I originally had a different cookie planned. But, right before I went to make them, I read over the recipe and the very last sentence said “these will become crisp upon cooling”. Crisp? Who likes crisp cookies? Well, phew, that was a close one! So, I scratched that idea and went to where I always go when I need a sure fire, perfect recipe- America’s Test Kitchen. They published a new book, Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook: 2,000 Recipes from 20 years of America’s Most Trusted Food Magazine. So great, now I have 2000 more recipes I want to try I decided on the recipe for chewy sugar cookies because I was intrigued by the addition of cream cheese to the dough. How would cream cheese alter the taste and texture of the cookie? I am a nerd, I know Besides, they are one of my husband’s favorite cookies, so why not give them a shot? What I like the most about these sugar cookies is how easy they are to make. No waiting for butter to soften because you use melted butter. You don’t need to lug out the Kitchen Aid (mine is working once again!), because all you need is a whisk and spatula to make the dough. You roll the dough into balls, then in sugar and then sprinkle more plain sugar on top as the recipe suggests, but that is so boring. I decided to follow the Valentine theme and decorate them with pink and red coarse crystal sugar. I just love the old-fashioned look and taste. As the name promises, they are very chewy which ATK attributes to the oil. The cream cheese adds a tenderness and a slight tang to round out the sweetness. I know what you’re thinking….oh geez, not another sugar cookie! But, I think if you give these a try, I can almost bet that oh geez will turn into thank goodness.
Chewy Sugar Cookies
Yield: 24 cookies
2 1/4 cups (11 1/4 oz) all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 oz) sugar, plus extra for rolling the cookies in (~ 1/3 cup)
2 oz cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces
6 tbsp butter, melted and warm
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 tbsp whole milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
Adjust oven rack to medium. Preheat oven to 350 F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment. Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl, set aside
In a large bowl, place the 1 1/2 cups sugar and the cream cheese. Pour the warm butter over them and whisk to combine. Some small lumps of cream cheese may remain- no worries, they will disappear later. Whisk in oil until well incorporated. Then add the egg, milk and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. Add flour mixture and mix with a spatula until a smooth dough forms.
Roll 2 Tbsp of dough into 24 balls. rolling gently in your hands. Don’t over roll, or you will get flat cookies. Pour about 1/3 cup sugar in a shallow bowl and gently roll each ball in it, before placing on the prepared baking sheet. I got 9 cookies to a sheet. Gently flatten each ball of dough with the bottom of drinking glass, until 2 inches in diameter. Sprinkle a little regular sugar (if you like plain, boring cookies ) or colored sprinkles on top of each one. Bake one sheet at a time for 11-13 minutes, until edges are just set and just starting to brown (turn the sheet around halfway through baking). Let them cool on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.