I baked some cookies today, using the following recipe:
2 sticks (1/2 lb) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
¾ cup sugar
2 large eggs
¼ tsp salt
1 Tbs Amaretto (optional)
½ tsp vanilla - use 1 tsp if omitting the Amaretto
3 ½ cups flour
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating briefly after each addition just to incorporate. Beat in the salt, the Amaretto and vanilla and then about a third of the flour until smooth. Gradually beat in as much of the remaining flour as possible using the electric beater, then stir in the rest with a wooden spoon or a spatula.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. If you haven't stirred in all of the flour you can knead in the rest quite easily. Once you have a smooth, homogeneous dough, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and let it chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Working with about half the dough at a time, roll it out to a thickness of not less than 1/8-inch, being careful that the dough is very evenly rolled out. Carefully cut out shapes with your cookie cutters. Gently transfer to a cookie sheet. You can use unlined, ungreased cookie sheets with no problem at all.
Bake for about 10 minutes. They will be set and appear cooked but they will NOT brown. You'll know they are done because they will slide right off the cookie sheet when just nudged with a spatula. Carefully slip each cookie off of the baking tray and all to cool on racks.
I had to buy a rolling pin and some cookie cutters this morning. You would think that a simple, round cookie cutter would be easy to find, but it wasn’t. I am certain there would be on in the tub of 500 cutters that was for sale, but that was a little excessive. I need only one, and would have to find a place for the remaining 499. I settled for a set of star shapes. The rolling pin guaranteed to not stick to the dough.
I halved the recipe. I figured that if the cookies turned into the equivalent of Elly May’s biscuits and needed to be thrown away; I wouldn’t have wasted a lot of ingredients. It took a little bit of practice figuring out the art of rolling dough. The dough stuck to the rolling pin with great ease. I was flouring the dough and transferring it back to the refrigerator to reset a couple of times. It was a trial and error time for baking, truly a great moment in kitchen science for me.
I spent the ten minutes baking waiting like an expectant father, hovering over the oven while Sinatra played in the background. They came out to better than expected. The first batch was slightly burnt. The dough was a little too thin. The following batches got better as I started to figure out how to roll the dough. By the end, the cookies weren’t browning excessively. Once cooled, they tasted great. They are even better with some cream cheese frosting that I had left over from a failed cake attempt. In the end, the recipe joins the keep file. I’ll have to do these again.