(Free) Homespun Sugar Cookies

Warm sugar cookies used to taunt me. Every day in high school, the
cafeteria offered warm sugar and chocolate chip cookies. The chocolate
chip cookies I could do without-- mom made those at home. But, oh, the
sugar cookies. The only sugar cookies made at home were rolled out and
cut into shapes. The cafeteria sugar cookies, which I'm sure came
frozen in a box, were perfectly round disks coated with granulated
sugar. On a good day, they'd be golden brown. On a bad day? They
looked pale and greasy. It didn't matter to me what they looked like,
I wanted one. Thanks to my food allergies, however, I couldn't satisfy
my craving! I had to be content just looking at the cookies.

After high school, I didn't think about the tempting sugar cookies
until I passed a cookie display at, of all places, a mini-mart a few
years ago. Sitting on the counter was my old high school culinary
crush: the sugar-coated sugar cookie. Well, I was done craving it! I
wanted a taste. Since I still couldn't buy the cookie, I headed into
the kitchen and created a recipe.

Does this cookie taste anything like the one offered at my high
school? I have no idea! For a taste comparison, you'd have to ask
someone who actually ate those cookies. But these cookies taste
exactly as I imagined those cookies would taste: buttery and sweet
with just a hint of vanilla. They might not be as easy to make as
plucking frozen dough from a box but they are darn close. To satisfy
the cookie craving high-school-me, all I need to do is cream together
a few ingredients, roll the dough into balls, coat with sugar and plop
onto a cookie sheet. The best part of these cookies? I don't have to
return to high school to enjoy them.


12/02/2011 UPDATE: These cookies are lovely for the holidays. Younger kids especially love to help rolling the dough in sugar or sprinkles prior to baking. Their sweet reward are cookies that come out of the oven already decorated. Select colored coarse sugar, sprinkles, or nonpereils instead of white sugar for a nice pop of color. (Although, "plain" white sugar is anything but plain when it emerges from the oven. It adds a lovely shimmer to the cookies.) 

Dry Ingredients
2 cups white rice flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup sweet rice flour
1/3 cup tapioca starch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
Coarse sanding sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In medium mixing bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together sugar, butter, and vanilla, about 1 minute. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix until well combined.
  3. Reduce speed to low and add the dry ingredients. Mix for 45 seconds. Cover and chill dough for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Roll dough, about 2 tablespoons each, into a ball. Roll dough ball into the sanding sugar, sprinkles or nonpareils. (To make this step go faster, I use a cookie scoop.)
  5. Place coated dough ball onto prepared baking sheet. Be sure to space cookies about 2 inches apart. Flatten cookies very slightly with the palm of your hand.
  6. Bake cookies, about 12-15 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.
  7. Remove cookies from the oven and allow to cool for 3 minutes on the baking sheet. After 3 minutes, transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.
  8. Store cookies in an airtight container.

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