My grandson, Luke, loves to eat cookies. His eyes light up when he sees a cookie. I can hear Cookie Monster’s low-pitched, gravelly voice yelling, “Me want cookie!” “Me eat cookie!” and “Om nom nom nom,” (said through a mouth full of cookies). Give Luke a cookie and he’s a happy boy. However, oatmeal cookies are Luke’s favorite kind, and chocolate chip are his second favorite. I’m actually a lucky Grammy that Luke consented to be a taste-tester for the Sugar Saucers. The only information Luke needed was…that it looked like a cookie, it smelled good like a cookie, and then I heard, “Om nom nom nom, I like this cookie!” And just like Cookie Monster, Luke cannot quite control the way he spews forth crumbs, but hey, that’s the sign of a good cookie, right?
The Sugar Saucers recipe is a variation on the traditional sugar cookie, these are crisp on the outside but real softies on the inside. You decide how big you want them, two-inch dainties, perfect for a ladies’ brunch, or saucer-size monsters for the bottomless-pit stomachs of teens, and Cookie Monster grandkids, who might be hanging around. Just remember, the bigger they are, the longer they bake.
The recipe for Sugar Saucers is from The Pastry Queen cookbook by Rebecca Rather with Alison Oresman. Virginia Wood, food editor and columnist for the Austin Chronicle, gave Rather this recipe. It has become a Rather Sweet Bakery standard.
Sugar Saucers: Yield: 1 dozen 4-inch cookies or 2 dozen 2-inch cookies
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper, or silicone mats, or grease generously with butter or cooking spray. Using a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter in a large bowl on medium speed about 1 minute. One ingredient at a time, add the vegetable oil, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, egg, and vanilla, beating on medium speed after each addition until completely incorporated. Stir in the flour, baking soda, and salt all at once, using a wooden spoon or the mixer set on low. (The dough will be soft.) Refrigerate the dough about 1 hour or freeze for 15 minutes to make it easier to handle.
Using a standard-size ice cream scoop for giant cookies or a tablespoon-size scoop for 2-inchers, drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets. The cookies should be spaced about 2 inches apart. Press the dough evenly with your fingers or palm to flatten the cookies to 1/4-inch thickness. Sprinkle sugar over the tops of the cookies. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes for small cookies or 12 to 14 minutes for large ones, until the edges turn golden. If you like your cookies on the crisp side, bake them 1 or 2 minutes longer. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets at least 10 minutes before transferring to racks to cool completely. The cookies will keep for up to 3 days if stored in an airtight container, or they can be frozen for up to 1 month.
Rather Sweet Variation
To make lemon saucers, add a little class to this simple cookie by adding the juice and grated zest of 1 lemon to the dough in place of the vanilla. Then ice with lemon icing: combine 1 cup powdered sugar with the juice and grated zest of 1 lemon. Stir until smooth and spread over the cooled cookies. Or dip the baked, cooled cookies into melted bittersweet chocolate, covering half the cookie in chocolate. Place the cookies on waxed paper in a single layer and let sit until the chocolate sets, about 30 minutes.