our very own tea party.

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