Here's the thing. I kind of hate sugar cookies. I want to like them. I want to make them for holidays because they are so cute and fun to decorate. Before our playgroup cookie decorating party, having failed with several recipes, I actually bought a box mix of sugar cookie dough, and it actually tasted better than anything I had produced.
To give you an idea of my history with sugar cookies, my college roommate, Lorin, once woke up fuming mad because in her dream, I had dared add chocolate to her cherished sugar cookie recipe. Admittedly, this was at a point when we used to buy chocolate chips in bulk at Costco and eat them out of the bag. Particularly when we were feeling angsty. But even I wouldn't've dared mix sugar cookies and chocolate.
This week, trying out my new bible (King Arthur's cookbooks), I tried their "essential" sugar cookie recipe. The dough tasted okay, but the cookies didn't smell good when baking, and they tasted so awful , I threw out the entire batch. Then I had a brainstorm: shortbread cutouts! They would hold their shape, have that delicious shortbread texture, and probably be fun to decorate.
Here's where the "bleh" part comes in. I tried a basic KA shortbread recipe. It called for baking the shortbread in a pan and cutting it into pieces, but I could swear there was an adaptation for rolling the dough into balls and stamping it with cookie stamps. I elected to refrigerate, roll, and cookie cut the dough. Perhaps that's where I went wrong? I refrigerated the cookies on the sheet before baking (as recommended), and baked them for about 8 minutes. They were definitely done, but they were the wrong thickness, texture, and taste.
Thickness: I bought rolling pin guides (rubber bands of graded thickness to guide your rolling pin so you roll your dough to the right thickness). I used the 1/4" guide, but maybe I should've used the 1/2"? The cookies came out 1/8" thick after baking.
Texture/taste: The cookies are wetter than shortbread should be. Definitely too buttery. And they taste that way, too. Very disappointing.
I used a cookie glaze from the KA Cookie Companion, and I think it came out exactly as it was supposed to. It's super thick in the bowl, but after you spread the glaze on the cookie, it smooths itself out. It dries fairly hard and shiny. Unfortunately, the cookies were such a bummer, the glaze didn't really improve matters.
Maybe I should just give up on sugar cookies. If I really loved them, I would persevere, but I feel like I have a lot of other baking to do.