Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Have a Happy National Sugar Cookie Day with Cracked Sugar Cookies

Do you know what Boo! is?  I realize we’re months away from Halloween, but I have to mention the game of Boo! when telling you about my sugar cookies today.  This link and this link describe how to play Boo!, and if no one’s been playing this in your neighborhood, you might consider starting it in early October this year.  It’s FUN!

A few years ago, I decided to add homemade sugar cookies to my Boo! basket.  I have my step-mom’s recipe and I've been making it for years.  It’s one of the few recipes I don’t try to improve, and I never look for another one because everyone loves them.  So, with our Boo! baskets in hand one dark, clear night, Willie and I walked through the neighborhood looking for two houses that hadn’t been Boo’d yet.  We found one and made the delivery uneventfully, because we didn’t have to ring the door bell and run.  The house was dark and no one was home.  Easy!

We saw a second house.  It was brightly lit with no Boo! placard posted on the front door, so I asked Willie to go do it and he said, "no, you go do it."  This exact conversation went on for several rounds and I finally gave in.

I told him, "you wait right here for me!"  He said, "no problem."

I left him at the edge of the driveway and crept slowly and silently (on tiptoe!) to the door, turning to check on Willie, who was so far down the road I could barely see him!  So, before he could disappear altogether, I quickly placed the cookies on the porch and rang the doorbell.  Now, did I mention the front door of this home is partially made of glass?  And that there is a large window above the front door that goes up to the second floor of the house?  And that you can see a bridge inside the house that goes from one side of the house to the other?  And that when I rang the doorbell and looked up through that upper window, I saw a bunch of little kids and a dad on the bridge?!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes!  That is exactly what happened!  And I saw the kids pointing and shrieking!  And I freaked out completely and ran like the wind!  Willie said it was the funniest thing he ever saw me do, running like stuck pig (or insert any of these instead, because being compared to a stuck pig is just not very flattering), right down the middle of the street!  He waited for me, I will give him that, and then we ran together all the way home!  We laughed till our sides hurt.  Or was it the running that made our sides hurt?  Oh, I am still laughing about that night, even now, several years later!

Several months passed.  An email went out to all the neighbors, including me, from that household of shrieking and finger pointing toddlers, asking for the neighbor who had left the sugar cookies during Boo! to please share the recipe.  You see, her kids LOVED the cookies and kept asking for more.  Do you know when I shared the recipe with that neighbor, I learned that no one in their family even saw me that night?  They never even heard the doorbell!  I ran like crazy for nothing!

Note:  Is this story entirely accurate?  Of course!  Unless, that is, you talk to Willie.  He thinks we drove through the neighborhood – NO!  And he thinks we BOTH delivered the cookies and ran (Where did we run?  Back to the car, Willie?  NO!).  Anyway, this is my recipe, folks!  If Willie wants to tell you a story, I promise not to contradict!

Cracked Sugar Cookies
by Sandra

1¼ cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2½ cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Lightly grease a cookie sheet.

Cream the sugar and butter until fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Beat in the yolks and vanilla.  Sift the dry ingredients together, and then add to the batter in 4 parts, mixing well after each addition.

Form dough into balls the size of a walnut and place balls on cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.  Do not flatten.  Bake for approximately 11 minutes.  Cool on wire rack.  Repeat with remaining dough until used up.
P.S.  As you can see from my photos, if you want to embellish the cookies with a candy corn, don’t put the candy on the cookie ball when it goes into the oven!  Wait until the cookies come out of the oven and are still hot or even better, put a dab of icing on the back of the candy, place on a cooled cookie and it will stay in place just long enough to be eaten.

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