It’s not that often you run across a cookie recipe that uses canola oil instead of butter for the fat, due to fears involving taste, texture, and moisture, but I found one! This sugar cookie recipe comes by way of The Gourmet Cookbook, by Ruth Reichl, and is perfection in a sugar cookie. I really can’t find a way to make it better.
The Gourmet Cookbook states, “This classic recipe, from Cook’s Cafe, in Brookings, South Dakota, was given to us by the late Helen Gustafson, tea maven at Alice Waters’s Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, and a culinary force in her own right.”
This recipe is simple to make, and perfect with that hot cup of tea mid-day. The cookie turns out light and crisp on the outside, but chewy on the inside, and still has that slight buttery flavor (how, I have no idea). Using canola oil instead of butter cuts the saturated fat content and adds monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids; I also used an omega-3 enriched egg when making the cookies. Oh, and make some for your neighbors – mine are asking for more!
from “The Gourmet Cookbook,” by Ruth Reichl
makes about 5 1/2 dozen cookies (both times I’ve made these, I’ve cut the recipe in half. It’s easy to do)
1 cup granulated sugar, plus additional for shaping and sprinkling cookies
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
4 cups all-purpose flour (you can substitute ultragrain flour, which is a white whole-wheat flour)
1. Put a rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Whisk together granulated sugar and confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl. Whisk in oil, eggs, vanilla, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar until combined. Add flour and stir until a dough forms; dough will be dry and slightly crumbly.
3. Form level tablespoons of dough into balls and arrange about 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten balls with bottom of a glass dipped in granulated sugar (edges of cookies will crack), then sprinkle cookies with sugar.
4. Bake cookies in batches until set but still pale for chewy cookies, about 8 minutes per batch, or until pale golden for crisp cookies, about 10 minutes per batch. Transfer to racks to cool.