Spreading Happiness, One Sugar Cookie at a Time

Today is the first day of Finals Week. What this means is that even I, the crazy who has been preparing for much longer than necessary, has become a different kind of crazy: the stressed kind, who can be sure to explode at any given moment, towards any deserving or innocent soul who passes by. The only known cure for this ailment? Delicious, homemade dessert. So, for one of my finals tonight - my cooking lab, in fact - I decided to bake my classmates a batch of simple cookies to enjoy as we clean the lab kitchen (yes, that is our final: two hours of cleaning taking place at dinner time, lovely). I chose a recipe from a blog I tripped over as a result of signing up for daily emails from FoodBuzz. After hearing the name for them - Happy Biscuits - how could I refuse? They sounded perfect.

Using their recipe, however, got me thinking. Last week, after my tenth post, I hurried over to foodblogs.com and filled out a form to add my blog to their website. I was so excited - finally, people would see my blog! And then I waited. And waited. I double checked their criteria. I double checked my blog. I triple and quadruple checked my email.

Is my blog too unoriginal? I know that I infrequently create my own recipes, instead borrowing from and rarely doctoring recipes from cookbooks or other blogs. Sure, I credit them, but maybe this blog doesn't really count as a food blog, in the sense that other blogs on that website do. After all, the point of this is really to chronicle my journey in learning to cook; I would love to create my own recipes or see a recipe and find ways to make it my own, but I'm just not there yet.

I will continue to post, of course, and I will continue to check and recheck my email in the hopes of getting accepted. If not, maybe this blog will give me the skills I need to create a new blog in the future - one where I can truly say that all (okay, most!) of the recipes are really mine.

In the meantime, you have to try these cookies. Biscuits. Little (no, make that big) morsels of soft, cakey, sugary deliciousness. Whatever. They melt in your mouth. They look adorable. They're ridiculously easy. Seriously, go make them.

Happy Biscuits, courtesy of Tomayto Tamaaahto (and FoodBuzz for leading me to it)
Makes roughly 2 dozen large-ish cookies
Ingredients - The Cookies
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 1/2 cups flour
pinch of salt
pinch of ground cardamom
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
Ingredients - The Buttercream Frosting
1/3 cup butter 

2 cups icing sugar 

1 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Food coloring (note: the original recipe called for blue; I didn't use any and let the sprinkles do all the work)
Nonpareils/Hundreds-and-Thousands (multi-coloured sprinkles)

1. Preheat the oven to 375.
2. Mix ingredients either vigorously by hand or with an electric mixer until smooth (note: I began by creaming the butter and sugar together, and then added the ingredients bit by bit; the "dough" is really more of a batter.)
3. Place in drops by the tablespoon on an ungreased baking sheet, spacing them a few inches apart. (note: I greased two of my baking sheets, because I don't read directions. As many of you well-seasoned bakers know - and I'm sure you are sitting there tut-tutting at this rookie move - butter promotes spreading. My cookies spread like it was their job. They still taste delicious.)
4. With wet fingers, gently flatten the mounds and form them into even, circular shapes. (note: I was already afraid of them spreading, as mentioned above, so I tried to make them circular but didn't worry too much about patting them down - just in case.)
Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes, or until they are starting brown on the edges. They should only get slightly golden and the tops should not brown. (note: These are spongy suckers, so be patient for them to spring back when you press the center gently. Mine took a little more than 10 minutes for the first two batches, but the third was just about 10.)
Cool on the baking sheets before removing to frost. (Again, as a result of my refusal to read directions, I pulled cooling racks out of the cabinet to have at the ready. I left the cookies on the sheet to cool for a few minutes, and then tried to get them off. They did not want to move. They came out alright, but little remnants of their bottoms were left on the sheets. That being said, the ungreased third sheet that I made came off beautifully. So much for the wonders of butter.)
7. Blend the frosting ingredients together, adding the colouring drop by drop until you have the shade you want. (note: I found that I needed to double the recipe; however, I have a very sweet tooth and if you just want a thin layer the regular might have been adequate. At least 1.5x the recipe would probably be smart, though. Also, my sister said that she could distinctly taste the vanilla, so I might tone that down next time as well.)
8. Once the biscuits are completely cooled, gently frost them generously, smoothing the frosting with a knife.
Add the sprinkles and then leave them to set (the frosting will harden slightly).

Do you see why these are so easy? You have to love a recipe whose directions consist of "mix all of the ingredients, stick them on a baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes. Cool, frost, eat!"

What's there not to love?

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