Thursday, March 17, 2011

Brown Sugar Drops

I made these cookies a couple of weeks ago during Nerd Night… found out that Nerds love fresh-baked cookies so much, they will eat them straight off of the pan! These were nice and chewy, and- as Betty points out- very versatile. Add whatever you want to the dough, and the sweet scent of brown sugar will pull all your friends into the kitchen. 

Brown Sugar Drops
1 cup shortening
2 cups brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
½ cup buttermilk or water
3 ½ cups flour
1 tsp soda
1 tsp salt

Mix together the shortening, brown sugar, and eggs. Blend dry ingredients together and then stir into the sugar mixture. Chill dough for at least one hour.
Preheat the oven to 400̊F. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls of dough about 2 inches apart on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for eight to ten minutes, or until almost no imprint remains after touching lightly. Makes about 6 dozen cookies.

Jeweled Cookies
Mix 3 to 4 cups of cut-up gumdrops into the dough. (You can cut up gumdrops using kitchen shears. Just dip the blades in hot water if they get sticky.)

Coconut Drop Cookies
Mix 1 cup of shredded or flaked coconut into the dough.

Nut Drop Cookies
Mix 1 cup of chopped nuts into the dough.

Carly’s Variation (not from the Cooky Book)
Mix 1 ½ cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips into the dough. (I recommend mini chocolate chips rather than full-sized.)

The first thing I did was chop up the gumdrops. This was accomplished using my Pampered Chef Salad Chopper (scary double-bladed scissors) which helped to speed things along as I could cut two gumdrops at once. I chopped them into eighths and called that good enough.
Salad chopper- turned- gumdrop chopper!
Then I measured out the rest of my mix-ins so they would be ready to go when the dough was mixed up.  I decided not to make the Nut Drop cookies because the cookies I have made with nuts seem to be the least popular. (After mentioning this to several people, they all claimed they like cookies with nuts. Go figure.)

I mixed up the dough, divided it into quarters, stirred in the mix-ins, and popped the dough into the fridge for an hour. Each type of dough was just the right amount for one pan of cookies (about 20 cookies of each). I baked them all for 8 minutes, but since they turned out so thin, I didn’t try the touch test.

So how did they turn out? All of them were delightfully soft and chewy. I liked that no icing was required, so they could be enjoyed while still warm from the oven!
Clockwise from top: Jeweled Cookies, Coconut Drops, Chocolate Chip Drops, and Brown Sugar Drops.
I found the plain ones kind of bland, which seems weird considering there were two cups of sugar in the recipe! 
Brown Sugar Drops!
  The coconut ones were sweet, but not overly sweet.
Coconut Drops!
The gumdrop ones ("Jeweled Cookies") were just bizarre- as one person pointed out, it was weird to have a sudden taste of peppermint amongst the brown sugar. I also found the texture to be strange- the cookies were soft while the gumdrops were gummy (big surprise!) and stuck to my teeth. However, I don’t like gumdrops even when they aren’t in cookies, so I had pretty low expectations for those.
Jeweled Cookies!
The very best of the bunch, in my opinion, were the chocolate chip variety. I thought they were very reminiscent of Chewy Chips Ahoy, which I feel an inexplicable craving for every now and then. The only problem with them, that I found, was that the chocolate chips were kind of big for the size of the cookies and weren’t very evenly dispersed- perhaps this could be remedied by using mini chocolate chips.   
Chocolate Chip Drops- homemade version of Chewy Chips Ahoy!
So there you have it! Give them a try, and if you ever make the Nut Drop cookies, let me know how they turn out.

Festive St. Patrick’s Day cookies coming up next!

This cookie recipe was found on page 8 of Betty Crocker's Cooky Book; the chocolate chip addition was my idea!

1 comment:

  1. Aw, this makes me sad I never got one of the chocolate chip cookies! I had the jeweled (of course) and the coconut (which was delicious), but somehow I missed the other two. And I also love Chewy Chips Ahoy. They are highly underrated!