From Cynthia Furey, a cookie created with a particular purpose is the fourth recipe in our series of staff dessert favorites. As we mature, we hope to leave behind the stuff of childhood, and, maybe partly as consolation, become familiar with the Finer Things in Life. Fortunately for us, Cynthia learned along the way that brown sugar need not be left behind—and is in fact one of life’s finer things.
Brown Sugar Cookies
My sweet tooth as a kid meant I spent some serious time in the candy section of liquor stores and supermarkets. When my allowance money ran out, I resorted to sifting through our cupboards for brown sugar, spooning heaps of it into my mouth. As I got older, I slowly lost the taste for cloyingly sweet things like Big Stick popsicles, Gushers fruit snacks and Pixy Stix. The desire to fit all 6 feet of strawberry Bubble Tape in my mouth at once also went with it. But brown sugar? Not a chance. These cookies are a throwback to my childhood, echoing of honey, molasses and caramel, containing much more dark brown sugar than I could ever eat in a single day with my spoon. I like to make these huge, so when you pair one with a tall glass of milk, you might actually be left with more cookie than milk.—Cynthia Furey
3/4 cups unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg, room temperature
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Move oven racks to upper and middle third of your oven, and preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two cookie sheets or jelly roll pans with parchment paper. Cream butter and both sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer). Add egg, vegetable oil and vanilla, and mix until incorporated.
In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt, and mix to combine. Add flour mixture to mixing bowl and mix until all ingredients just come together (dough will be a bit wet and crumbly).
Portion dough into 18 balls (we’re talking a little bigger than a golf ball) and place on cookie sheets about 2 1/2 inches to 3 inches apart. Bake for 12-15 minutes for chewy cookies, and 16 to 18 minutes for crunchy. (The chewy cookies will be pale in color with crisp edges, while the crunchy ones will be a little more uniformly golden.) Remove from oven, cool in pan for 5 minutes before placing on rack to cool completely. Store in airtight container. Yield: 18 massive cookies.
(First published in Cynthia’s blog, Furey and the Feast.)