Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A way to use leftover sugar cookie dough OR jam-packed sugar cookies

I had a ball of sugar cookie dough left-over from Valentines Day, when I made heart shaped sugar cookies and iced them with royal icing using the tutorial on Annies-Eats.net. When the craving for something fresh baked came on after dinner tonight, it was natural for me to grab the dough but I wanted to do something a little different. I decided to try making jam thumbprints cookies using the sugar cookie dough, even though I know recipes for thumbprints usually call for a shortbread cookie base.

I played around with a few different methods. I used a smallish round cookie cutter with a crinkled edge and cooked some plain and some with little globs of jam in the center (I used seedless raspberry jam). The ones I cooked with jam had to be scrunched up around the edges to make kind of a basket shape since they weren't thick enough for a real thumbprint. When they came out of the oven (I cooked em at 375 for 8 minutes) I allowed them to cool.

Then I used the plain cookies to make little jam sandwiches. I laid them next to the ones cooked with jam and sifted confectioners sugar over all. To my taste, the jam sandwich cookies were tastier than the thumbprint ones. They had more jam, plus a double layer of cookie. What's not to love? Not to mention, they were easier.

It would be really easy to whip up a batch of these jam sandwich cookies from a tube of store-bought sugar cookie dough (no need to roll and cut; you could just slice and bake) but it literally took me less than 10 minutes to make a double batch of sugar cookie dough and throw the extras in a big ziplock bag in the freezer. Annie's recipe uses vanilla extract AND almond extract and I could definitely appreciate an intermingling of the almond and jam flavors in the final cookie. Additionally, the fact that the dough had spent some time in the freezer meant it rolled out and transferred to the pan really easily.

A little trick I invented (I'm sure someone else has already used this idea before, but it came to me organically, so I claim it as my own):
If you want to sift powdered sugar over some sweet treat, or pancakes, or a Monte Christo sandwich (?) but you can't be bothered to get your sifter out and you don't happen to have room for a dedicated shaker in your cupboard...here's what you do. Get one of those little tea balls (it's a tiny little strainer for loose tea leaves that you can use to brew a single cup of tea) stick it in the bag of powdered sugar and fill it up and voila! You have a miniature sugar sifter that holds just enough sugar to dust a single batch of cookies, a cake, or any of the other plethora of things that is made all the more delicious by adding a sprinkling of powdered sugar. It comes out in a perfect fine mist just like if you had one of those enormous strainer/sifter things that Ina and Martha love to use. I'm willing to bet that Ina and Martha don't do their own dishes or they would likely be a little more frugal with their use of kitchen unitaskers.

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