Tuesday, December 9, 2014

never bake while tired (or, that time I used flour instead of powdered sugar. or, nonny's icebox cookies).

I had been craving cookies for a few weeks. Specifically my grandmother's icebox cookies, which are kind of like a shortbread-sugar-cookie hybrid (more short than sugar), and pretty much the best ever. When I finally got around to pausing Gilmore Girls (Netflix, I'm not sure whether to kill you or hug you) long enough to be a productive member of society for 10 minutes, it was 10pm on a Sunday night when I definitely had to be at work the next day.

Perfect time to bake some cookies, right?

The beauty of this dough is that it takes about 30 seconds to throw together, and I always have the ingredients on hand. The hardest part is remembering to take butter out of the freezer to thaw, since we don't have a microwave.

Once the cookies were done, Danny and I enjoyed a few while watching the last episode for the night (or was it?). I kept thinking, "does powdered sugar lose its flavor over time? Because it tastes really bland!" The cookies tasted just fine, but the dusting of sugar on top could have been left off.

When I went into the kitchen to wrap up the remaining cookies, I looked around at the counters and it hit me: I had absolutely, definitely, positively just dusted a whole batch of cookies with all-purpose flour. The powdered sugar had been put back in the pantry after making the dough, and even though the container for the flour is a completely different size and shape, I somehow did not even notice I was using the wrong powder for the finishing touches.

And that is why you never bake when tired.

Luckily the flour was easily wiped off, and the cookies were re-dusted with powdered sugar, and all is now well with the world. The end.

Icebox Cookies (makes more than you probably need, but less than you probably want)

1 cup chilled unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
7 tablespoons powdered sugar, plus extra for dusting
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 egg yolks

Preheat the oven to 350*. Cream the butter and sugar until incorporated and fluffy. Mix in egg yolks and vanilla, then flour, until dough is formed. Break the dough into a few smaller dough balls (this will depend on how much you want to make at a time), and roll each ball into logs about 1.5" thick. Wrap the logs up and chill in the freezer until firm, about an hour (or refrigerate for a few hours). Slice logs at an angle to make cookies, about .5" thick. Place cookies on a cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until slightly golden. Dust with powdered sugar. Eat while hot if you're crazy like me and just can't wait, or let them cool if you're a normal person. Careful not to inhale while eating, as powdered sugar causes coughing fits. Not that I know from experience, or anything.

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