Sweet Treat

Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets for a nap. ~ Barbara Jordan

We will be featuring regular posts from two beautiful, intelligent, creative young women. Even though I am partial to them because they are my daughters doesn’t mean it’s not true! The first is here today. Please show some blog love to Miss Emily.

This past fall, I started my very first year at the best culinary school in the United States. The Culinary Institute of America, located in the scenic Hudson Valley is where I now call home.  I am currently enrolled in the CIA’s Baking and Pastry Arts Bachelor program.  Since my classes consist of baking up delicious treats for all to enjoy, I decided to share some of the recipes with you.

The recipes I will be sharing are easy to do and require only simple ingredients and a scale. Many may ask, “Why a scale?”  I will tell you: at the CIA all of our recipes are weighed out instead of being measured.  The difference between the two is accuracy, which is very important when baking any product. Your products will come out the same every single time if everything is scaled correctly.  One thing I was not aware of before starting at the CIA is that there are no uniform standards for measuring spoons. You can buy a set of measuring spoons from Bed Bath and Beyond and another from Home Goods, and the sizes may be completely different.  This is just one example of why it is better for bakers to scale ingredients rather than measure.

With Valentine’s Day arriving in a few weeks, what better treat to share than sugar cookies? One of my personal favorites, they can be cut out in many different shapes and are very simple to make.

Here are the Ingredients you will need:

  • Butter 9 oz
  • Sugar 12 oz
  • Eggs 2 oz
  • Honey ½ oz
  • Flour, Cake 10 oz
  • Flour, Bread 5 oz
  • Salt 3.5 gram
  • Baking Soda 2 gram
  • Vanilla 3 gram

The oven should be preheated to 350 degrees.

If you are new to scaling, it may be best to scale ingredients separately in labeled containers to ensure no mistakes are made.

Make sure the butter is cubed and COLD.

If you do not have access to cake and bread flour, All Purpose flour may be used.  If using All Purpose Flour, the weight will be 15 oz of AP flour.

(Fun fact:  AP flour is a combination of both cake and bread flour)


Always remember that in baking, sugar is considered a “wet ingredient” and should never be combined with “dry ingredients”

In a stationary mixer using the paddle attachment, add cubed butter and sugar to the bowl. Cream together on low speed until homogenous.

cream butter and sugar

Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl from time to time to make sure all parts are incorporated. When the butter and sugar are creamed, the mixture should look like the image below.

sugar and butter

Next, add your eggs in 3 to four increments, mixing after each part is added on low speed.

adding eggs


After all eggs are incorporated, mixture should look like this:


after eggs

The next step is to combine your dry ingredients and sift them.

(cake flour, bread flour, salt, and baking soda)

After remaining dry ingredients are sifted, add to the mixture all at once.

Be careful when you begin mixing again.  In the bakeshop, we “pulse” the mixer, turning it on and off quickly to make sure we don’t get a face full of flour!

When flour begins to incorporate, leave the mixer on low speed.

adding flour

You should begin to see a dough forming

dough forming

Lastly, add in vanilla and honey.

If adding food coloring, add only one to two drops at a time.

When finished, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 10 minutes.

dough on plastic wrap

I like to shape my dough into a square for easier rolling later.

wrapped dough

After dough is refrigerated, unwrap and place on a FLOUR DUSTED SURFACE.  The flour dusting will ensure the dough does not stick.

*Before rolling the dough, beat it with your rolling pin.  Yes, I mean hit your dough over and over with your pin; this will help prevent your dough from cracking when rolling it out.

Feel free to keep throwing flour ON TOP and UNDER your dough throughout the rolling process so it does not stick to your surface and rolling pin.

I like to break off pieces one at a time to roll out.  I roll my dough ¼ of an inch thick, then cut with a cookie cutter.

cutting cookies

I line my sheet pan with parchment paper and then line the cut out cookies up 4 by 6.

One last touch I like to do with my cookies before baking them, is to brush them (just enough to moisten)  with a small amount of milk and sprinkle sanding sugar on them.

Bake the cookies at 350 degrees.

At the CIA, we are never given a time for any of our products.  Our chefs want us to get used to always watching what we are baking.

Since these cookies are very thin, they only need to bake for 10 minutes or less. Please keep an eye on them, they are very easy to burn!

When finished, the cookies should be very light in color with only a little brown on the bottom and sides.

cookies on baking sheet

Let cool, and enjoy!


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21 Responses to Sweet Treat

  1. Sweet Bee Cottage January 25, 2012 at 1:19 am #

    How charming! Your daughter is beautiful and she bakes! Marvelous! My daughter talks about being a chef one day – thanks to Top Chef I think. Thank Miss Emily for your lovely recipe!

  2. kathleen January 25, 2012 at 6:09 am #

    Hi Emily: Thank you so much for your step by step recipe. I visited the CIA once when my sister-in-law Emily Luchetti was doing a demo about apples. It’s a beautiful campus. I wish for you the best of success!

  3. lisa moran/Bilancia Designs January 25, 2012 at 6:20 am #

    What a great choice in schools! I’ve had many a friend graduate from this prestigious school and remember fondly going there for dinner in the Fall when everything is so gorgeous in Hyde Park (my aunt’s backyard and the Vanderbilt mansion’s property are back to back). My friends have gone on to have amazing careers in the food industry because of this wonderful school. I wish you all the luck, Emily, and thanks for the great recipe! Please share more!!
    Wonderful post, Deborah…your daughter is beautiful!
    Best wishes to you both~

  4. Oklahoma Granny January 25, 2012 at 7:22 am #

    Emily, You are a lovely young woman and I know your mother is very proud of you. Thank you for all the information you provided with your recipe. I am a long-time baker and never knew some of the things you mentioned. I’ve always said that everyone should learn at least one new thing every day and you’ve provided me with one plus a few extras. Enjoy your classes! I look forward to more of your posts.

  5. Karena January 25, 2012 at 7:44 am #

    What a very talented daughter!! I have learned several things from her post on baking! Thank you so much for sharing Emily!

    Art by Karena

  6. 'D' January 25, 2012 at 8:00 am #

    Wow!!!!! Emily, thanks for the recipe, I’ll be looking forward for more to come. Best of luck with your career.

    Gee, it’s been a week for new recipes and it’s only Wednesday. This past Sunday, a little 94yr. old Italian man, who I talk to at church, gave me his Cannoli Recipe and now I have a new Sugar Cookie Recipe as well. I might have to put my sewing machine aside and get out my mixer.

    Thanks for sharing.

  7. Deena January 25, 2012 at 8:07 am #

    Thank you for sharing Emily! We love to decorate cookies this time of year (Valentine’s Day is important to us). I suppose now I will have to purchase a scale. 😉

  8. Terri January 25, 2012 at 8:54 am #

    How proud you must be!!!! She is just beautiful….. never thought about weighing the ingredients….. and I confess didn’t know that little tidbit about measuring spoons!! The sugar cookie recipe looks pretty easy and delish!!!!! Thanks “Fairfield House”, Terri

  9. Laura Ingalls Gunn January 25, 2012 at 9:04 am #

    Lucky you to have such a darling daughter. She wears the hat well.

    I never gave thought to weighing ingrediants but it does indeed make sense. I shall now have to check if my scale does grams.

    As for the mixer, boo! I have been scouring the thrifts for 2 years in the hopes of a heavy duty mixing machine but have not been successful. Maybe the heavens will smile upon me soon.

    Everything I do is by hand. :)

  10. Maggie January 25, 2012 at 7:40 pm #

    OH! Is Miss Emily just gorgeous or what?! I can see why you are so proud of her! I think she needs a food blog cause a. I LOVE food and b. I LOVE making food as much as I love eating food! I so suck at baking! CIA is a wonderful school to attend. I can’t wait to read more of her posts! Way to go Miss Emily!

  11. Cotton Peony January 25, 2012 at 8:07 pm #

    Well well, from country to sophistication baking 101. Yep, I’d say they past mustard around these parts, her cookies that is.

    But between the two, I’d say give me my potato chip cookie in a pinch any day, sorry Emily. But they do look yummers indeed. Thanks for sharing!

    warm hugs and a potato chip cookie to boot.

    Cotton Peony

  12. Becky January 25, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

    Oh Deborah! She is a beauty indeed and how cool that she is in culinary school!! I had no idea about scaling ingredients! Or about the measuring spoons varying in size. No wonder sometimes, even with the same recipe, things come out different! Now I just need to get a scale. Do we just use a standard kitchen scale?

    Our 6 year old grandy is Emily! Emily is the number one name for either the century or the decade…can’t remember which. And Madison, the name of our youngest daughter is second. Funny, I picked her name because no one had it at the time!!

    Can’t wait to hear more from your girls!!
    Hugs and love,,

  13. Jennifer January 25, 2012 at 9:31 pm #

    ms emily…if any of my 3 boys had been a girl, they would of been an emily! :) my bro-in-law graduated from culinary school and sings the praises of the scales. i’m SO glad we’re able to get a glimpse into more of your family! keep the posts coming!

  14. Stephenie from Decorating Addiction January 25, 2012 at 11:52 pm #

    The whole family is blogging. I love it. Thank you for sharing your beautiful Emily with all of us. I feel privileged that you allow us, your readers a glimpse into your life. To Emily, thank you for enlightening me. I always wondered why sometimes my cookies turn out fluffy and perfect and other times they are flat and greasy, despite the fact that I’m using the EXACT same recipe each time. I have a number of different measuring spoons and cups from different places. They all look different and are likely the cause of mixed results. I think I need a scale . . . I enjoyed your first post! I look forward to more.

  15. andrea January 27, 2012 at 11:20 am #

    Let me know when the next batch is ready and I ‘ll be right over ;o)

  16. Beth@A2Z January 30, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

    Great tutorial and I wish I could sample the final product! Yummy ;).

  17. Zuzu January 31, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

    I am almost 60 years old, have been baking since I was about 12, and today I have learned several things I never knew! Thank you, Emily, for this lovely post. Wishing I could just reach into my screen and try one of your wonderful cookies!

  18. Pondside February 3, 2012 at 3:00 am #

    Nothing like a young baker to teach we old bakers some new tricks!
    That was a really good post!

  19. Meg February 3, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

    Cookies and milk at 3 pm daily?? My kind of afternoon!!!

  20. Missy February 6, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

    Well my goodness….Emily you’re a beauty! (bet you look like your momma) :-) I learned something here today…I did not know sugar was considered a wet ingredient. I knew I never put it in with the dry ingredients, but never really thought about it. Guess you’re never too old to learn something new! :0)
    Deborah…you should be a proud momma! (and I know you are!)
    Love ya much and miss talking to you!

  21. Jeannie Gregory March 12, 2012 at 8:15 pm #

    Love your site! I did want to tell you that the quote about cookies and milk is from Robert Fulghum’s book “All I Ever Needed To Know I Learned In Kindergarden”-I teach school and use it a lot. :)

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