5/30/13

(Almost) Swig Sugar Cookies and one long story behind them...


If you live in St George, Utah, or have visited St. George over the past few months you've heard about the buzz surrounding SWIG. It's a little cookie shack (two locations) rumored to be hauling in thousands of dollars each day. They sell cookies, ice cream, donuts, shaved ice and get this- "Dirty Diet Coke".  The Mormons in St. George are a pretty tame bunch ( I know this, bc they're my peeps). Slap the name "dirty" on a soda and you have a small stampede outside your place of business. This is about as wild as it gets if you're a Mormon :) The "dirty" in the soda, btw is a free add-in flavoring such as coconut, cherry, lime, etc.
Here's a pic of a famous St. George landmark, in case you haven't ever been there. It's a beautiful town located about 2 hours north of Las Vegas.


St George Temple


The skinny :
The big deal at Swig is the sugar cookie (which is actually baked by the folks at Dutchman's Market/Cravings Bakery in Santa Clara). Dutchman's has a FB page, if you scroll down their page, they show a pic of the cookies sold in their store, along with what they call "muddy" sodas. Maybe they call it a muddy soda after mud filled their shop? Dutchman's went under (literally) last year when there was a devastating flood in Santa Clara. They recently re-opened and are selling cookies in their bakery. It looks like they sell their cookies at room temperature, prefrosted. The Swig cookie is served cold and frosted with room temp frosting after you place your order. St George is a hot, dry place, so a cool cookie and Coke are a perfect combo.













My opinion:
I Pinned a recipe posted online that was supposed to be a knock off recipe of the Swig Sugar Cookie. After looking at the recipe, I knew it would not produce a cookie like the Swig cookie. It looks beautiful in the post, but doesn't have the Swig cookie texture. A few years ago, I posted this recipe, which is almost identical to the knock off recipe posted. It has a lighter, more shortbread-like texture than the Swig cookie. I've baked sugar cookies with cream cheese or sour cream in the dough, and thought the sour cream gave the cookie a (heavier) texture, similar to the Swig cookie.  Have I totally lost you yet?  I tried an entirely different recipe, altered a bit to create a heavier cookie. Still not quite right. I pulled up recipes and compared and decided the Swig cookie is so dense, it is likely to not have any egg in the dough. I altered the cookie again, and swapped the baking soda for baking powder. I also tried cream of tarter (see my note below about that experiment).  Yes, I feel like I should be auditioning for a job at America's Test Kitchen.  My final result is a cookie very similar to the Swig cookie. If you strip away the frosting on the Swig cookie, it is a very bland tasting treat. The cookie is so bland, that I added vanilla and sugar to make the cookie more flavorful. I couldn't help myself. 




The End. Almost:
For what it's worth, I've had better sugar cookies. This is coming from a person who has eaten hundreds of sugar cookies in my life, thus far. Not a proud moment. Anyway. I prefer a softer, lighter and more moist sugar cookie than the Swig cookie. After extensive taste testing on several of the Swig Sugar cookies, I've decided the cookie is more like a cross between a shortbread slash flattened out sweet biscuit than a cookie. It is not very flavorful and quite dry- which may be a good thing, since it is often served with a Coke or Dr. Pepper. And don't forget about the flavor shot in the drink. A bland cookie goes well with a sweet drink and/or a flavor-spiked soda. 
I'm standing by my theory that all the fuss is about a cold cookie, served in a hot climate, with a fun drink.
That said, I gave samples to lots of friends, fam, etc. Almost everyone loved this cookie. They all raved about how good it is. Was. Whatever.




Are you still reading? Wow. You get a prize. 
I'm going to bring you some cookies. Yes, some of the one hundred and twelve dozen test cookies I've made over the past few days. I'm not joking. 
Here it is, my version of the Swig Cookie, for your baking pleasure.
Oh, don't forget the Dirty Dr. Pepper. 
You'll need it. 




Update** October 2013
After making dozens of batches of this recipe for the last five months, I've altered the recipe again.
I will enter the updates in RED below. Tricia, a reader suggested (after trying to eat dairy-free for a month) to try substituting shortening instead of butter to get the desired crunch, and crumbly fall apart texture in the original Swig cookie. I tried and she is absolutely right! I still liked the flavor of half butter and half shortening, so I still use part butter in my cookies. Thanks for leaving a comment Tricia!

(Almost) Swig Sugar Cookies
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

dough:
1/2 cup butter or  (1/4 cup butter and 1/4 cup Butter Flavor or Regular Crisco)
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla (optional) or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
sugar 

frosting:
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon sour cream
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoons vanilla
dash of salt
1 drop red food coloring
1-2 tablespoons milk**

Preheat oven to 325 convection or 350 regular bake.
Take butter out of refrigerator and microwave for about 15 seconds. Place butter, shortening and cold sour cream in a mixing bowl. Mix for about one minute. Add sugar and vanilla, mix until smooth. Add all dry ingredients at once. Mix just until flour disappears and the mixture comes together in a ball of dough, about 1-2 minutes on very low speed. 
Spray the cookie scoop with a little cooking spray. Scoop the dough onto a  lightly greased cookie sheet. I use either a 1 3/4 inch or a 2 inch scoop. A two inch scoop will produce a cookie similar in size to the Swig cookie. If you don't have a cookie scoop, use an ice cream scoop or roll the dough into a ball about the size of a golf ball. It is best to use a scoop and overfill it a bit to get the desired jagged edge. 
Place about 1/4 cup sugar into a small bowl.
Spray the bottom of a flat glass with cooking spray. Flatten one cookie a bit then dip the glass in sugar Press the bottom of the glass against the cookie.  Press the cookies so they are flattened a bit, twisting the glass as you press to produce a jagged edge.  I bake 8 cookies per tray. Continue until all cookies are flattened. 
Bake in oven for about 10-12 minutes or until edges are lightly golden and cookies are slightly firm to the touch. Remove from oven, let cool. Place the cookies in the fridge and chill. 
Prepare the frosting:
Beat together the butter, sour cream, powdered sugar, vanilla and salt. When all ingredients are incorporated, add the drop of food coloring and milk if the frosting needs to be thinned. 
Frost after the cookies are completely chilled. 
Makes about 14 small or 8-10 large cookies. I almost always double this recipe. 

Tips and (surprise) a few more comments:
-*If you want the cookies to taste more like the Swig cookies make this adjustment to the dough:
 omit the vanilla and reduce the sugar to 1/2 cup. I prefer the cookies to be a bit sweeter, so I liked 3/4 cup of sugar in the dough.
-I like the cookies made with about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of almond extract in the dough, along with the 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
-**The Swig cookie is frosted with quite a thin layer of frosting. I prefer my frosting to be a bit thicker. If you want to frost the cookie with a thinner frosting, add about 3-4 tablespoons of milk to the frosting.
 -The bit of crunch on the edge of the Swig cookie could be from the baking method, or from cream of tarter substituted for the baking powder. Cream of tarter adds a bit of a crunch, but also a hint of tang, which I didn't detect in the Swig cookie. In one of my test batches, I tried 1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter along with 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder, and thought the cookie was too tangy, not at all like the Swig cookie. ** See update above recipe on 10/2013
-This cookie stays quite well in the fridge for about a week if kept in an air tight container.

Disclaimer!
I read some of the comments left by readers on another knockoff recipe. Some of the comments left were (to put it mildly) not very nice. What's up with that? People. Relax. It's just a recipe. 
I posted this recipe because several people have asked me about the Swig recipe.
This is not the Swig recipe. It's a recipe similar in texture and flavor. If you want to try another knockoff recipe, which I mention in this post, you can check it out here.



My work is done. On to the dishes...


44 comments:

  1. These look yummy!! I'll have to go give the original a try next time I'm in st. George, but I'm really excited to give yours a try! (And I'm with you on thicker frosting).

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    1. thanks Haylee! I know you love to cook, so let me know how they turn out!

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  2. I'm a Swig fan and have marveled at this simple business that ALWAYS has a long line! You know right where to send some of your test sugar cookies--those of us at H&H would be happy to consume them for you!!

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    1. Julie, I will send some to the office soon, special delivery to your desk :)

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  3. "are you still reading? wow! you get a prize." you crack me up! i'm going to quote that one for days to come:) can't wait to find swig next time we're southerly

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    1. you deserve the best commenter award! thanks Lindsay :)

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    2. so we were poking around on main st today, and ran into the lovely little madeleine l'amour...and what to our wondering eyes did appear, but a cake plate with cookies by si foster our dear! it was like a little underground black market swigathon:)

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  4. I read the whole thing, did you want to bring me some cookies!!! Wow, you really should try out for America's Test Kitchen, then we can come visit you!

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    1. Cathy, Ill have to talk to Curt to see if I can come down and we can have a Swig baking session!

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  5. I loved the test cookies. You know we are open anytime for testing at my house!

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    1. thanks for testing Marcie! Ill keep you all in mind when I need testers :)

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  6. I read the entire post too. :) I had a Swig two days ago in St. George--it's a tradition whenever we visit. They are unique and delicious! Definitely hard to replicate but koodos to Syd for testing so many variations! I think I'll just a plan another trip down I-15 to get my Swig fix!

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    1. Unique and delicious, yes they are! thanks for reading :)

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  7. I will have to stop in St. George for a swig cookie when I visit my daughter in Cedar City:) I will also have to try your recipe.

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    1. You will love the way they serve these cookies Sue. btw, i just looked at your last few posts on decorated cookies, they are works of art! So beautiful! I need a tutoring session this summer :)

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  8. Your knockoff looks delicious. I have tried many knockoffs and found one that is identical. I personally only like them room temperature so it works for me to get them at Dutchman's. Anyway, the recipe I finally found on Pinterest that tastes identical does use cream of tarter and sour cream in the frosting, but only has you cook the cookies for six minutes, giving them that density and softness with the crispy edges. I can email it if you're interested, though yours look amazing as are. Can't wait to try them as everything I've made from your site has been over the moon.

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    1. Hi Belnaps, I would love to have your recipe! I'm always up for trying new recipes :) That said, on my first batch of cookies, I tried under baking, or baking a short amount of time, and found the cookies to be too undercooked to match the Swig consistency. Their cookies seem to have the same texture as a cookie that has been baked low and slow, more dry. Next time you get one, eat it from the bottom side, without the frosting and let me know what you think. I tried several of their cookies, and also ate them side by side as I tried variations to recipes. As I said in the post, when I tasted the Swig cookie without the frosting, it didn't have a tangy taste, like the taste you get when baking with cream of tartar, so I left it out in the final draft of the recipe.
      email the recipe to me at Abountifulkitchen@gmail.com I would love to give it a try.
      thanks!

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    2. I would like to read this recipe. Can you post a link? Thanks!

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  9. Where in st George is this mail bakery? I am a baking mess. It would be easier to drive the 300 miles to get one.....

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  10. That should say magical bakery. Or at least male bakery :)

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    1. Hi Cydney, They have two locations in St George, one close to the college, and one closer to the Tabernacle. I like male bakery! Also you can get the cookies at Dutchmans, in Santa Clara where they are baked.

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  11. i read it all :)

    and just heard about the dirty diet coke from my pal in hurricane, sounds like a genius idea, they should do it in LA...or maybe someone already does, I don't get out much :)

    and i'm planning on going to utah some time this summer so maybe you could throw a cookie out your window and i will catch it :)

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    1. Brooke! Haven't heard from you in a while! I take a batch of cookies to Madeline Lamour on Main Street in Btown most Tuesdays if you are around check them out. Or you could shoot me an email and I would love to bake a plate for you :)

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  12. I baked these today and they are delicious- but hard as a rock! I wonder what I did wrong...

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    1. Connie, not sure what went wrong? I haven't had a hard batch yet, and I bake these almost weekly. Maybe shorten the baking time. And check the temperature on your oven?

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  13. I love all the research! What is your favorite sugar cookie if this isn't it?

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    1. I love Cutler's Sugar Cookies, and if I'm making them at home I love Tessa's Pan Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies, or here is the recipe for our family favorite sugar cookie!
      http://www.abountifulkitchen.com/2011/10/our-favorite-sugar-cookies.html

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  14. I love this recipe! I've tried it as written and I've also tried it swapping the butter and sour cream for butter flavored shortening. (I was trying to go dairy free for a month!) You need to try it with shortening! I swear it is the actual Swig recipe. All crumbly and fall-aparty. Thanks for a great recipe!

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    1. Tricia, Im going to try your suggestion. I didn't think to try it with shortening!

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  15. I made these last night and they turned out great!

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  16. What a simple and delicious sounding recipe. Thanks a lot for sharing.

    Cleo Rogers (www.behnamrugs.com)

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  17. Alright! I'm attempting these tomorrow! I'll let you know how it goes!

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  18. I just had to leave a comment and tell you THANK YOU!!! My husband and brother in law claim these are the best sugar cookies! They love them and so do I!

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  19. How many does this recipe make?

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  20. I was wondering what the name of the bakery in Provo that provides the cookies for swig in bountiful?

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    1. Karen and Kassidy,
      I am not sure what bakery they use? I will ask next time I'm at the store. And yes, Kassidy is right, there is a Swig in Provo!

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  21. I tried the recipe on another blog.. (VR)... and I didn't love them! When I make sugar cookies I use sour cream so I would love to give these ones a try! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I hope you'll let us know after you give this recipe a try :)

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  22. Our boss brought these into the office today. Your cookies, from Bountiful. They were amazingly delicious. I love the cold idea. I've been to St. George a number of times and hadn't heard about the Swig cookies. That's probably because I'm always at the sandwich shop getting a cupcake. You know the ones... ;-)

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    1. That's one nice boss! And yes, I love a good cupcake from that shop :)

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