Apparently my boyfriend really liked the doggy bone shaped brown sugar cookies I made last week... Shocking right? Once again, I prove my point that he doesn't even know what he likes or dislikes (He always used to tell me how he didn't like sugar cookies, but apparently that was a lie). So for the Super Bowl I thought I'd make them yet again, but this time in little football shapes. It was perfect- the cookies were the appropriate shade of dark brown that they would basically resemble actual mini footballs. I know- I'm just too adorable for my own good.
I'm a pro now when it comes to browning butter (such a hard feat, I know).
Before we go any further, let me just introduce you to the newest member of my family- His name is Hamilton Beach and he has come to rescue me from unsatisfactory mixing. No longer will I have only 2 speeds of either super-fast or super-di-duper-fast, and no longer will I have to smell the burning of mechanics from my cheap ass $7 hand mixer (R.I.P.). Although you will be missed cheap hand mixer (not really), I have to say that I am grateful to have this $15 souped up hand mixer. (I really splurged on this guy.)
Another lesson I learned from last time was to use fresh dark brown sugar. The sugar was as smooth as a baby's bottom and there were no hard chunks in sight. I did not have to constantly mix the batter into oblivion, nor did I have to use my fingers to squish individual clumps of sugar. Holy crap- did changing those two things make such a huge difference. Thinking back at last time, I wasn't even sure this batter would mix together without the eggs; but as you can see here, it very easily did.
And now the fun part- cutting out the shapes! (Oh, and eating the scraps as I went along.)
I tried to cut them out a little thicker than last time. Since the recipe called for rolling them into balls and simply dropping them onto the cookie sheet, I felt bad cutting out shapes because I knew they wouldn't spread out as much and be as chewy (Reminder for next time: Make these as drop cookies! Those would be delicious.)
Okay, so they did spread a little. The photos make them look a lot rounder than they actually were, but trust me, they were still adorable (well, as adorable as a football could get).
There we go! I piped a little cream cheese icing for the football laces to make them even cuter.
We already knew these would taste good- but I just didn't realize how much better they would be just by using better ingredients/products. I owe it all to my new pack of dark brown sugar and my new Hamilton Beach.
I was actually really surprised to hear that basically everyone loved these. But then again, how could I doubt Cook's Illustrated?
Taken from Cook's Illustrated.
14 tablespoons unsalted butter (1+3/4 sticks)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups packed dark brown sugar
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1. Heat 10 tablespoons butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue to cook, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl. Stir remaining 4 tablespoons butter into hot butter to melt; set aside for 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large (18 by 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper. In shallow baking dish or pie plate, mix granulated sugar and 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, rubbing between fingers, until well combined; set aside. Whisk flour, baking soda, and baking powder together in medium bowl; set aside.
3. Add remaining 1 3/4 cups brown sugar and salt to bowl with cooled butter; mix until no sugar lumps remain, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula; add egg, yolk, and vanilla and mix until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined, about 1 minute. Give dough final stir with rubber spatula to ensure that no flour pockets remain and ingredients are evenly distributed.
4. Divide dough into 24 portions, each about 2 tablespoons, rolling between hands into balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Working in batches, toss balls in reserved sugar mixture to coat and set on prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart, 12 dough balls per sheet. (Smaller baking sheets can be used, but it will take 3 batches.)
5. Bake one sheet at a time until cookies are browned and still puffy and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft (cookies will look raw between cracks and seem underdone; see photo below), 12 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Do not overbake.
6. Cool cookies on baking sheet 5 minutes; using wide metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature.
Makes 2 dozen cookies
---RECIPE FOR ICING---
Idea from Cook's Illustrated.
1 ounce cream cheese
1+1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
Beat cream cheese and add as much powdered sugar and milk until reached desired consistency.