Sugar Saucers

Jan Baldwin
Sometimes there's nothing better than the simplest of flavors. We both love these cookies as they are or with a simple glaze, or we sprinkle demerara sugar on them for a bit of sparkle. If you add 1 tablespoon of cream of tartar to the dry ingredients and roll them in cinnamon sugar prior to baking, you will have classic snickerdoodles. With orange or lemon zest, they can easily be nudged in other directions. When we lived in New York, there was a little bakery, now gone, called Mary's Off Jane. She made the most incredible lime shortbread-ish cookies with a lime glaze that we devoured. These come close, but we have yet to re-create them to her standard. 
  • all-purpose flour: 21 oz / 600 g / 4 cups 
  • baking soda: 1 teaspoon 
  • kosher salt: 1/2 teaspoon 
  • unsalted butter: 12 oz / 340 g / 1 1/2 cups 
  • canola oil: 4 fl oz / 120 ml / 1/2 cup 
  • granulated sugar: 8 oz / 225 g / 1 cup 
  • confectioners' sugar: 7 oz / 200 g / 1 cup 
  • large eggs: 2 
  • vanilla extract: 4 teaspoons 
  • additional granulated sugar or sprinkles for rolling


In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter on medium speed for about a minute. With the mixer on, slowly pour in the oil, and then add the two sugars, the eggs, and the vanilla. Make sure to stir well after each addition. Slowly add the flour mixture about a quarter at a time. Mix only until the flour disappears. Don't be alarmed as this dough is quite soft when you're done. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to several days before baking. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Using a large ice cream scoop, divide the dough into balls approximately 5 to 6 oz (150 to 175 g) each. Place 4 balls per baking sheet and stagger them so they won't spread into each other as they bake. Using your fingers, flatten the balls slightly and sprinkle each one with sugar. If glazing, leave the sprinkle off altogether. We've also just rolled the balls in granulated sugar or sprinkles before flattening them on the baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the edges start to turn golden. The middles will appear soft but will firm up as they cool. If you prefer crisper cookies, add another minute or two. Cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring them to wire racks to cool.

Reprinted with permission from Piece of Cake by David Muniz and David Lesniak, Rizzoli, 2012.

Makes about 10 large or 36 small cookies
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