Monday, April 6, 2009

Sweet and Simple

It's spring break here, and today I have a houseful of boys. My smart daughter, having evacuated the premises, has left me alone to deal with this rowdy bunch of pre-teens. Lucky me. They have spent most of the day playing with these tiny alien-looking, transformerish balls called Ba-Ku-Gan (or something). I also heard a strange thumping coming from inside their room, but I'm afraid to inspect the potential damage. Eventually, I shooed them outside, and they worked up quite a sweat playing a hands-on game of basketball, which is good and bad...good because they are outside, and bad because they are now hot and, well, smelly. To counteract their pungent odors, and help appease their insatiable appetites, I decided to open all the windows and bake some cookies.

I have never been a huge sugar cookie fan, but I've made these before and they are really, really good. And they look so sweet sitting on a blue China plate. Of course I did not serve them to the boys that way. They got a bundle in a paper towel and were sent outside...where boys belong. But I took mine on the dainty plate into my room with a cup of tea. I felt quite refreshed actually...that is until I looked in my sons' bedroom and took in the aftermath. Oh well, I really don't have much else to do, right?

Sugar Cookies
adapted from Gourmet Cookbook

1 C granulated sugar
1 C powdered sugar
1 C vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
1 1/4 t salt
1 t baking powder
1 t cream of tartar
4 C flour

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together sugars, then add oil. Add eggs and beat until smooth. Stir in vanilla, salt, baking powder and cream of tartar. Add flour, stirring until combined. It will be slightly dry and crumbly. Measure out level tablespoonfuls of dough, then roll into balls and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Dip the bottom of a glass in sugar, then press lightly to flatten each cookie slightly. The edges will crack slightly. Sprinkle additional sugar on top. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until light golden brown.

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