Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tuesday with Dorie - Grandma's All-Occasion Sugar Cookies



We are getting very close to Christmas now, so our TWD hosts are choosing lots of seasonally-friendly recipes for us to bake. This week's host is Ulrike of Kuchenlatein, who chose Grandma's All-Occasion Sugar Cookies from Dorie Greenspan's Baking - From My Home To Yours to bake.

These basic cookies can be flavoured and "dollied up" however you like to make them overtly festive, or left just plain. I chose to sprinkle mine with red, white and green decorating sugar to add a splash of colour while avoiding the commitment of having to ice them at 11pm in the evening, while I left the dough plain.

This was another Dorie recipe whereby the finished product tasted great, but the dough was difficult to deal with in reaching the end result because of its softness. I refrigerated my dough for more than 24 hours, but it very quickly softened out of the fridge. I cut the rolled out dough using cookie cutters instead of taking the "slice 'n' bake" option, which I think was a mistake. After the first few cookies, I realised very quickly why Dorie mentioned that she just used a round cookie cutter - the dough is too soft to tolerate fancy shapes well, and when the cookies bake, the dough spreads to such an extent that the shapes become puffed and distorted, ending up reminiscent of the Pillsbury Doughboy. For the last couple of batches, I actually cut out the rounds from the dough using kitchen scissors and left them on the backing paper when baking them.
Despite my issues with the dough's handling ability, the end result was delicious - and I am not really a cookie fan. The cookies were crispy and light (excepting the puffy, fancy-shaped ones, which were thicker and therefore softer), and the decorating sugar gave them extra "crunch" as well as colour.

Thanks to Ulrike for hosting this week's Tuesday with Dorie - you can check out how everyone else personalised their cookies by going to the TWD blogroll.

23 comments:

Engineer Baker said...

Funny - mine spread less than my normal sugar cookie recipe. I went with pretty simple cutouts too though, just because I can't stand worrying that legs or little parts will break off after baking. Yours look wonderful!

Tammy said...

mine weren't as crisp as I would have liked. I want to try them again and leave them a bit plainer

Jules Someone said...

It's pretty cold here, so melting dough wasn't a problem. Nice looking cookies!

Lorraine E said...

Even with the spreading I think they look great (they don't even look spread to me). It must have been frustrating though trying to cut out from soft dough. I've done that and thought "never again!". But somehow the softest doughs always end up being the most delicious lol

Cakelaw said...

Hi Caitlin, I know what you mean - I have had many cookies come to grief on the basis of their delicate parts over the years.

Hi Tammy, Your parcel cookies were gorgeous!!

Thanks Jules - things have just started to warm up here again, so soft dough is giving me grief!

Hi Lorraine - ain't it the truth! We'd never be tempted to make the difficult ones again if they weren't so darned good.

Pamela said...

I'm not much of a sugar cookie fan, but I did enjoy these! Great job.

Cakelaw said...

Hi Pamela, they were good.

HoneyB said...

A few of mine puffed up some also, but I rolled them thinner and they didn't puff so much after that! Glad they were good for you!

chocolatechic said...

Yours are just so cute.

I added orange to mine.

Amanda said...

I agree the dough was a pain after it came out of the fridge. I sliced some, cut some and rolled the rest. I really did like it though!

SiHaN said...

Hey! i did enjoy mine too. crispy as well since i rolled them out a little thinner.

Melissa said...

I had the same problems with my dough. I love the colored sugar! They look great!

Indigo said...

I'm terrible with these cause I will just eat cookie after cookie after cookie - I don't know why it is I eat them so mindlessly! I love decorating them though ^__^

Maria said...

The cookies look very good! I love the red and green sprinkles. Too cute!

Maryann said...

I'll make the espresso, you bring the cookies ;)

adele said...

Hmm. Would the dough be easier to work with if you rolled it out and popped it in the freezer for a bit before cutting out rounds?

Ivy said...

They look great.

Mariuca said...

Hola! You’re invited to join us on a BEAR-y special meme, have fun! :)

Mariuca

Rachel said...

I sliced mine and they didn't spread too much...

Love the shapes and the colored sugar!

Cakelaw said...

Hi Honey B, as my dough got harder to work with, it rolled thinner without much effort from me, and these were my favourite cookies - crisp and sugary.

Hi Chocolatechic, I meant to add lemon zest to the dough - but I forgot! Orange would be lovely.

Hi Amanda, absolutely agreed - I had some mutinous thoughts while trying to cut them out, but the finished product revealed why you'd make them again.

Hi Sihan, I liked the crispy ones - they were the best!

Thanks Melissa - I was glad to find a good use for it.

LOL Indigo - left to my own devices, I could too, which is one reason why I take them to work so temptation is out of my way.

Thanks Maria - I was inspired by fatigue, but happy with the result.

A deal Maryann - your new expresso maker is a beauty!

Hi Adele, I think that the problem comes when the dough has been out of the cold for a little bit - it goes from hard to soft with no in-between. I think the slice'n'bake option is the way to go.

Thanks Ivy.

Hi Mariuca, thanks, I will check it out - cheers.


Hi Rachel, I think that the slce method is a winner - I will try this next time.

natalia said...

Ciao ! I love your cookies and the cupcakes too !! Please remember to send me an email (you can find it in my profile) with your address !!!

Cakelaw said...

Thanks Natalia. I resent my email - please let me know if you still don't receive it so that we can try an alternative tack.

TeaLady said...

Pretty cookies. NIce job.