November 10, 2010

Butter Cookies

Today, I'm going all Paula Deen on you. If you don't know anything about Paula Dean, I will tell you this one important fact: the woman loves some butter. If one stick is good, two is better!

I heart butter.

A few weeks ago MG went to Asheville (where I long to go someday) and brought me back this special treat:

SUGAR! Flavored, fancy sugar from The Spice & Tea Exchange. Three different kinds and I had to decide how to use them...what to make?

Oooooh---BUTTER COOKIES. Three ways.
Three Ways
This was one of the first recipes I remember making as a kid. I mean, we're talking four ingredient easy, peasy business here.
Butter, flour, sugar and vanilla. I recommend salted butter, both because I like salty-sweet together and because it's better. Why is it better? Because I said so.

I also recommend busting out the good wah-nilla here. I bought Vanilla Bean Paste when I was in Chicago last September. I searched all over the Triangle for it, alas, no vanilla bean paste. The first grocery store I walk into in Hyde Park? BAM, wah-nilla paste. Then I stuck it in my one quart baggie for my flight home hoping no one would notice that I had a *gasp* 4 oz bottle of liquid in my carry-on. (Technically you're only allowed 3 oz bottles.) AND it apparently contains bourbon, which I don't think you're allowed to take alcohol through security. I did it though. No one even glanced in my direction. I'm such a rebel. Mah-ha-ha-ha-ha!

Just look at those glorious bean seeds. I love vanilla.

Stick all those ingredients in a bowl, mix it up and then form the dough into balls. Roll each ball in granulated sugar and then flatten slightly on the baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes at 375 and you've got basic butter cookies. They're tender, lightly sweet, delicious little buggers. Great with tea or coffee.
Cookie balls

Of course, I can't leave well enough alone. It's just not who I am. If granulated sugar is know what would be better? Flavored sugar!

First up: Blueberry
 blueberry sugar
I just stuck with the basics for these. I combined the blueberry sugar with some granulated sugar and rolled the cookies in that before baking. I use a glass to flatten them slightly and I dampened the bottom of it and stuck it in the sugar before pressing each cookie for a little additional sugary goodness.
blueberry cookies

Next: Espresso
espresso sugar
Going in a new direction, I decided to do a little slice-n-bake action with this one. I formed the dough into a log-ish (sounds dirty) shape and popped it into the freezer. This dough is very soft, so I wanted it to be a little more firm before I worked with it. After about 30 minutes, I took it out and rolled it in the espresso sugar, pressing the sugar into the dough. Then I sliced it and baked it.

Coffee Cookies

Last up: Lemon
lemon sugar
These were the favorite of many. I'm giving the credit to the lemon. What a great fruit. 
I slightly flattened the naked balls on my baking sheet and then cooled them on wire racks. Once they were cool, I made a simple icing with powdered sugar and milk (and I totally did this in a baggie and stirred it by squishing it around) and then drizzled it over the cookies, while the icing was still wet I sprinkled on the lemon sugar. Yummy.

So, there you have it, butter cookies three ways. (Or four if you count the basic, plain jane way which I didn't actually make.)
I really enjoyed these cookies, the flavored sugars were very subtle, but very tasty. I still have some leftover sugar and now I have to decide if I want to make these again or something new...decisions, decisions.

Butter Cookies
1 cup Butter
5 Tblsp Sugar, plus more for rolling cookies in
1 tsp Vanilla
2 cups Flour

Mix ingredients together, roll in balls, roll in sugar, flatten slightly and bake for 12 minutes at 375 degrees.

In other news: I took all these pictures in full-manual! YAY ME!!! I know, it's not that big of a deal, but going manual with my camera makes me want to pee my pants. I still need to do more work with the white balance, but I TOOK THESE PICTURES ON THE "M" SETTING! I rule! ( :

1 comment :

  1. hooooooo. mmmmmm. cookies. cooooookies.

    *sigh* *moan* *sigh*

    those look great.