Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Best Sugar Cookies

Being a fan of of the sweets, I thought I would share one of my recipes with you. This sugar cookie recipe comes from Cook's Illustrated, Nov 2003. This is a great cooking magazine for those of you who like Alton Brown because they go through each recipe and scientifically explain the recipe. They test different tweaks to the recipe and explain why some changes work and don't work and what those changes did to the final result.


2 cups (10 oz) unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoon unsalted butter, soften but still firm (60° to 65°)
1 cup (7 oz) granulated sugar plus 1/2 cup for rolling dough
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions; heat oven to 375 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl; set aside.

2. In standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment or with hand mixer, beat butter, 1 cup granulated sugar, and brown sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Add egg and vanilla; beat at medium speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Add dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed.

3. Place sugar for rolling in shallow bowl. Fill medium bowl halfway with cold tap water. Dip hands in water and shake off excess (this will prevent dough from sticking to your hands and ensure that sugar sticks to dough). Roll heaping tablespoon dough into 1 1/2-inch ball between moistened palms; roll ball in sugar, then place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, moistening hands after forming each ball and spacing balls about 2 inches apart on baking sheet (you should be able to fit 12 cookies on each sheet). Using butter wrapper, butter bottom of drinking glass; dip bottom of glass in remaining sugar and flatten dough balls with bottom of glass until dough is about 3/4 inch thick.

4. Bake until cookies are golden brown around edges and just set and very lightly colored in center, 15 to 18 minutes, reversing position of cookie sheets from front to back and top to bottom halfway through baking time. Cool cookies on baking sheet about 3 minutes; using wide metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Katsu Curry!

I was first introduced to Katsu Curry (breaded and fried prok cutlet served with Japanese curry) while living in Irvine at a place called Sagami's. Since then I have fallen in love with the dish and judge a Japanese restaurant's cooked menu based on their Katsu Curry.

Well, recently I have discovered a Katsu Curry to die for! I am talking about the Katsu Curry at Miki's in San Francisco on Balboa (3639 Balboa St., 415-287-0874). The Katsu is crispy and flaky on the outside and moist and light on the inside. The curry is delicious with a capital "D". It is Japanese comfort food that is absolutely satifying. To top it off, that red pickled vegetable is a perfect compliment to the curry. Their's had bit of lotus root in it that gives it a nice crunch. I am not sure what the other vegetables in it are, anyone know? The difference maker with Miki's version is the pork cutlet is light and moist not dense like most other places. Yummmmmm!

Anyone else a Katsu Curry fan?