Recently a friend was telling me about some cookies she had enjoyed at an ice cream social. She had been struck by how perfect these little sugar cookies were with the ice cream. As she described them to me I suddenly remembered a sugar cookie that I used to make. I don't think I had thought about them in over 10 years. I couldn't even remember what they were called...but I knew where to find the recipe. I made them the next day.
The recipe is from Marion Cunningham's The Supper Book and they are called Plain Jane Sugar Cookies. I pass the recipe on to you almost unchanged (I use half as much vanilla as Cunningham) along with Cunningham's comments about the recipe. I can't say it any better:
"A no-frills, all-purpose cookie, Plain Janes take just ten minutes to make and ten minutes to bake. You can eat them with fruit, or just by themselves, and they're good with chocolate ice cream."
Plain Jane Sugar Cookies
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c. sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside.
Beat the butter to smooth out. Cream in the sugar until blended and smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients.
Drop well-rounded teaspoons of dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets about 2 1/2 inches apart. . Use the bottom of a glass or small cup to flatten the mounds of dough; begin by putting the bottom of the glass in dough to make it sticky and then dip the glass in sugar before pressing down each cookie. Bake in a preheated 350° oven until the edges of the cookies are light golden—about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the cookie sheets and cool on racks. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
Note: For uniformly round cookies, roll the mounds of dough into smooth balls before flattening with the sugar-dipped glass.
(Recipe adapted from The Supper Book by Marion Cunningham)