Sometimes a good novel really hits the spot. Sarah Addison Allen's The Sugar Queen did just that a couple of weeks ago. Detailing the coming of age of a young woman who chooses to eat Little Debbies rather than face the real world, this book was a perfect blend of culinary delights and magic. Both elements were involved in virtually every scene of the novel, and I immensely enjoyed this read. The book was so enchanting that it left me with a craving that only one thing could satisfy--tender and fluffy sugar cookies.
Inspired by a couple of recipes that I found via Megan, I experimented a tiny bit in the kitchen and created some truly great cookies. Using the basic sugar cookie recipe, I added cream cheese into the mix and turned out moist and delicious treats. The taste of the cream cheese supported the sweetness from the sugar well, and its texture made the cookies soft. My brother, who isn't a fan of sugar cookies at all, munched on more than a few of these while watching the Opening Ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics. He even asked me to make another batch for him. It's awesome to know that I've converted at least one person in my life to something.
If you want to try your hand at converting, please do make these cookies.
Super Soft Sugar Cookies
Ingredients (adapted from Everyday Foods)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar for 2 to 4 minutes, until fluffy and light. Add the egg and vanilla, beating well after each addition. Slowly add in one-half of the flour mixture, being careful not to work the dough too much. It might be easier to switch from an electric mixer to a wooden spoon at this point. Follow with cream cheese. Finally, add in the remaining half of the flour mixture. Stir the dough just until smooth.
Drop spoonfuls of the dough onto ungreased baking sheets, spacing each mound about an inch or two apart. For aesthetics, sugar may be sprinkled on top of each cookie. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the edges of the cookies begin to brown (the lighter, the softer). Cool on wire racks before enjoying.