Keeping the Tradition Alive With Some New Years Day Cookies

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Last year on New Years Day, I posted my very first recipe on The Wily Hound. It was for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and I thought that they would be a potential pick-me-up for those suffering from the all-too-popular New Years hangover.

Or, since sometimes food is the last thing you want to see when you’re hungover, they would make you feel worse. Whichever.

I wanted to keep the tradition alive by posting another cookie recipe this year. In the interest of full disclosure, I made these cookies on Sunday to bring to a New Years Eve party and wrote the post the same night – I don’t want to lead you kind folks astray by implying that I was up with the sun on January 1st, baking away whilst whistling a tune. If I had to guess, this post will go live on Tuesday when I hit “publish” on my phone from my bed while trying to cajole Brody into getting me some orange juice.

But I digress.

I flipped through the tried and true America’s Test Kitchen cookbook and decided on some basic sugar cookies. I’m tellin’ ya, the folks at ATK know what the heck they’re doing. These cookies are delicious and are the perfect example of a classic sugar cookie – crispy around the edges and soft in the middle. The more you beat the sugar and butter together, the fluffier the cookie will be, so go to town. Also, the dough is pretty sticky, so mold the cookies with wet hands and then press the ball of dough flat with the bottom of a wet glass and then sprinkle the tops with sugar (I used raw turbinado sugar and it kept its consistency nicely, versus a more refined white sugar, which might melt into the dough while it is baking).

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And because I was feeling wild (and because I had leftover cookie decorations that I never used for Christmas treats), I dipped some of the cookies in chocolate and then some of those in sprinkles. Wild, I tell you!

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Once the cookies were all dipped and decorated, Justin cruised into the kitchen and started huffing them down like an animal. I would tell him that they were for the party, he would say that he understood, and then I would turn around and he would be stuffing another one down his silly gullet. Seriously, the kid is out of control. But you know what that means:

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Happy New Year, everyone!

ATK Sugar Cookies
makes: 3 dozen cookies / prep time: 10 minutes / bake time: 10-12 minutes
recipe from the America’s Test Kitchen cookbook

  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • Turbinado (raw) sugar for sprinkling

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together and set aside. Beat the butter and white sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3-6 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, until combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to slow and slowly add in the flour mixture until combined, about 30 seconds. Give the dough a final stir with a rubber spatula to make sure everything is combined. Use wet hands to roll 1 tablespoon of dough at a time into balls, then use the bottom of a wet glass to flatten the cookies and then sprinkle the tops with the turbinado sugar. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, until the edges are set and just beginning to brown, 10-12 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through baking. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then serve warm or transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before storing.

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