Sugar Cookies – Inspired by Mary Poppins

Disney’s Mary Poppins

The classic Disney film of the same name was transformed into a Broadway musical in 2006. Though it follows the film closely, it also brings in elements from the story that inspired the original film. It features the classic songs “Jolly Holiday,” “Step in Time,” “Feed the Birds,” and of course, “Spoonful of Sugar.” New songs and scenes were also added, and of course our beloved Mary takes flight live on stage. It was nominated for 7 Tonys, including Best Musical, and won 1 for Best Scenic Design of a Musical. The show ran for over 8 years, and now is highly popular among high school and community theatre productions.

My experience (or lack thereof) with the show

I feel like I have to be honest here and admit that Mary Poppins was one of my least favorite Disney movies as a child. The scene at the bank freaked me out, among other things. I’ve just never been super sentimental about this one. But the music is beautiful and catchy, and I appreciate why others like it so much. It’s not bad; it’s just not my cup of tea.

I’ve never been in a production of Mary Poppins, and I’ve only ever seen it once. I went because my dear friend Kelly was playing the title role, and it was a dream role for her as it was her late mother’s favorite movie. Knowing that, I knew her performance was one not to be missed, and I’m glad I went. She was, as Mary would say, “practically perfect in every way.”

A funny side note for this one, I was on some heavy duty anti-dizziness meds when I saw the show, and was a bit loopy. As the show was about an hour drive, I carpooled with some friends (obviously I was not allowed to drive). As we were getting out of the car, my friend Matt, who was familiar with the show, leans in and says to me, “I know you’re high, but Kelly really does fly at the end of Act 1.” For those who aren’t familiar with the musical, there is part at the end of Act 1, just before Mary takes flight for the first time, when a bunch of toys come to life. It’s the creepiest, strangest thing – not sure why the writers felt they needed to bring that part of the book back in. I mean, this is supposed to be show for children, right? Anyway, as this is happening, I leaned over to Matt and whispered, “Is this drugs?” To which he responded, “I wish.”

The Inspiration

Though I’m admittedly not the biggest fan of this show, I do love the songs. And when you’re given a song title like “Spoonful of Sugar,” how can you not make a sugar cookie? I tried 3 different versions of this recipe before landing on the final version. I wanted a fat cookie, but one that still had the buttery goodness that makes a sugar cookie practically perfect in every way. Finally, I found the version that is like eating a buttery little cloud, but with a sweet crispy outside from being rolled in sugar. The recipe is super simple and accessible to any level of baker. It was important to me to make something simple yet divine, and by George I think I’ve got it (oops, sorry, wrong Julie Andrews musical). I guarantee you won’t be able to stop after eating just one.

The Recipe

1. Preheat the oven to 357 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper (you can use foil too, but I prefer parchment paper for easier release).

2. Sift together flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and kosher salt. Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and 2 cups of sugar.

4. Add the eggs to the sugar & butter mixture one at a time. Then add vanilla extract.

5. Mix the dry ingredients with the wet in 3 parts, scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition.

6. Form the dough into golf ball sized balls (a meatball scoop, as I call it, works really well for uniformity – be sure to level off the scoop). Then roll the balls into the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar.

7. Place on a cookie sheet (they don’t spread much so you can probably get a full dozen on a cookie sheet, even though they are big cookies) and bake for 8-10 minutes. When they are done, they should still be white all around (Remember – you can’t un-bake, so better to start at 8 minutes to see how your oven cooks. I never bake mine for more than 8 minutes, but your oven may vary from mine. If they are starting to get golden around the edges, they have been in too long).

8. Let sit for 3 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yields approximately 40 cookies. 132 calories per cookie.


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