Monday, April 7, 2014

Brown sugar cookies

So a lot has happened since the last time I baked n' blogged - HIMYM ended, Game of Thrones started, I went golfing and hiking, and somehow, with zero knowledge of basketball, managed to produce a bracket that predicted the winning team.

Very briefly - I didn't think the HIMYM finale was worst thing ever (though it certainly wasn't perfect), but I didn't expect the extent that the Internet would collectively explode in anger over it. And that's all I'm going to say on the matter before a crowd of angry fans mobs me.

As for Game of Thrones - as a book reader, I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS SEASON. Next episode especially is going to be INSANE.

And finally, in celebration of the championship game in March Madness, I baked twice today - basketball cupcakes for game watching festivities and then brown sugar cookies for work tomorrow.

Going into March Madness, I was convinced to make and enter a bracket by my sport-loving friends. Not knowing anything about basketball, much less college basketball, I decided to make a bracket based on how cute the mascots of each team were. This caused me to pick some ridiculous outcomes (including a 15th seed going to the championship game), but also allowed me to call some surprising upsets (Mercer over Duke, for example) AND win the overall bracket pool I was in. (cute Connecticut husky puppies for the win!). Needless to say, some of my friends who seriously picked their brackets are a little off-put by the fact that me going "PUPPIES!" won me the brackets.

I actually baked twice in honor of March Madness - the first was last week when I made some basketball cake pops with a new cake pop pan I got as a gift.

For today's game, I decided to make basketball cupcakes - they were just chocolate cupcakes with Reese's Pieces and frosting on top for the basketball design.

I made them alongside these soft chewy brown sugar cookies. I needed a quick and easy recipe for this week's baking, since most of tonight was spent watching the game. These cookies, from Sally's Baking Addiction, are easy to make (no mixer needed) and don't take too much time to bake (after a two hour chilling period, the baking time is only about 10 minutes).

According to Sally's recipe, these shouldn't spread out very much while in the oven, but that didn't stop mine from spreading flat and sticking to each other. They still are very tasty, but just not as pretty and round as one would hope they would be. I suspect it might have something to do with 1) not long enough chilling time, resulting in a softer dough, and/or 2) the kitchen being absurdly warm because the weather was super nice today.

Despite that, they were still very soft and moist - just like I hoped! These kind of taste like snickerdoodles, except with much more brown sugar flavors. Next time, I'll space them out further on the baking sheet to prevent spreading.

Go Huskies! :)

Brown sugar cookies (makes ~2 dozen cookies)
Recipe adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
  • 2 cups/ 250 g flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup butter (unsalted)
  • 1 1/4 cups/250 g dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ~1/4 cup white sugar (for rolling)
  1. Mix flour, baking soda, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt together and set aside. 
  2. Melt the butter (in the microwave or over the stove). Stir in the brown sugar until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and stir until combined. 
  3. Pour butter/sugar mixture into flour mixture and mix (no mixer needed, just use a spoon or spatula) 
  4. Chill the dough for 2 hours. 
  5. Preheat oven to 325F. Roll the dough into 2 tsp balls, then roll in the white sugar, and place on baking sheet (give the balls at least 2-3 inches of space apart from each other). 
  6. Bake for 9 minutes and then pull out to squish down the tops (if needed). Return to oven and bake one more minute. 
  7. Let cool and then enjoy!

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