Thursday, May 14, 2009

Burnt Sugar Cookies

School's Out for Summer! School's Out Forever!

More time to bake! More treats to give away!

Ronnie, one of the loveliest ladies--pretty much the only lady--at TipTop, lends me cookbooks, with the expectation that I will make her delicious treats on a regular basis. I'm happy to oblige since I get to expand my recipe repertoire and make her smile.

At first I was skeptical of the Burnt Sugar Cookies, if only because burned cookies are never tasty. Boy-oh! Was I wrong? Burnt-sugar cookies taste like gingery caramel. Not only is this my new favorite recipe, but it was like being in chemistry lab all over again: Hooray!

2 1/4 c all-purp flour
1 1/2 teas baking soda
1 teas ground ginger
1/2 teas ground coriander
1/2 teas salt
3/4 c (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 c packed brown sugar (either light or dark)
1 teas grated lemon zest
1 large egg, room temperature
1/4 burnt sugar syrup
granulated sugar

To make the burnt-sugar syrup, place about 3/4 cup granulated sugar in a saute/frying pan, over medium-low heat. Sugar will start to melt and turn brown.

Stir occasionally. When melted, add 3/4 cup hot or boiling water. Stir gently and carefully as the mixture will bubble like a cauldron. Though I'd been warned, I was still gleefully impressed. Simmer over low-ish, for 5-10 minutes, letting some of the water boil off. Then, let cool to room temperature.

For the cookies:
*Sift together flour, baking soda, ginger, coriander, and salt. (Nota Bene: I'm too lazy to sift...and everything seems to turn out fine).
*In mixer bowl, cream together (on HIGH) butter, brown sugar, and lemon zest til light and fluffy.
*Reduce speed to MEDIUM. Beat in egg and burnt-sugar syrup, till blended.
*Reduce speed to LOW; add dry ingredients in two additions, till just blended. Cover, refrigerate for 2 hours.
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Pour 1/4 c of granulated sugar into a small bowl. Roll 1" dough-balls in sugar before placing on cookie sheet.

*Bake for 10 minutes, until crinkly on top like gingersnaps.

The flavor of these reminded me of the caramel on an apple, with a little bit of ginger and lemon to enhance the slightly bitter sweetness. Also, the texture was tops: a little chewy and a little crunchy. Yum-City!

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