Portable Cookies

Nope, this isn’t about web privacy.

My old blog had a tag called “Royale mit Käse”, on the little differences between Switzerland and America. One of the bigger little differences is the sweetness of dessert.

My mom once sent me a care package full of Mrs. Fields cookies (“trans-fats are proof that there is a God, he loves us, and he wants us to be insanely fat”) with the approximate energy density of a neutron star; these would induce a temporary diabetic coma in the average Swiss person.

On the other hand, for dessert one night this weekend, we had something more traditional, which as near as I can tell was basically grits with extra gluten and a pinch of sugar. Two scoops of ice cream on top of that and I could barely taste it, which made it just about tolerable.

After a couple of years here, my palate’s definitely leaning somewhere in the middle of these two extremes. Start-with-a-quarter-pound-of-butter recipes just don’t work any more. So without further ado I present my adjusted-for-Switzerland portable cookie recipe. This basically started as the average of a few American sugar-cookies-from-scratch recipes I found on the web, with the sugar and butter scaled way back.

First, cream together:

  • 70g butter
  • 140g sugar
  • 15g vanilla sugar
  • 1 egg
  • pinch salt

At this point, you can layer a flavor on top of the sugar base. If you want chocolate chunk cookies, smash a bar of Cailler Dark with a hammer after eating a couple of squares for yourself, and cream the powder and chunks in. For lime cookies, grate the peel of one lime, then squeeze in the juice for good measure. I’ve made cinnamon sugar cookies with this base once, but they weren’t very good so I’ll leave the proportions as an exercise for the reader.

Now mix the following together:

  • 250g flour
  • 8g baking powder

and add that to the sugar-butter-egg-hammered-chocolate a little bit at a time. You probably won’t use all of it. But you might need a little more flour. You know you’re done when you can form the dough into a ball without too much sticking to your hands. Stick this ball in a bowl into the fridge for a while. Might want to cover it unless you want cookies that taste like your fridge.

Preheat the oven to 200°C, place ~2 cm diameter balls of dough on a piece of baking paper on a baking sheet. Bake ~8-10 min, until they’re done enough for you. This makes more than a dozen, less than two. Just multiply or divide the numbers as appropriate for more, or fewer, though keep in mind non-integer numbers of eggs can be tricky. Hm, I suppose this makes these scalable portable cookies, as well, doesn’t it?

Brian Trammell
Brian Trammell
Scientist, Synthesist, Cyclist, SRE