SRP #11: Lend me some sugar

An “SRP” in dentistry, short for “Scaling & Root Planing,” is an anesthesia-requiring deep-cleaning procedure.  A FoodSwing Blog “SRP,” short for “Short Recipe Post,” is a concentrated flavor and humor experience…numbing optional.

Tom’s 2nd Favorite Sugar Cookies

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Please find, below, my default, I-need-a-week’s-worth-of-cookies-in-a-pinch recipe.   This dough requires no chilling, no fancy equipment, no obscure ingredients, and no frills (unless you consider sprinkles and white chocolate chips “frills,” in which case, yes, these cookies do contain frills).  All you really need, is a lot of cooling rack space – the recipe is quite prolific.
I’m a firm believer that no lunchbox is complete without a homemade cookie.  So, despite spending last weekend flying home from Virginia, tackling the dreaded post-traveling laundry mountain, and prepping for this week’s rotation, I was still able to make cookies galore to ensure a week of happy lunches to come.  The recipe only looks long because I go into excessive detail about how to flatten the cookies, because, well, I’m me.
fullsizerenderimg_0754These sugar cookies are similar to my Tom’s Favorite Sugar Cookies, but slightly different…different enough to warrant a post of their own.  They’re delightfully crisp on top (thanks to a fine layer of sugar applied when flattening the dough balls), with pillowy-soft, melt-in-your-mouth, other-hyphenated-adjective-denoting-pure-deliciousness centers.img_0759img_0761

Tom’s 2nd Favorite Sugar Cookies

YIELD:  ~2 1/2 dozen cookies
1 stick unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon water
1 egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/4 cup rainbow nonpareils
1/4 cup granulated sugar + large pinch sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit.  With a mixer (hand or stand, your choice) on medium speed, cream together softened butter, both sugars, and canola oil until pale and fluffy, ~2 minutes.  Beat in water, egg, and almond extract for an additional minute.
In a separate bowl or large measuring cup (I have a 4-cup measure that’s perfect for this part), use a fork to combine and aerate the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt.  With mixer on low, gradually add dry ingredients, mixing only minimally — over-mixing leads to tough cookies — if a few streaks of flour remain, don’t worry, they’ll be incorporated into the dough in the next step.
Use a rubber spatula and a few quick strokes to fold in white chocolate chips and nonpareils.  Roll dough into golf-ball-sized balls, and place on a wax-paper lined plate (I like to roll them all at once to minimize handwashing, especially since I’m already sporting my dry, winter hands).
Combine remaining sugar and salt in a small, shallow plate.  Place 8 dough balls on a silicone-mat-lined or parchment-lined baking sheet, and place remaining dough balls in the fridge.  Use a flat-bottomed glass to flatten first dough ball to ~1/2″ thickness.  Dip the now-greasy glass bottom in the salt-sugar mixture, and continue to flatten the first dough ball to ~1/4″ thickness.  Re-dip the glass in the salt-sugar mixture, and flatten the next dough ball to ~1/4″ thickness.  Flatten remaining dough balls on the sheet [NOTE:  you only need the 2-step flattening for the first cookie to get the bottom of the glass sticky so that it picks up the sugar and salt].
Bake for 5 minutes, rotate cookie sheet, and bake an additional 4-5 minutes; edges should not yet be brown, but tops should appear completely set, with small microcracks forming on the surface.  Let cookies sit on hot sheet for 4 minutes, then remove to wire racks for complete cooling.  Flatten and bake remaining dough balls as directed above.
Store cookies in airtight containers, at room temperature, for up to 5 days.

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