Aunt Khaki’s Crispy Sugar Cookies

I’ve written of my beloved Aunt Khaki many times before. Though we have lived on different sides of the country for over two decades,  I feel particularly close to her.

There was a brief stretch of time when she and my cousin, Camille, resided in Ohio and It was so much fun. Khaki always led us on exciting adventures.  She’d take us swimming and camping, we went to the local high school musicals, and she always threw the best birthday parties long before the creators of Pinterest were probably even born. Remember that Nickelodeon show, Double Dare, where contestants had to complete a challenge or get pied in the face? Khaki used that as the premise for Camille’s 6th birthday party and I remember thinking it was the most incredible event I had ever experienced. The point is, I have looked up to my aunt from an early age. She has instilled in my a love of exercise, food, photography, party planning and the confidence to experiment with recipes. It’s always so much fun when we can get together and this past holiday weekend was no different.

Naturally, Khaki brought along an ohio cookie cutter in her suitcase (because who wouldn’t?!)  and she decided to whip up a batch of some of her delicious sugar cookies. The recipe is from Alton Brown and it’s one she has been using for a few years. She usually throws in some extra flavoring extracts and rolls the dough fairly thin (about 1/8-1/4 inch) so that the cookies are extra crispy. They are so scrumptious that it took all of my willpower not to bring a handful home with us when we left because I knew it would get ugly.

If you are looking for a fantastic crispy sugar cookie, this is a recipe for you. Happy Friday, all!


 Aunt Khaki’s Crispy Sugar Cookies


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon praline extract, optional
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough
  • Sanding sugar or crystals, optional


1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, about five minutes. Add egg and milk and beat to combine, scrapping down the sides with a spatula as necessary. Add in the vanilla and praline extract and mix until well-mixed.  Turn the mixer speed to low and gradually add flour mixture until just combined.. Divide the dough in half, wrap in parchment paper, and refrigerate for 2 hours.

2. After the dough has chilled, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with powdered sugar. Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator at a time, sprinkle rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Cut out cookies using desired cutter. Place cookies on baking sheets, one inch apart, and sprinkle generously with sanding sugar. Bake for  7 to 9 minutes or until cookies turn lightly brown on the edges.  Remove from oven, allow cookies to cool on sheet for about two minutes, and then transfer to baking rack to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container for a few days or freeze for a few months.

Source: Slightly adapted from Alton Brown

Food Memory Friday: Dining with Khaki

There was a fair amount of time while I was growing up when none of my mother’s immediate family lived in Ohio. However, for a short three years, my Aunt Khaki and cousin Camille lived only 10 minutes from us in adorable house; and, looking back, it was some of the most fun and memorable years of my childhood.

In those three years, Camille, Selby, and I took ballet and jazz classes (that really paid off for us ;) ),  we broke one of my Aunt Khaki’s favorite vases and successfully glued it back together with Elmer’s glue (she wouldn’t discover it had broken for several months ), and we went camping (where I wet my sleeping bag and subsequently ended up spilling over into my sister’s).  We had Easter Egg Hunts, sleepovers, and we went to movies and high school plays. And, of course, we fought; but we usually made up.

We spent a lot of time together and, although it was only for a very short amount of time in the grand scheme of things, I will always treasure those years above others. Camille was like our other sister and my Aunt Khaki was our second mom.

As a result, it’s always a special occasion when we get together (as it is with all of our extended family since we don’t get to see each other often). My Aunt Khaki and my mom were in town this week and it was so nice to get a chance to be together. Even more glorious, Khaki made delicious dinners for us twice this past week. I forgot how nice it is to have prepared food waiting when you get home from work. She even packed my lunch. How sweet is that? :)

On Wednesday she prepared a delicious spring salad with fresh fruit and walnut-crusted baked goat cheese along with a crusty baguette and handmade passion fruit truffles- it was truly scrumptrulescent.

Then, on Thursday, I came home to a lighter take on chili bowls with a delicious salad and fresh garlic bread. I could get used to my own personal chef.

And… some lovely fresh peonies as well…

Thank you, Aunt Khaki, for delicious food and fun conversation, as always.

Have a great weekend, everyone!