Published November 1, 2002.
Is it possible to make sugar cookies that have a perfect balance of texture and flavor? After 50 batches and 1,200 cookies, we know the answer.
Sugar cookies can be dry, tasteless, and boring, and they are usually the last ones left on the holiday cookie platter.
We wanted a rich, buttery sugar cookie with a crackling sugar exterior--not the thin, cut-out cookies that are more fun to decorate than they are to eat but a chewy cookie with a big vanilla flavor.
Skip the shortening--an all butter cookie is the way to go. Use just one whole egg for chew, a healthy dose of vanilla for flavor, and light brown sugar for a hint of nuttiness. To form the substantial cookies and give them their characteristic sugary crunch, roll them into 1 1/2 inch balls with wet hands and then toss in sugar (the dampness helps the sugar stick), then flatten them slightly with the bottom of a drinking glass.list of recipes