Brown Sugar Cookies

brown sugar cookie stacksI am a firm believer that any recipe that begins with melted butter ought to be good. It’s a law of nature.

I’ve been hoping to make these delectable Brown Sugar Cookies for a while now. That also seems to be a law of nature. Hoping. Waiting. Dreaming.

Alas, it is winter in Minnesota and it is quite possibly The Longest Winter of My Entire Life. We just received a whopping dollop of snow and I heard on the radio today that we can expect more tonight and tomorrow with “unseasonably cold temps with highs of 15-20 degrees” on Saturday.  *dies*

So, you see, cookies seemed to be an inevitable (and albeit DREADFUL) extension of the winter season here in jolly ol’ Minn-e-snow-ta.

Oh, yea…did I mention today is the first day of Spring?  According to the calendar. According to Mother Nature, as detailed above, it is still full-on WINTER. If you sense any anger or frustration in my tone, your senses are spot on. So, you can see why the Brown Sugar Cookies were baked. Oh.  Also because of the melted butter.  And the sugar. If you too are sick of winter, please join me in the unabashed art of Cookie-Monsteresque Cookie Devouring.

Due to our philosophy of “Go Big or Go Home” this is a double recipe.  Because one can never have too many cookies.

Brown Sugar Cookie Recipe

Adapted from Cookies and Cups

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 sticks (28 tablespoons) salted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups packed brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350° and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Heat butter in medium skillet over medium heat until melted. When butter melts slowly swirl the pan and continue to cook the butter until it becomes a nice, brown-caramel color. The swirling helps it from burning. Let cool for 15 minutes.
  • Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl and set aside.
  • When butter is cooled mix 2 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 cup sugar, and browned butter with electric mixer until no lumps remain, about 1 minute.
  • Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each one.  Add vanilla and mix until smooth.
  • Slowly add in your flour mixture and mix on medium-low until incorporated.
  • Combine remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup granulated sugar in a small bowl.
  • Roll cookie dough into balls and then roll in sugar mixture.
  • Place on lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
  • Bake approx 10-12 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Do not over-bake.
  • Transfer to wire rack to cool.

Christmas Kringler

So, the holidays have come and gone.  I should have posted this recipe a month ago BEFORE the holidays.  But, you see, I am just not always that on top of things.  Alas, the time must be right because this is when this post is taking place.  Now.  When I can think clearly and reflect on the wondrous creation that is Christmas Kringler, with nary a thought of gift wrapping or cookie baking to be found in my over-stimulated brain.

Kringler is a Scandinavian pastry and is, hands down, my all time favorite thing in the whole wide world.  It holds deep childhood memories for me, as it was tradition for my own dear mom to grace us with this delightful confection on Christmas morning.  My grandma made it for my mom, and my great-grandmother made it for my grandma.  I’m not exactly sure where the legacy begins.  I just know I love it and never want it to end.  So, I continue the legacy with my sweet family.  Kringler also contains the very same almond extract that always makes my heart go pitter-patter.  Oh almond extract!  Divine.  Delightful.  And did I mention that it’s IN the Kringler?  AND in the frosting?   Be still, my beating heart.  Without further ado, I introduce you to the renowned and glorious Christmas Kringler.

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Read through all directions before beginning, as there are three parts to the process.

But don’t be afraid.  It’s all very basic.  And DIVINE.

CHRISTMAS KRINGLER

Part 1

1 cup Flour
1/2 cup Butter, softened
1 Tbsp Water

Mix above ingredients like a pie crust.  Divide in half and pat onto cookie sheet in two long strips, roughly 3×14 inches.

Part 2

1 cup Water
1/2 cup Butter
1 cup Flour
3 Eggs
1/2 tsp Almond Extract

Place water and butter in saucepan.  Heat to boiling, remove from stove.  Add flour and stir until smooth.  Beat in 3 eggs, 1 at a time, until smooth.  Add almond extract.  Divide and spread over crusts.

Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.  Cool.

Frosting

2 cups Powdered Sugar
2 Tbsp Cream
2 Tbsp Butter, softened
1 tsp. Almond Extract

Add ingredients together and beat until smooth and spreadable.  (I use my KitchenAid mixer here.)

Divide in half and frost Kringler once Kringler has cooled.  Slice cross-wise into small rectangles.  Enjoy!

I like to enlist my husband to help with the mixing in of the eggs (one at a time) portion.  It gives him the satisfaction of helping and saves my arm from the heavy stirring.

I have also used milk when I did not have any cream and it works just fine for the frosting.

We even shared this with friends once as dessert.  Although, usually it holds its sacred spot of December 25th.

I invite you to try this recipe and if it feels right, to add it to your Christmas morning tradition.

Happy 2014!

P.S.  If you get the urge for Kringler throughout the year, try these Almond Meltaway Cookies.

The Day the Crayons Quit

thedaythecrayonsquit
My son received this wonderful book, The Day the Crayons Quit, for his 7th birthday from our dear friends. It was a huge hit with both of my children, current ages four and (you guessed it) seven. My son loved it so much that he brought it to school to share with his class.  We received a note in return, expressing how much the teacher and all the kids LOVED it.  I am sharing it with you because it makes a terrific gift. With Christmas right around the corner, I figured you may need to find something sweet to share with the little ones in your life.  In this story, author Drew Daywalt weaves an imaginitive tale where the crayons come to life, expressing sentiments of frustration and suggestions for improvement to their owner.   The illustrations by Oliver Jeffers are equally as gorgeous as the narrative.  My children giggled a lot, especially at the embarrasing predicament of peach crayon.

The Day the Crayons Quit comes with 4 thumbs up from our family.  I highly recommend adding it to your family collection or giving it to a child or educator in your life.  Enjoy!