Last week, we put together the Perfect Party Cake with Fluffy Butercream Frosting, and, if you did the same, or if you read carefully, you noticed that you now have eight egg yolks just sitting around waiting to be used. So, what to do with those egg yolks? We used a couple to make a batch of Pasta Dough (you can use whole eggs, or just yolks, or just whites — the pasta will still taste good). But, that leaves us with six yolks, and we’re still wondering what to do. Fortunately, we found a solution.
A search on the Internet turned up a recipe for Cracked Sugar Cookies that was exactly what we needed. Each batch of cookie dough made 48 cookies and used three yolks. We can deal with that, and just make two batches. But, rather than follow the recipe exactly as written, we thought, since we’re making two batches, let’s mix it up a bit and try out a little variant, which we’ll helpfully include.
When we read this recipe, we noticed the baking soda and cream of tartar combination. That’s just baking powder, so we thought that we’d try a substitution. We also thought that we’d try using brown sugar instead of granulated sugar; it should add a bit more flavor to the cookies.
Procedure in detail:
We’re baking these a week from now, so these instructions will show us freezing the dough for later. It’s merely a convenience, and by no means necessary.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare pans by lining with baking parchment, silicone mats, or just apply a light coating of grease.
Cream sugar and butter. This is why you want the butter at room temperature; it’ll cream better. So put the sugar — either brown or white — and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer, attach the paddle, and beat on medium until the mixture is fluffy and very pale. This can take 5 to 10 minutes, so periodically stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Add yolks and vanilla. Drop in the three yolks, spoon in the vanilla, and beat it in until uniform in appearance.
Add flour and leavening. Stop the mixer, pour in the flour and either the baking soda/cream of tartar or baking soda/baking powder combination, turn the mixer to low, and mix until uniform.
Roll out. Using heaping teaspoons of dough, roll between the palms of you hands until you have a ball about an inch in diameter. Place on the baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches of space around each ball so they have room to flatten and spread. If you wish, you can freeze the balls of dough for later use. Just place the sheet in the freezer and transfer to a bag when solid; that’s what we did.
Bake. Slide the cookies into the oven and bake for 10 to 11 minutes (a few minutes longer if you’re baking directly from the frozen stage — there’s no need to thaw), or until tops are cracked and the cookies are just beginning to brown.
These cookies were a great way to use up those leftover egg yolks. While we thought that the brown sugar version would be a bit better, it turns out that we were wrong. The ones made with granulated sugar we definitely superior. They had a slightly better texture, perhaps a bit more crunch, and a better sugar cookie flavor. plus they had that cracked surface that some people like in sugar cookies. However, they also had just the slightest taste of egg yolk, too, which was not noticeable in the brown sugar version. We will be keeping this recipe, partly because it does use up those yolks, but mainly because it makes a good cookie and is really easy to put together. Plus the dough freezes well. Four stars.