Sugar Cookies

December 8, 2010

la tour eiffel cookie

No, no, no, don’t worry. It doesn’t mean anything.

I’m not turning into one of those people that exclaims, “Ouh la la!” when talking to people back home, and I’m not going to start calling my cookies biscuits (“BEES-kwee”) like X and the other Frenchies do anytime soon.

If I do, just slap me silly.

A couple of weeks ago, I brought out my Eiffel tower cookie cutter instead of my Texas-shaped one and made my mom’s sugar cookies because, well, I wanted to impress someone. I wanted both to impress and welcome someone to France, someone who’s the embodiment of American-ness, of all things free and brave.

That someone happens to be Stephen Colbert.

I’ll give you a minute.

My friend Heather Stimmler-Hall, who’s lived here for 15 years and who has très cool insidery website, Secrets of Paris, was hired to tote la famille Colbert around town, and I volunteered to make some cookies for her to give them when they arrived.

Because what else says “Bienvenue à Paris!” — whoops, I meant “Welcome to Paris, y’all!” — like an Eiffel tower cookie?

Now, Stephen Colbert didn’t telephone-moi — gosh, there I go again! — but I hear that they thought that the Eiffel towers were swell.

Well, of course they did. These are the most excellent cookies, ever — my mom’s been making these sugar cookies for Christmas as long as I can remember. We used to make them together on Christmas eve and put out one or two for Santa, et al. The cookies were always mysteriously gone the next morning, so I’m assuming that he and his elf posse gobbled them up.

Of course, he never called, either.

Men.

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Sugar Cookies

INGREDIENTS

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out dough
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt.

2. In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg and mix well. Add vanilla, and mix again. Now, add the flour mixture and mix well.

3. Divide the two into two pieces and on a lightly floured surface (or between two pieces of wax paper or inside two large plastic bags), roll out each piece until it’s about 1/2-inch thick. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

4. Preheat oven to 375 F. Roll cookies out, and cut them into desired shapes — Eiffel towers, Texas shapes, or whatever tickles your fancy — and place on a parchment or Silpat-lined cookie sheet. Decorate as you wish, return to the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour, then bake 10-12 minutes or until the edges just begin to slightly brown. Note: these cookies don’t brown per se, but you’ll know when they’re cooked when the edges just start to turn color. Be careful not to overcook them. Cool on a rack before you eat them. I think they’re better a few hours, or a day, even, after you bake them. I’m sure Santa and Stephen Colbert would agree.

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{ 1 trackback }

Almond Butter Crunch
December 17, 2010 at 12:31 PM

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Lindsey December 8, 2010 at 11:08 AM

How awesome!!! Makes for a great story (clearly) :)

Stephanie December 9, 2010 at 5:18 AM

Beautifiul cookies. I have never made cookies that have to be rolled out because it seems like a lot of work, but now I am tempted. If they taste as good as they look…..then I will be a convert!

I learned a funny little tidbit…..and your post made me think of it so I will share. The word biscuit that is used in French for a crunchy cookie….well, it means second cooking…..bis (meaning second) – cuit (cook). I had no idea it was a French word ! Live and learn.

epierce December 9, 2010 at 6:35 AM

Stephanie: These are easy to make and easy to roll – seriously. Funny about the word, biscuit, around the world, isn’t it? The French definition of biscuit no resemblance to our American biscuits, which are only cooked once, or of course, what we’d call cookies in the U.K. I suspect that the French word came from Italian (biscotti) and Latin before that.

Julie December 9, 2010 at 10:38 AM

I don’t care what anyone says…I say you’re the best.
Yee ha et au revoir!
xxx

Susan Nye December 9, 2010 at 1:15 PM

Love the post – sorry neither SC called with thanks. When I lived in Switzerland, I rarely, if ever, spouted ouh la la … but I was quite partial to zute and zute alor as well as on y go. Happy Holidays – Susan

Steff @ The Kitchen Trials December 9, 2010 at 1:33 PM

We make a similar cookie every year at Christmas. We frost ours with buttercream and decorate ‘em with sprinkles though.

However, I have to admit, mine aren’t nearly as tres chic as yours. In fact, my decorating themes are the bane of my grandmother’s existence. One year it was “Viva Elvis! The Vegas Years.” But the year that truly horrified her was when I did “CSI: Gingerbread Village” complete with the plot twist and surprise culprit.

Regardless, Santa never called me to comment on my cookies either. I think my grandma might’ve had something to do with that.

Louise S December 9, 2010 at 6:30 PM

Hello Cowgirl Chef from British Columbia, Canada. Your Eiffel cookies sound easy and look wonderful.Just one itty bitty problem.The recipe is not complete.Do You add the flour mixture after step 2? What two pieces? I love your web site.My guy buys Cowboys and Indians magazine and that is where I discovered you.Nice talking to you. LS

epierce December 10, 2010 at 3:15 AM

Hi Louise: Thanks for catching that oversight – I’ve now made the fix. See if that all makes sense to you. And many, many thanks for reading my blog!

Mary James December 11, 2010 at 6:17 AM

Cookies are beautiful…would love to have the cookie cutter….do u have a source? Just discovered your blog….love it!

epierce December 11, 2010 at 6:21 AM

I found these cookie cutters either at Mora or Bovida in Paris – I can’t remember which place, but they both probably have them. Also may want to check E. Dehillerin. I think that they have them, too. Hope this helps, and happy baking!

Andrea December 17, 2010 at 4:49 PM

I make a family recipe of sugar cookies, but ours are frosted then turned upside down into colored sugar. It’s a recipe I got from my mother-in-law that was her grandmothers. The dough recipe seems the same with the cream of tartar. Haven’t started them yet…better get busy.

Joyce Hobbs December 22, 2010 at 10:40 PM

Sur la Table has the Eiffel Tower cookie cutter.

epierce December 23, 2010 at 12:45 AM

Thanks so much for the comment, Joyce! Good to know that they’re available stateside.

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