So this recipe may seem a little preemptive, considering how far away the 4th of July is, but I only had red, white and blue sprinkles at my disposal when I decided to whip these up, so work with me. Obviously, you can use a more season-appropriate sprinkle mix, or sanding sugar, or leave the topping off completely, and still enjoy these cookies. Don’t get me wrong, I love all cookies. Flavor, size, shape, filling, topping; it doesn’t matter, I love them all. That being said, when I’m feeling particularly low or lazy or down, I crave a box of the chewy sugar cookies they sell at my local grocery store. They’re not too sweet, go perfectly with a glass of cold milk, and, for me, are a perfect comfort.
Well, I was having one of those days recently, and was about to take on the obligatory trek to the market when I realized I probably had everything I needed already in my pantry to make the treats for myself. The thought of saving money and winding up with a preservative-free treat to boot was enough to drag me out of my stupor and into the kitchen. On went my apron, albeit over a pair of sweats and a t-shirt, and I got to work. I didn’t want these to turn out like the sprinkle cookies I shared a while back. As much as I enjoyed those, I wanted these to be flatter, butterier (is that a word?), chewier versions that would reward me with that familiar repose. Chewy Sugar Cookies (Yield: ~4 dozen cookies)
8 oz. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
300g granulated sugar
1 each egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
330g a.p. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. Kosher salt
TT sprinkles or sanding sugar (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 375F and place racks in the middle positions.2. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl.
3. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat to combine. Scrape down the bowl.
4. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix to combine.
5. Add the buttermilk, 1 tbsp. at a time, until the dough is soft, but not wet. Reserve any excess buttermilk.6. Roll the dough into large teaspoon-sized balls and arrange on ungreased sheet pans, leaving 2″ between each one. (I lined my pans with SilPats. Alternatively, you could also use parchment.)7. Dip your fingers in the excess buttermilk and press down on each cookie ball, flattening them slightly.8. Top each cookie liberally with sprinkles or sanding sugar.9. Bake cookies ~10 minutes or until very lightly golden around the edges.
You may have noticed that I didn’t include refrigerating the dough in the instructions for making these cookies. I know I’ve exalted the value of refrigerating doughs in the past, (chilling the butter is generally very important in order to promote steam, and thus rise), but in this case, you want the cookies to go in the oven at room temperature. That will cause them to spread, rather than rise, which helps to promote that chewy thing we’re going for here. If you can’t bake the cookies right away, just leave them at room temperature until you’re ready.
These would be superb for the 4th of July, but, trust me, they’ll create just as many fireworks any day of the year! So what’s your preference? The crumbly, Italian-style sugar cookies I posted a while back, or a chewy sugar cookie like this? Like I said, I don’t discriminate, all cookies created equal in my mind, but these are spectacular. I’d love to know which you prefer! (And I promise, the next cookie recipe will be sans sprinkles!)
xo – Cassie