Update 6/4/2014–Without a doubt, this is absolutely, hands down, my favorite sugar cookie. I made these for July 4th and decorated them with white frosting and red, white and blue sprinkles. This time around I used vanilla sugar in place of the regular white sugar and they were especially outstanding. Vanilla sugar is very easy to make. Simply split a vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape out the caviar and stir it into 2 cups of white granulated sugar. Cut the vanilla bean half across the middle so that you now have four pieces. Layer the sugar and the vanilla bean pieces in an airtight container, ending with a layer of sugar. Cover the container and allow the sugar to sit for about a week. I usually make about six cups of sugar at one time.
I’ve been on a bit of sugar cookie search of late, trying to find “the” perfect sugar cookie.
There isn’t one.
Just thought I’d put that out there at the beginning so that you would know that I’m not going to go all “Oh my gosh this is the best sugar cookie I’ve ever eaten. You HAVE to make it right now!!!!”
As with any other cookie, cake, spaghetti sauce, or meatloaf, everyone has their favorite. Well, maybe not meatloaf. It has a bad reputation in some sectors (I’ve been watching Hunger Games, so the word sector is stuck in my vocabulary.) Personally, I like meatloaf, particularly the very tasty Amazing Meatloaf on my blog. It’s been a favorite in my family for a very long time. The sauce is the real key.
Sugar cookies. I’m supposed to be talking about sugar cookies. So sorry.
This particular recipe is supposed to be a copycat recipe for the sugar cookies sold at a little shop in St. George, Utah called Swig. I have never had a true Swig sugar cookie, so I cannot personally attest that the cookies from this recipe taste like the real Swig sugar cookies.
To be perfectly honest, some people on the internet state that this recipe is the real deal, but I did find one nay sayer. Si, from A Bountiful Kitchen, laid out her argument against authenticity very clearly, and you know what? I believe her. And you know what else? She convinced me that it is okay if I am now less inclined to make a 5 hour trip down to St. George to try out this cookie. Yes, believe it or not, I would make a trip down there with the main goal being to have a real Swig sugar cookie, but now I am contented to wait a bit. Si’s recipe for Swig Sugar Cookies is quite different from the recipe I have here, but my, oh my, I really LOVE the flavor and texture of the cookies that came from the recipe here. 🙂 I’ll have to give Si’s sugar cookie recipe a try in the future.
I did some homework on the Swig Sugar Cookie and discovered that there are a few things that make it distinctive:
- It is large.
- It is not a rolled and cut cookie. Rather, the dough for each cookie is shaped into a ball and then pressed into a round disk shape.
- It has cracked edges, and a ‘ring’ where the edges push out past whatever object is used to press down the dough balls; in my case, the bottom of a water glass.
- It is refrigerated after baking, then frosted just before eating, and is supposed to be served cold.
It doesn’t really matter that I don’t know how a real Swig sugar cookie tastes. I am totally happy with the way that this sugar cookie tastes. The one and only drawback is that this cookie cannot be rolled and cut out with cookie cutters. I don’t care, don’t care, don’t care. I love them just the way are. (Oh, great. Now I’ve got that song in my head–“don’t go changing, to try and please me…I love you just the way you are….)
I made some minor recipe changes, adding vanilla to the cookie and using a cream cheese frosting instead of a sour cream frosting. I’ll try the sour cream frosting another time.
Baked, the cookies are a generous 3 1/2 – to 4-inches in diameter. The edges have a slight crispy crunch to them and the interior texture is medium soft with just the right mount of resistance and ‘chew’.
It’s fun to eat the cookies without any frosting on them because of a very thin, crispy sugar top layer. The layer is made by dipping the bottom of a drinking glass in sugar and then using the prepared glass bottom to press the cookie dough into a disk. The sugar is transferred from the bottom of the glass to the top of the dough and forms a very thin “crust”. It reminds me ever so slightly of crunching through the crust on creme brulee. Or not.
Shoot. Just have fun making and eating these cookies. No dough chilling. No stressing with rolling them out and transferring them to a pan. No worries about picking up too much flour in the rolling out process and ending up with a heavy, dense, flour laden cookie.
The #1 thing that is very important to the success of this cookie? Don’t use TOO MUCH FLOUR. I highly recommend weighing your flour. If you do not have a kitchen scale, then be sure to lightly spoon the flour into a measuring cup and level it with a flat edge such as the dull side of a knife. No scooping! Scooping = too much flour = tough, heavy cookie = an increased probability of dissatisfaction with the outcome of this recipe.