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Tuesdays With Dorie: Grandma’s All-Occasion Sugar Cookies

December 9, 2008

I have an oven again! My amazing father-in-law came to stay overnight (to attend #1 Son’s Civil Air Patrol promotion ceremony), and he fixed it right up for me.

This week’s TWD recipe was for sugar cookies, and I was up in the air about whether or not to make them. I like my cookies a bit more interesting than plain old sugar cookies, and I knew I wasn’t going to do the whole rolling-cutting-decorating thing. So I raised the issue with the family, and as usual, they were goofing around:

Me: They’re just plain sugar cookies. What could we have with them?
#2 Son: Ganache!
Husband: Vanilla ganache!
#2 Son: Coffee ganache!

(I won’t transcribe #1 Son’s contribution. Sufficeth to say, it was unappetizing.)

They were playing off each other, and nothing constructive ever gets done when they do that.

But I made the cookies. And I made the ganache.

The dough came together easily, like all of Dorie’s doughs so far. I doubled the recipe, because it’s always good to have some cookie dough in the freezer; I made two disks for rolling and two logs for slicing. No additions to the recipe, because I wasn’t sure what I’d be doing with the cookies themselves. (As it turns out, #2 Son and a friend are going to roll them out and decorate them, so I have to soften up those two logs and reshape them into disks!)

The dough rolled out easily. It cut easily. It baked in exactly the amount of time the recipe indicated. And the cookies were fine. They were sugar cookies.

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I guess my problem is that sugar cookies are ubiquitous. There’s nothing special about them; they’re just those cookies that are always around. These were good sugar cookies, certainly. And with some emendation — some chocolate or cinnamon or coconut (or a combo!) added to the dough, or something on top — I bet they’d have been really good. But alone, they were kind of plain. (Which is not their fault, certainly. It just muted my enjoyment.)

The family agreed, so I won’t bother quoting them all individually.

I made four kinds of ganache, in deference to the whims of my family and my indecisiveness: vanilla, coffee, chocolate, and mocha. For vanilla and coffee, I used Ghirardelli white chocolate chips and cream (with some vanilla paste and a shot of espresso in the appropriate bowls). For the chocolate, Ghirardelli bittersweet chips and cream. And for the mocha, Trader Joe’s Belgian milk chocolate (chopped but not terribly finely) and cream and espresso.

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Lessons learned:

  1. Chocolate chips, especially white chocolate chips, melt terribly.
  2. 2 ounces of chocolate to 1 ounce of cream is not enough to make a thick ganache; there will be spoons involved.
  3. I really need a light box.

The ganache was yummy, if runny, and it worked well with the cookies. (The mocha was the best.)

All in all, it was a nice dessert. Just nothing to write home about.

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I know there will be some amazing variations among the other TWD bakers; check them out. And if you want the recipe, head on over to Küchenlatein, where Ulrike (who chose these for us this week) will lay it out for you. (And you can practice your German! We’re so multilingual lately!)

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. December 9, 2008 1:45 pm

    Hooray for the return of the oven! Cookies look really fine…and we are very partial to sugar cookies over here. I am NOT showing these chocolate baths to my sons and husband as they will expect me to do that, too….way too complicated for me…you are a star!

  2. December 9, 2008 1:46 pm

    I love the idea of four ganaches. I love sugar cookies but I really love sugar cookies with chocolate. I will have to try the white chocolate too.

  3. December 9, 2008 2:00 pm

    Looks great.

    So glad you have your oven back.

  4. December 9, 2008 3:54 pm

    your cookies look tasty… and so does alll of that ganache 😉 yum!

  5. December 10, 2008 10:53 am

    Four kinds of ganache?! Brilliant! And those cookies are absolutely stunning!!!

  6. December 10, 2008 5:07 pm

    Great idea to make ganache! Your cookies must taste scrumptious.

  7. December 13, 2008 1:27 am

    Your cookies are perfectly beautiful. The variety of ganache must have made everyone happy.

  8. mangomissives permalink
    December 22, 2008 7:05 pm

    oooo, look at that yummy chocolatey ganache in the last pic. tempting!

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