Thursday, February 4, 2016

Red Vine Sugar Cookies

Do you or someone you love suffer from Red Vine Megalophixia? 

Symptoms may include:
  • eating an entire bucket of Red Vines in a day
  • digging through the candy aisle for the extra thick Red Vines
  • squeezing each bag of Red Vines the way one squeezes produce at a Farmer's Market 
  • sucking on  Red Vines when they are too hard to bite
  • Symptoms may be aggrivated by Sugar Cookie Monosucromania- severe and intense fixation on finding the perfect sugar cookie
The only known cure is Little Red Hen's Red Vine Sugar Cookies. Side affects and complications may include:

  • Perma-grin
  • Intense Red Vine/Sugar Cookie mutual satisfaction
  • Not enough cookies for your kids
I can only account for this recipe as divine revelation. I jest. But really, the idea just walked into my brain one day last fall, and I've been working on it ever since. Saving a recipe I am excited about for months is hard work for me, so February brought an excited sense of relief! May I present an excellent sugar cookie recipe with my original Red Vine Icing?!!

There is no such thing as Red Vine Extract, because it is a beautiful and amazing flavor that you can't buy in a bottle. So, I created a sugar cookie based on the Swig Sugar Cookie variety, and I used coconut and almond extracts. The cookies alone taste great, and the very subtle coconut/almond flavor is a terrific base for the icing. 

I am kind of lazy and don't do cut out cookies. Growing up it seemed like frosting cookies was a great idea, but I was the one who ended up doing most of them. Plus- I'll be honest- I'm no artist, so they never looked super pretty. So, this cookie dough is great because not only do you not need to refrigerate it, but it also tastes equally wonderful if you press the balls of dough flat, or leave them puffy. (Although, I think a Red Vine Buttercream frosting would be perfect for those, so I'll work on that.)

And the icing. It is flavored with straight up Red Vines. You cook them down with some butter and milk until the Red Vines start to melt and that perfect, inimitable flavoring comes oozing out. And the color! It is so pretty! Then you whisk that into some powdered sugar. The great thing too is that you get little pieces of Red Vines in the icing, and they stay super soft. And the cookies get even softer the next day, like any great iced sugar cookie. Really, this is a great idea and it'll make your Valentine's Day. 

Red Vine Sugar Cookies

Makes about 30 cookies
  • 5 1/2-6 cups flour
  •  1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tarter
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature (2 sticks)
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tbs water
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar + 2 tbs sugar
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 eggs. room temperature
  • 2 tsp coconut extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
Red Vine Icing:
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 20 Red Vines, chopped
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbs milk
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugars. Stream in oil. Add water and extracts. Mix in eggs until just combined.
  3. Slowly add in flour, soda, cream of tarter, and salt. Dough should be soft, not sticky, so add the last 1/2 cup of flour slowly. 
  4. Using an ice cream scoop, form dough into balls. If desired, put 2 tbs of sugar in a small bowl. Press the bottom of a cup onto the dough to get glass sticky. Then dip cup into bowl of sugar and press sugared cup onto balls of dough to flatten them.
  5. Bake for about 8-10 minutes, until just done. The cookies do not need to be golden brown. Light is good! Set aside to cool.

Make Red Vine Icing:
  1. Place powdered sugar in a medium sized bowl. In a medium sized pot, melt butter and chopped Red Vines, stirring continuously.
  2. Once butter is melted, add milk and stir constantly until thickened. The Red Vines should start to melt, and it is ready it will be the consistency of a thin yogurt. 
  3. Immediately pour into bowl of powdered sugar and whisk until smooth. Spoon onto cooled cookies. 
  4. Enjoy! (These cookies get softer and taste even more like Red Vines with time, so they are great to make a day ahead!)

Bake the bread. Share the slices.

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