Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Far Yeast Sugar Cookies

I can remember watching my mom and Nana make these cookies when I was a kid. I remember sneaking a spoonful of the warm dough straight from the pot, eating the crystal sugar by itself while the cookies baked. The cookies filled the kitchen with the smells of butter and yeast. I can remember my mom and Nana happily joking with each other, laughing so hard that tears streamed down their cheeks. Cookies will do that to people.

These cookies are my Great Grandmother Millie's recipe so I figured it was fitting to share around Mother's Day. I baked them yesterday. They filled my apartment with the smell of butter and yeast and my heart with nostalgia.

The ingredient list is small and the recipe comes together in a single saucepan with a wooden spoon.

The buttery dough will separate from the sides of the pot (like choux pastry.) It gets placed on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment, oiled liberally and dusted with granulated sugar. This recipe uses sugar three ways. Go big or go home.

Crystal sugar is necessary. Use red and green around the winter holidays, or go with black and orange sugar for Halloween. Or be excessive like me and use every variety of crystal sugar you can find in your pantry. I have a thing for collecting sprinkles and sugars...

Slice these cookies as soon as they come out of the oven, they firm up as they cool. These cookies taste like no other cookie (and I have sampled many varieties in my twenty-six years.) They are crispy, buttery and wonderful.

Far Yeast Sugar Cookies
makes 4 dozen cookies

1 stick butter
2 Tablespoons milk
1/2 c granulated sugar + more for baking sheet
1 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 1/2 c AP flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg yolk (save the white for the egg wash)
- - -
Pre-heat oven to 350F
1. In a medium saucepan, heat milk, sugar, butter and yeast until butter is completely melted; remove from heat
2. Add flour, salt and egg yolk; stir with a wooden spoon until dough comes together and separated from the sides of the pan
3. Place a piece of parchment on a cookie sheet; mist with baking spray and sprinkle evenly with granulated sugar
4. Transfer dough to the prepared baking sheet
5. Place another piece of parchment on top of the dough and, using a rolling pin, roll dough to fit the pan
6. Brush dough with egg white and sprinkle generously with crystal sugar
7. Bake for 12-15 minutes 
8. Slice cookies into squares while still hot from the oven (they harden as they cool)


  1. Hi Hanna, I' m your Nana's sister,Auntie Lynn...in Morocco. I have a picture of myself looking just like the picture of yourself on this blog page...which congratulations for it...what fun!
    Your baby is soooo darling so biggest congratulations for her!

  2. Hi Aunt Lynn! I did get your comments, thank you for reading!