Tuesday, January 02, 2007

MidWest Meets MidEast

Or, Sugar Cookies with Saffron Icing.

Cookie dough:

Combine
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

In another bowl, cream together

1 cup (two sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg

Then add in

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract---or, as I've done recently, approximately two teaspoons, minced almonds

Add dry flour mixture into wet mixture, and beat thoroughly. Roll the dough into a long sausage, wrap it in plastic, and chill it for at least an hour---but overnight is much better.

When you're ready to roll out and bake your cookies:
Start infusing your saffron:
Crumble one teaspoon of saffron into one to two tablespoons of hot water. Set aside to soak.
And preheat oven to 350F.

Shaping dough:
This cookie dough tends to be very sticky. It's easiest to work with when it has just barely softened, so I'd advise you cut off one piece of the dough-sausage at a time and leaving the rest to chill.

On a (very!) well-floured surface, roll the dough out to about an eighth-inch thick. Cut into shapes. I usually use a small drinking-glass as a cookie-cutter; this dough is soft enough to make more intricate cutters painful to work with.


Baking:
Arrange onto non-stick or lightly greased or parchment-papered cookie tins. The cookies don't expand very much, so you can load them fairly closely together.

Bake at 350F for 8-9 minutes. I like them barely golden. In fact, I like them decidedly undercooked. Cool on a rack.


Icing:
2 cups powdered sugar
1 egg white
1-2 Tablespoons water infused with 1 teaspoon ground saffron
Maybe a drop or two of red food-coloring...
Mix it together thoroughly in a warm environment--over a small flame if your place is cold--and spread over the cooled cookies with a knife.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Becks:

Mmmm...these were really good!

1/03/2007 09:03:00 AM  
Anonymous I don't pay:

So "midwest" is an idea here, not a point of origin?

1/03/2007 06:05:00 PM  
Blogger Jackmormon:

Sugar cookies are high art in the Midwest, or so I've heard. That's where my mother's recipe comes from, and my mother's family.

The Midwest starts at the Rockies. Is that an idiosyncratic definition?

1/04/2007 08:47:00 PM  

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