Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wake and Bake

I know I'm a big dork, but I woke up at my parents' house last weekend wanting to bake. There was a beautiful kitchen downstairs; gleaming appliances; counter space galore; and a stocked pantry. I plucked Great Cookies: Secrets to Sensational Sweets by Carole Walter off my mom's cookbook shelf, headed into the kitchen... and realized that the pantry wasn't exactly stocked. I guess that's what happens when Mom and Dad take off for vacation.

Ginger spice cookies were out: there was barely a teaspoon of ground ginger. Key ingredients for oatmeal raisin and chunky white chocolate cookies were missing, too. I had to keep it simple: there were two eggs and a few sticks of butter in the fridge, and we had bought some milk. There was flour, salt, baking soda, sugar, vanilla extract and I even found a stash of pretty sparkling white sugar. Turns out I had all the ingredients for Super Sugar Sparkles... and you probably do, too.

These cookies fall under Walter's "Big Boys" categorization--meaning each cookie is made from a quarter-cup of dough and spreads out to nearly five inches in diameter. They remind me of the bakery cookies I always went for as a kid. The ones at our local bakery were covered in rainbow sprinkles and Walter's have sparkly clear sugar, but they're the same size and have the same buttery texture, somewhere between crunchy and soft. They're pretty perfect, actually.

A few notes on the recipe: Walter advises using superfine sugar; with the limited pantry options I was facing, that wasn't an option, so plain old granulated sugar it was. I also had to add an extra tablespoon of milk because the dough was so crumbly I couldn't form it into a ball. I also only got 13 cookies instead of 16.

If you wake up with the urge to bake (come on, admit it), this is the recipe to turn to. Straightforward, satisfying--and no trip to the supermarket necessary!--S

No comments: