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Wednesday 17 August 2011

Sluttishly Sweet: Outsider Tart's Sugar Saucers

We love Outsider Tart. And why wouldn't we? They're tarts, we're sluts. It all works perfectly.

And now they've written a book, we don't even have to schlep to Chiswick to get our mitts on their tasty treats as we can make them at home.

Baked in America is a gorgeous book, packed with delicious things to bake from across the pond. Layer cakes, whoopie pies, brownies, they're all here, and they're all photographed beautifully. Even the paper feels lovely and the fonts are very stylish.

I decided to try the sugar saucers. Simple vanilla cookies with a slightly chewy centre are quite the crowd pleaser and also incredibly easy to make. On thing though - according to the book, this recipe makes 10 large cookies or 36 small. Now I know the folks at Outsider Tart are American, but seriously I managed to make more than 30 large cookies. Unless you like your large cookies to be the size of a dinner plate, if you only want a few I'd suggest halving the recipe.

Sugar Saucers (I made 30 large cookies)

You'll need:
  • 600g plain flour
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 340g unsalted butter
  • 120ml sunflower or rapeseed oil
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4tsp vanilla extract
  • Sugar sprinkles for decoration
Make it!
  • Preheat the oven to 180c / Gas 4
  • Line at least 4 baking trays with parchment if you want to bake the cookies all at once. You can always bake in two batches if you don't have enough oven space or baking tray.
  • Sift together the flour and bicarb into a bowl. Add the salt.
  • Cream the butter in a mixer until light and fluffy. With the mixer running, gradually add the oil, then the sugar, then the eggs and vanilla.
  • Gently mix in the flour mixture until combined.
  • Pop it into the fridge for an hour before baking (I skipped this step and my cookies spread quite a lot when baking)
  • Divide the dough into balls and dip each ball into sugar sprinkles.
  • Put them onto a baking sheet and flatten each ball gently with your fingers. Ensure they're separated well as they will spread.
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the edges start to go golden. The cookies will be soft when you take them from the oven but will harden up on cooling.


  1. *hand up* Please miss, why do American recipes often add oil? What does it add to the finished product?

  2. Well, it is liquid at room temperature, unlike butter/marg which are harder, so more likely to impart a chewy/softened texture when used for the same purposes. That's what I have always assumed!

  3. Hmmm... the chewey texture is actually from sugar. And as I've learn the hard way, butter should always be room temperature before baking.

  4. I've done a bit of research (i.e. googling) and I think it makes cakes richer and less likely to dry out or harden. Mmmm.

  5. Clever! Things I have also learnt about oil in cakes:

    It makes a massive different if you forget it (oops).

    You can't substitute sunflower oil for extra virgin olive oil when you're in a pinch. Mmmmm, olive oil fairy cakes.


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