Sugar Hearts similar to Sweetwater
Two weeks ago, I passed along a request from Melanie Gering for a version of the big, pink-frosted cookie sold at the Nordstrom espresso stand at River Park Square, and baked by Sweetwater Bakery.
Turns out, reader Patsy Enkema of Spokane was on a similar quest last summer. She shared her results in an e-mail.
“I had read the ingredient list for the Sweetwater cookie and tried to find a recipe containing cream or milk in the cookies,” she said. “I think these are pretty close.”
The recipe came from a cookbook she already owned, “The Best of Better Baking.com,” and called for the cookies to be topped with melted semisweet chocolate. Instead, Enkema used a frosting recipe she found at allrecipes.com.
It’s a pretty simple cookie recipe, and close to the Sweetwater treat. The dough, however, can be sticky. I’d suggest forming it into two disks directly on some plastic wrap or waxed paper, rather than on a lightly floured surface, before chilling.
I had to use my bench scraper to get the dough off my countertop, and it picked up quite a bit of flour in the process.
One final thought: The frosting is quite sweet, so go lightly in topping the cookies. Unless a sugar coma is what you’re going for.
From “The Best of Better Baking.com”
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup half-and-half
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted, for glazing (optional)
In large bowl of electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Blend in the egg, egg yolk, vanilla and almond extracts and half-and-half.
Combine all the dry ingredients together and stir into the creamed mixture. On a lightly floured surface, form the dough into 2 disks. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On lightly floured surface, roll dough out to 1/4- or 1/3-inch thick. Cut with cookie cutter. Gather the scraps, roll again and cut more cookies.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes (or watch them) until barely golden on edges or per your taste. Let cool and dip in melted chocolate, if using, or frost with frosting below.
Yield: 3 to 4 dozen cookies (depending on thickness and size)
2/3 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons milk (or half-and-half or whipping cream)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Food coloring, if desired
In medium bowl, cream together the butter, powdered sugar, and milk or half-and-half, until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and the food coloring.
Looking for a recipe? Have a food question? Carolyn Lamberson would like to hear from you. Write to Cook’s Notebook, Features Department, The Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210, or e-mail to cooksnotebook@ spokesman.com. Please include your full name and city of residence. As many letters as possible will be answered in this column; sorry, no individual replies.