Ah, the ubiquitous sugar cookies. It doesn't matter if they're shaped like a Santa or a Dreidel, most of them taste (pardon the pun) cookie-cutter. After the first couple bites I'm usually looking for a place to discreetly stash the cocktail-napkin-wrapped remains. But it doesn't have to be that way! The other day we got a buncha babies together and, using the Joy of Cooking's tried-and-true sugar cookie recipe as a base, whipped up a batch of Sugar Cookies with at grown-up touch of Rosemary and Toasted Pine Nuts. Classic enough to fire up all those nostalgia sensors in your reptilian brain, but intriguing enough to keep you coming back for another bite.
Additions to classic cookie bases are endless! Here are a few more to consider:
- Sage + Orange Zest
- Cardamom + Sea Salt
- A dash of Espresso + Cocoa Powder
- Dried Lavender + a dash of Rose Water
- a teaspoon of Matcha
These rolling pins have a similar vibe. Good design and craftsmanship should transcend personal style and trends, and these rolling-pins are equally at home in a white-tiled, modern-minimalist kitchen as they are in your mama's linoleum-floored rancher. And if baking with children wasn't already adorable enough: they come in matching mini-versions!
SUGAR COOKIES WITH PINE NUTS AND ROSEMARY
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
- 1 tbsp rosemary, chopped
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until very fluffy and well blended. Add and beat in the egg, baking powder, salt, and vanilla until evenly incorporated. Stir in flour until well blended and smooth. Gently stir in pine nuts and rosemary until evenly incorporated.
Divide the dough in half and shape into circles. Place each circle between large sheets of wax paper. Roll out a scant 1/4-inch thick, checking the underside frequently and smoothing out any creases. Keeping the wax paper in place, layer the rolled dough on a tray and refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes, or until cold and slightly firm but not hard.
WHEN READY TO BAKE:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease cookie sheets.
Working with 1 portion of dough (leave the other refrigerated), gently peel away and replace 1 sheet of the wax paper. (This will make it easier to lift the cookies from the paper later.) Peel off and discard the second layer. Using 2- or 3-inch cutters, cut out cookies. With a wide spatula, carefully transfer them from the wax paper to the cookie sheets, spacing about 1 inch apart.
Roll any dough scraps between wax paper and continue cutting out cookies until all the dough is used. If the dough becomes too warm to handle at any point, refrigerate it again briefly.
Bake, 1 sheet at a time, in the upper third of the oven for 6 to 9 minutes, or until cookies are just slightly colored on top and slightly darker at the edges. Rotate sheets halfway through baking for even browning. Transfer sheets to wire racks and let cookies firm up, 1 to 2 minutes, Then transfer the cookies to wire racks and let stand until thoroughly cool.
Store, airtight, for 1 or 2 weeks, or freeze for up to 1 month.
Makes 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 dozen 2 1/2 to 3 1/2-inch cookies.