Sunday, December 06, 2015

Staff Holiday Recipes - Brown Sugar Cookies

Happy Holidays! One of the best parts of this magical time of the year is the festive food we enjoy at family gatherings and on cold winter nights throughout the season. Through the holidays will be sharing some of our staff’s favorite recipes and we encourage you to try them yourself! Of course a lot of the time these kinds of dishes are tied to a tradition or memory so the staff may also reflect on what their choice means to them or why it is their favorite. Have fun trying out the staff’s favorite recipes and for more seasonal meals and treats check out one of the library’s many holiday cookbooks!

Our first recipe is from Kyla Waltermire, the Branch Manager in Collinsville. Kyla's recipe is for a delicious seasonal staple, Brown Sugar Cookies.

Brown Sugar Cookies

I'm a big fan of "grazing" during the holidays--you know, when you keep going back for another handful of toasted nuts here or a bread roll there, whenever the mood strikes, regardless of how many meals you've already eaten or will be eating again.

My favorite things to graze on are sweet bites, and cookies are the undisputed champ. They're portable, come in an endless variety, and are easier to eat than cakes.

My new go-to cookie recipe is for brown sugar cookies. The dark brown sugar gives the cookies a bit more "oomph" than regular sugar cookies without being overpowering. These cookies come out in that texturally perfect place between too chewy and too crisp--they have just the right mouthfeel to be satisfying.

I hope you enjoy!

Brown Sugar Cookies (makes about 4 dozen)
  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Rolling sugar:
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together with a whisk and set aside.
  3. Mix the 1/4 cup dark brown sugar and 1/4 cup white granulated sugar together and set aside. (This will be used for rolling the cookies in before baking.)
  4. In a sauce pan (not non stick) melt 10 tablespoons of butter. Continue cooking on medium low heat, stirring constantly until the foaming subsides. Continue stirring until the butter begins to brown and form little dark specks on the bottom of the sauce pan. If you use a dark non stick pan, you will not see the change in color. The browning butter can go from brown to burnt very quickly, so be careful.
  5. Remove the browned butter from the stove and pour into a mixing bowl. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of cold butter and whisk until melted.
  6. Add the 1 3/4 cups dark brown sugar and whisk.
  7. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and whisk.
  8. Fold in the dry ingredients.
  9. Roll 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls in the reserved brown/white sugar mixture and place on a parchment lined pan. These cookies will spread, so leave a good amount of space between each dough ball.
  10. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes. Remember to under bake your cookies and continue letting them 'bake' on the sheet pan, out of the oven, on a cooling rack. When the cookies are cool on the sheet pan, transfer to a cooling rack and continue cooling.
For more seasonal recipes check out one of our holiday cookbooks. The library has a great selection of holiday recipe books that can be found in the nonfiction section both on the main floor and children’s floor. We have a large variety of seasonal reading so also be sure to browse our holiday displays. Happy holidays!

Posted by Kyla Waltermire, Branch Manager, and Terry Pierson, Library Clerk