12 Days of Cookies – The Great Sugar Cookie Debate

Sugar cookies are the classic holiday cookie. Everyone seems to have a great sugar cookie recipe. I personally only have the patience for sugar cookies at the holidays. Even though I have about 40 cookie cutters, they barely ever get used. Occasionally I’ll use them for things other than cookies (like cake or bars).

I think it’s because I don’t have a great sugar cookie recipe. Don’t get me wrong I love the recipe that came from my Aunt. The problem is that it poofs so sometimes the cookies lose their shape. They don’t have crisp edges like some sugar cookies. So I decided to test three sugar cookie recipes to come up with a favorite.

The first recipe will be my Aunt’s recipe that I grew up eating. I’ll use it as a baseline to compare the other recipes to. Second, I’ll be trying a Dorie Greenspan recipe. Funny thing is that both Cookie Carnival AND Tuesdays with Dorie are doing Dorie’s sugar cookies this month! The last recipe comes from Ashlee’s blog (and Katie uses this recipe too). Her cookies always look perfect.

I decided that we needed to come up with a way to use up all of these cookies. Our friends offered to host a cookie decorating party. I brought the naked cookies and all my decorating supplies and they provided snacks and beverages.

These are pictures of some of the cookies we brought home with us. It was a lot of fun to decorate cookies with a group of friends.

One cookie cutter that I have never really liked is the Santa cookie cutter. My mom had one growing up and the only way it looks like a Santa is if you decorate it properly. I don’t think I’ll use the cookie cutter anymore. We did have fun trying to decorate the shape into things other than Santa. Hubby made a convincing bird and another friend made a cute penguin mother and baby. Here’s a pic of my Santa and hubby’s bird.

I was trying to be organized while I was baking, so I went ahead and measured everything out at the beginning including labeling each measured ingredient with post it notes. It turned out to be very useful when I started mixing the dough.

So now on to the verdict. Is it possible that one of these new recipes is going to replace my go to sugar cookie recipe? The recipe I grew up loving turned out soft and a little puffy as expected. It’s also somewhat difficult to work with because you have to work quite a bit of flour into the dough prior to rolling it out. Dorie’s recipe held it’s shape well and the batch was small, which was refreshing. It was also very easy to roll out and work with. Ashlee’s recipe had a nice hint of lemon. I enjoyed the lemon when they weren’t frosted but I thought it was a big overpowering when they were frosted. These also help their shape quite well and again were easy to work with. So I would definitely make any of these recipes again. I guess it would depend what I was looking for.

For super soft roll out cookies – I’d make my aunt’s recipe.
For cookies that hold their shape really well – I’d make Ashlee’s recipe.
For a simpler sugar cookie that yields a smaller batch – I’d make Dorie’s recipe.

And now on to the recipes.

Sugar Cookies – from my Aunt Deanne – I got 5.5 dozen cookies
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs beaten
1 cup lard
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
4 cups flour
sour milk (1 cup milk mixed with 1 tsp. vinegar and 1 tsp. baking soda.)

In a large bowl, mix sugar with eggs. Add lard, baking powder,
vanilla, milk, and flour. Mix each ingredient one at a time to the
other. Roll out and use cookie cutters. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.
Watch closely, top does not brown only bottom.

Sugar Cookies – from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking from my Home to Yours – to see the entire recipe, check out the TWD member who chose it, Ulrike of Küchenlatein – I got 2.5 dozen cookies

As you can see the Dorie recipe made a very small amount of dough. This is nice though because sometimes making sugar cookies is overwhelming. Also, I didn’t rechill my dough between rolling it out. I just rerolled and went with it.

Sugar Cookies – from Katie, originally from Ashlee – I got 5.5 dozen cookies
1 1/2 c. butter
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. powdered sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 Tbsp lemon zest
5 c. flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Powdered sugar, for rolling

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cream butter and sugars in a mixer for 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly. Add vanilla, almond, and lemon zest.

Sift in flour, baking powder, and salt a little at a time. Do not over mix, this process should take about one minute.

Chill dough for up to a week in the fridge, or roll out and cut right away. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and bake cookies for 7-8 minutes. Wait until cookies are cooled before icing.

Frosting
1 stick of butter, softened
1/4 cup Crisco
6 cups powdered sugar
Water or Milk to reach desired consistency
Food coloring

Beat butter and Crisco until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar slowly. Add water/milk (I used whipping cream) until desired consistency is reached.

My 12 Days of Cookies:Day 1: Lumberjacks
Day 2: Peppermint Sandies

I’m submitting this to Food Bloggas Eat Christmas Cookies blogging event. Check this link to participate in the event. Or check here to see the roundup (gets updated as entries come in).

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18 Responses to “Samoas Rice Krispies Treats”

  1. #
    1
    Monica — February 10, 2014 at 8:49 am

    If Carlos claims this is the best thing you have ever made … I might have to make them tonight!

    • beantownbaker — February 10th, 2014 @ 9:57 am

      Let me know if you do. I was seriously SHOCKED when he said that.

  2. #
    2
    erin — February 10, 2014 at 10:14 am

    OH. MY. LORD.

  3. #
    3
    Aimee@shugarysweets — February 10, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    Yeah, I can see why these are the best ever!!!! Love Samoas!

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    4
    Tracy | Pale Yellow — February 10, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    I grew up calling them Samoas and didn’t like them when I was selling them, but have since grown to love them. Great twist on a traditional rice krispie treat!

    • beantownbaker — February 11th, 2014 @ 12:14 pm

      I can’t tell if the naming thing is regional or not. I know people who grew up in Indiana like me who call them Samoas. They’ll always be Caramel Delites to me.

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    5
    Dina — February 11, 2014 at 11:41 am

    they look sooooo good!

  6. #
    6
    vanillasugarblog — February 13, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    Sharing these in my friday link roundup!
    Everyone needs to see these!

    • beantownbaker — February 13th, 2014 @ 8:49 pm

      Thanks for sharing them!!

  7. #
    7
    Shannon — February 22, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    oh jeez. caramel de lites here, too 🙂 these sound killer!

    • beantownbaker — February 23rd, 2014 @ 12:47 pm

      You’re the first person I’ve met who calls them Caramel de Lites too!

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    8
    Shikha @ Shikha la mode — February 27, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    I’ve been wondering why they aren’t always called Samoas!

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    stephanie — March 18, 2014 at 7:48 am

    Are the pecans there for the Samoa flavor or just an extra addition?

    • beantownbaker — March 18th, 2014 @ 8:03 am

      They add some texture but you could leave them out if you wanted.

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    10
    Justin — March 19, 2014 at 9:47 am

    Awesome recipe! Let me provide a little insight to the naming of the cookies (Caramel deLights vs Samoas my wife is a girl scout troop leader). The girl scouts rely on a few bakeries to produce their cookies. Caramel deLights are made by one bakery, while Samoas are made by another.

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    Erin — April 12, 2014 at 9:25 am

    Just made these – very tasty, but I had a lot of trouble with the caramel layer. It hardened so much, I couldn’t cut the squares. I had to heat them up a bit to cut through the caramel, and then they got rather sticky and did not cut cleanly. Followed directions exactly, not sure what went wrong…

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    12
    Shannon C — May 19, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    On Sunday nights, my hubby leads a college-age Bible study group and I use the kids/young adults as my guinea pigs for trying new recipes. I made these yesterday and they LOVED them. Thank you for the recipe!

    • beantownbaker — September 2nd, 2014 @ 6:59 pm

      So glad these were a hit for you! This has become my most frequently made and requested recipe that I’ve made.

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