A friend and fan asked if I had started baking for the season...she had not seen many recipe posts. Truth is it has not been cold and gloomy enough for me to want to back...now it is cold, but the sun is shining and the last thing I desire to do is stay inside and bake. However, since she asked, I decided to pull out the cookie cookbook, see what ingredients I actually had and could work with (as I had not replenished since last season)and sent to work. I picked Caramelized Sugar Cookies.
I had to make a few substitutions as I only had margarine in the apartment and whole wheat flour, but never one to back down I continued on. I decided to use some brown sugar instead to enhance the rich, nutty flavor and texture that the flour would add, so pulled that out as well. With my ingredients set up, and the margarine ( combo of Best Life & Parkay) coming to room temp, I was ready to get started.
|...the white is for the caramel..|
|I sprayed a cookie sheet lined in foil with cooking spray, it called for butter rubbed, but this works fine....it is to pour the caramelized sugar on.|
|I poured the 1/2 cup of white sugar in the pan...no fluids. medium high heat and a few minutes later.....OH and A LOT of constant stirring....|
|...and caramelized sugar ...WALA!|
|The cookie sheet comes into play...while this cooled, I mixed up the dough and once it was cooled, I broke this up in a million pieces to Incorporate into it.|
The Recipe ...
Caramelized Sugar Cookies
prep and cook time about 1 hr
store in airtight container for up to two days...(I am sure if you fudge a day past you will be ok)
preheat that oven to 325 degrees and put rack in middle spot
It says it makes about 55 cookies...I got 47 :/
1 cup of sugar ( I used half a cup of white for the caramel, and 1/2 cup brown for the cookies)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour ( I used white whole wheat from Trader Joes)
1/2 tsp baking powder
*2 tbsp water ( set to side) ** I had to discover this further down the recipe instructions when dough was not forming, so wanted to post up here for you!
1. Butter (or spray) 12x14 inch piece of foil and set on a baking sheet. In a 8-10 inch frying pan ( or small pot..just takes longer) over medium high heat. Melt 1/2 cup of sugar , frequently shaking and tilting pan ( ummm, I found stirring worked better). When sugar is a light caramel color ( in about 6 minutes in pan) pour onto foil and let it cool. Once it is cooled you can break apart in a food processor or in a large bag and bank it with a hammer or rolling pin to make small bits.
2. In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter (or margarine) with the remaining sugar until well blended, beat in the 2 tbsp of water and the vanilla until smooth, and scrape down the sides as needed.
3. In another bowl, mix flour and baking powder, stir into beaten butter mixture until well mixed and then stir in the caramel pieces.
4.Drop by 1 1/2 tsp portions onto a buttered (or sprayed, or parchment lined or silpat sheet can be used) baking sheet.. 2 inches apart.
5.Place in pre-heated oven and on middle rack...set the timer for 12-15 minutes (mine took 13) and if making more than one sheet, switch them mid way so the one on the bottom rack does not burn.Bake until edges are golden brown (and if using the substitutes, check the bottom of one to see if it looks baked as well as press the top...if it is soft, but springs back a bit, it is done.)
6. Let stand on sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to racks to fully cool. Again cookies will be soft and harden up as they cool.
**There are nutrition info based on using butter, all white sugar and all purpose flour....
50% from fat
2.8g fat (1.7g sat.)
6g carb (0.1g fiber)
7.4 mg chol.