Kathleen Norton

Sugar cookie: The WMD of the holidays

Posted on: January 10, 2011

Treadmills are begging for mercy this month as we all try to reverse the diet damage done around the holidays.

Gateway to holiday overeating

And I would like to say that while turkeys, hams, sweet potatoes, eggnog and lasagna are partly to blame for those extra pounds, the greatest instigator of all that gluttony are sugar cookies.

Or, as I call them, Seasonal Weapons of Mass Destruction.

This is not an exaggeration. These WMD’s may be small and plain and innocent looking. But they are like the marijuana of the junk food world – a gateway to everything that is bad for your hips and thighs.

Think about it. You go to a holiday party determined not to make a pig out of yourself. But suddenly, a plate of sugar cookies is passed around the crowd.

You think: What harm could be done by a little cookie fix?

But before you know it, you’ve had seven cookies, the buffet table looms ahead and you’ve tossed your self-control and your Weight Watchers points guide into the flames of the roaring fireplace.

This year, I thought I’d truly beaten the sugar cookie at its game because for months we’d made a serious attempt to cut back on sugar. We figured that by the time Christmas rolled around, we wouldn’t even want sugar.

And we were wrong.

Not only did I want to consume every cookie in sight, I wanted the house to smell like them all the time so I baked and baked and baked. And when I wasn’t baking, I was snacking on raw cookie dough while I watched a lady doctor on TV warning me of the danger of eating raw cookie dough.

“It’s Christmas, sister. All bets are off,’’ I sniffed.

Being that I am a generous person, I would like to share the blame for my holiday eating binge with two others.

The first person at fault is Martha Stewart.

I am not a big fan of Martha’s, generally speaking, but she is an excellent businessperson, quite possibly the most successful ex-inmate of all times, and as it turns out, a superb hypnotist.

In her calm, soothing voice, she speaks to us from TV throughout the season.

“It’s a good thing,’’ she croons, which is her hypnotic signal for us to begin turning household junk into ornaments, planning Christmas brunches for 40 while at the same time baking 35 types of cookies for a cookie tower.

This year, I made her cranberry sugar cookies to give as gifts. But the only one who received any was me and by the time I was done
“giving’’ myself the cookies there weren’t enough left for anyone else.

But Martha is not the only culprit.

My good friend Ellen showed up with a plate of sugar cookies infused with ginger so addictive that people have been beating down her door for the recipe.

The recipe is below. Don’t say I didn’t warn you when the ginger cravings set in.

I traveled miles to find the exact ingredients, one of which cost more per ounce what I spent on all our holiday gifts together.

And now, here I am, killing myself to sweat off the calories that were packed into those little cranberry and ginger WMD’s.

Thanks Martha and Ellen. Thanks a ton.

Or in this case, five to seven pounds, to be exact.

Ellen’s Incredible Ginger Cookies

Note:  Chill dough 1-2 hours before baking

2 c. all purpose flour

¾ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

2 tsp ground ginger

½ tsp Saigon cinnamon (or regular)

1/8 tsp ground cloves

½ c. butter or margerine, softened

1 c. Sugar in the Raw

1 egg

¼ c. Dark Karo Syrup

1/3 – ½ c. Sugar in the Raw for coating dough balls

Combine flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves in medium bowl and set aside.

Beat butter and 1 cup Sugar in the Raw in large bowl with mixer at medium high speed until well mixed.  Beat in egg and corn syrup until smooth.  Stir in flour mixture.

Chill dough 1-2 hours or until easy to handle.

Shape dough into 1” balls and roll in 1/3 – ½ cup Sugar in the Raw.  Place balls 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets.

Bake in preheated 350 deg oven for 9 – 11 minutes or just until golden around the edges.  Cool on wire racks.

To speed chilling, place dough in freezer for 15-30 minutes.


4 Responses to "Sugar cookie: The WMD of the holidays"

Yes, Yes, Yes! You hit my sweet spot with this one. (the recipe is printed and loaded, can’t wait to fire it up)

Thanks Kathy, I’m happy to accept some blame! The good/bad news is one batch only makes around 3 dozen cookies. Enjoy!

I loved those ginger cookies. I plan to double (triple??) the recipe with my new supply of Penzey’s spices. Spend a few extra miles on the treadmill before you come for a visit!

Hey, Happy New Year, thanks for the recipe….and keep on treading on that treadmill, as before you know it, bathing suit…or at least shorts season will be coming soon enough!

I got a printer/scanner for my computer (Sam’s old one) and when it’s hooked up, I will keep that recipe (and give all the calories away!)

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