Quarantine Baking

How and what to chef up with next to no ingredients or motivation during these quaran-times.

Sugar+cookies+are+a+snap+to+make%2C+plus+it%27s+satisfying+and+relaxing+to+make+your+own+snacks.+Photo+of+sugar+cookie+by+Ser+Amantio+di+Nicolao+on+wikimedia+commons.+

Sugar cookies are a snap to make, plus it's satisfying and relaxing to make your own snacks. Photo of sugar cookie by Ser Amantio di Nicolao on wikimedia commons.

Alexa Dembo, Staff Writer

With coronavirus keeping everyone cooped up within their homes with little to do, many people seem to have taken up cooking as a sort of temporary hobby to pass the time. However, due to the current scarcity of certain food items and ingredients, certain recipes can be hard to complete. Despite this tragedy, there are a few wonderful recipes that you can do with very few ingredients that are all very common in most households. 

This recipe is a tried and tested simple, chewy sugar cookie. The baking process is easy and hard to mess up. These are a popular favorite among many of my family members and friends. 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup of softened salted butter
  • 1 ½ cups of granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg (I’m sure any egg is ok though)
  • 2 ¼ cups of all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • ¼ extra sugar for rolling the dough

Directions:

1: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease one baking sheet with the wrappings from the softened butter.

2: Cream together the butter and sugar in a stand mixer or with a handheld mixer until well combined and fluffy. You should see no lumps and will be a pale yellow in color. Once well incorporated, add the egg and vanilla. Mix again until fully combined. 

3. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer or use the same bowl and add the flour, baking powder and salt. Knead the dough with clean hands to mix in the dry ingredients for best results.

4: Add the ¼ cup of sugar to a bowl. If you want your cookies to be a little festive, mix some food coloring well into the sugar. Take a tablespoon-sized ball of the dough (no need to be exact here, just be in the ballpark) and place the side you intend to be the top of the cookie in the sugar. Remove and place on the baking sheet. Repeat this process, placing the dough balls 1 ½ inches apart. Once the baking sheet is full, place in the oven for 10-11 minutes. I have found that using two baking sheets in the oven at the same time produces different results in the cookies due to their position in the oven, so I recommend baking batches by themselves. 

5: You will know the cookies are done if they have slightly flattened and you can see that golden brown color has formed around the edges. This will be a very subtle coloring. The cookies will be extremely soft once they come out of the oven. Do NOT make the mistake of overcooking them because you think they are not fully cooked. They will firm up as they cool, and the insides will remain chewy. If you happen to overcook them, try to eat all of them the same day, as by the next they will have gotten much harder. Though they will still taste good, they just won’t be the same. Store your finished cookies in a closed Tupperware and enjoy. 

This recipe is a quick and easy personal favorite that always tends to turn out well. With the melancholy attitude surrounding the current quarantine, these cookies are sure to lighten the mood at least a little bit. To all the temporary bakers out there, I hope these cookies are up to your standards.