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sugar cookie
Sometimes things happen in life that kind of knock you out of your regular routine, and it takes you a little bit to get back into the swing of things. Baking delicious things that simultaneously heat my apartment and make it smell like warm butter, sugar and vanilla is my way of getting back a sense of normalcy.

This recipe makes sugar cookies that are slightly crisp on the outside and soft in the middle. They are simple and not perfect, but exactly what I wanted to munch on while curled up with some tea and watching back episodes of Good Eats.

Ingredients:

  • 100g butter, salted, softened
  • 200g powdered sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 250g flour
  • 20g baking powder
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

—————
1. Preheat oven to 170C. In a medium bowl, cream softened butter and powdered sugar together until well combined, and until it lightens in color and is slightly fluffy. (use a stand mixer if you like)
2. Mix in eggs, one at a time until well combined.
3. Stir in vanilla extract, almond extract and nutmeg
4. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking power and salt, then add it to the butter and sugar mixture. Stir well.
5. Use a spoon or cookie scoop to drop roughly golf ball sized balls of dough onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet, and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cookies are just about to turn a pale golden brown. Bake less for softer cookies, and a bit longer if you like your cookies crisp.

**while I tend to just eat these cookies as they are, I’m pretty sure they would be fantastic frosted, or rolled in sugar as well.

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I live in a part of Japan known for their grapes, specifically a dark purple variety called Kyoho. So it’s not uncommon to see signs advertising everything from grape juice to grape cookies to grape ice cream. However, when I was on the way to work on Monday, the main street of my town had suddenly burst into bloom with white flags advertising Kyoho grape bread. Grape bread, made with local grapes at a local bakery in small quantities. The very definition of a local limited edition specialty, and you all know how much I love all things gentei♥.

When I went to the bakery yesterday, the head baker apologetically told me all the grape bread had sold out. Apparently, I’m not the only person in the area who has an addiction to limited edition bread. ^^;;
The grape bread comes in two varieties, a mini loaf of standard raisin bread, and melon pan shaped like a bunch of grapes. I raced over today after work, and managed to grab two grape melon pans from the shelf just before a neighborhood granny purchased the rest of the stock.


Melon pan is a popular type of bakery bread which is covered in a layer of cookie like crust. This melon pan consisted of small balls of fluffy bread studded with giant Kyoho raisins, arranged like a bunch of grapes, covered in a grape flavored cookie crust and decorated with a pretzel stick as the stem. A bite revealed the inner bread to be nearly as purple in color as the cookie crust.

The melon has a real grape aroma and color which is pleasantly purple without the use of artificial food coloring. The soft bread goes very well with the slightly crunchy cookie top, and the raisins add just the right amount of sweetness without becoming cloying. I am actually really picky about melon pan, and won’t eat one if the cookie part has lost it’s crunch. (crunchy things should be crunchy!)

If I can ever manage to get to the bakery again while it still has these lovelies in stock, I would definitely buy it again! (back away from my grape melon pan, granny!)

B’langere Marche @ Yamanashi City, Yamanashi, Japan

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