Apricot Butter Horns

Apricot Butter Horns

Apricot Butter Horns

These are cookies for the sake of cookies,  cookies for December, cookies for Christmas, or just so I can stand in my kitchen and do something that will result in a mouth-watering morsel of deliciousness.   Lets see how many of these warm, apricot-filled, powdered sugared bites we can fit into our mouths.

The answer for me is 2.5.  That’s how many of these cookies it takes to fill my mouth.  Does that mean I have a big mouth?  I don’t think so, but some people might say “yes”.  So be careful.

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Although I’m making these cookies for Christmas, I’m thinking about other up-coming events, and just general winter-time cookie desires.  These buttery filled cookies fit the bill.  Tender, cardamom-scented, honeyed bites of powdered sugar clouds.  If you’re thinking ahead to Valentine’s Day, these would be lovely with a cherry filling, and I also think a fig filling would be a wonderful accompaniment to the spices used in the cookie dough.  I just talked myself into making them again with a different filling.

I’m throwing down a challenge here…..what kind of filling can you come up with for these cookies?  I want to know.

APRICOT BUTTER HORNS

Yield:   4 dozen

Ingredients:IMG_8718

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup apricot cake and pastry filling
  • powdered sugar
The best flavor comes when you grind the cardamom fresh.

The best flavor comes when you grind the cardamom fresh.

Cardamom seeds are encased in these white papery pods.

Cardamom seeds are encased in these white papery pods.

Grind them with a mortar and pestle.

Grind them with a mortar and pestle.

Directions:

1.  In a large mixer bowl, beat the butter for 30 seconds.  Add the sugar and honey; beat till fluffy.  Beat in the egg.

2.  Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cardamom, nutmeg, and salt.   Add dry ingredients to the beaten mixture, stirring to make a soft dough.

3.  Divide dough into thirds; wrap in waxed paper, or plastic wrap.   Chill dough in refrigerator for at least 3 hours.

4.  When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350*F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

5.  On a well-floured surface roll 1 portion of dough into a 12-inch circle. (keep the remaining dough refrigerated until ready to use.)

Roll dough into a 12-inch circle.

Roll dough into a 12-inch circle.

6.  Spread 1/4 cup apricot filling over dough to within 3/4-inch of the edge.  With a fluted pastry wheel or a sharp knife, cut dough into 16 wedges.

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Roll up each wedge into a crescent.  Place cookies on prepared cookie sheets.

Ready for the oven.

Ready for the oven.

7.  Bake at 350*F. for 12 minutes.

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Cool on a wire rack.  Repeat with remaining dough and filling.  Before serving sprinkle cookies with powdered sugar.

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SOURCE:   Better and Homes and Gardens,  Special Interest Publications,  Christmas, 1996

Just some of my collection of old issues.

Just some of my collection of old issues.

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Decorating Cookies: A Simple Glaze

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When this container appears in my kitchen, it means it’s time to get serious about cookie decorating.  After all, Christmas is only a week away, and the cookies I baked yesterday, must be finished today!

This is how I begin:

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I set up my center island in the kitchen with an old tablecloth, pour myself another cup of coffee, and begin to lay out all the necessary supplies, equipment and other stuff I may or may not use. ( Nice to have it out and handy just in case inspiration strikes.)  It’s time to break out the tools and have some fun.

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If you’re like me you have the cookies all baked, cooled and stored in an airtight container, ready and waiting to be decorated.  This may have been done up to a week ahead.

Next I make the decorative icing.  I used to make royal icing, whipping it up like crazy, covering it with layers of damp paper towels or a cloth towel in an attempt to prevent it from drying out.  I still do make it if I want to get really fancy in my decorating, but for the most part, I get just as much bang for my buck, in a lot less time, with this Simple Cookie Glaze.

Here’s how to make it.   Put the following in a deep mixer bowl:

  • 2  1/4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 1  1/2 to 2 Tbsp. milk, plus 1 teaspoon milk
Ingredients for glaze.

Ingredients for glaze.

Mix together the sugar and corn syrup.  Then add 1  1/2 tablespoons milk, and begin to mix.  As you mix it together you will get a thick, pasty blob forming in the center of the bowl.

Thick blob forms.

Thick blob forms.

Now add 1 more teaspoon milk.  Continue mixing until things begin to smooth out; but it you’re using all your might to draw the whisk (or spoon) through the mixture, or you electric mixer overheats and stops working, (just kidding), you’re allowed to add 1 additional teaspoon milk.

This is what the texture looks like:

Smooth and thinned out.

Smooth and thinned out.

The frosting falls in a ribbon, but disappears back into the pool of frosting in the bowl within a few seconds.

Perfect consistency.

Perfect consistency.

I bring out a few of my re-purposed “to-go” containers with lids.  This glaze can’t be left uncovered for more than a few minutes before it begins to thicken up, dry out, and develop a crust.  So I divide it up into several containers with lids, so that I can tint smaller portions in the colors I plan to use.

Coloring small amount of the glaze.

Coloring small amount of the glaze.

Also, if I know that I will be using this icing again in a day or so, these containers are just right for keeping it moist and ready to go when I need it.  An additional drop or two of milk will loosed it up if it should get a little too thick.

I put some plain glaze in a container, give it a healthy blob of gel paste food coloring, then mix it up.  Dip your cookie into the glaze, or spread it on the cookie with an off-set spatula.  If you want them to be sparkly, sprinkle on some fine decorating sugar, or sprinkles.  If not, just let the glaze dry.  Then you can draw or write on it with food-safe colored pens.  These are great for drawing on faces or accenting details of the cookie mold.

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I like to use squeeze bottles with decorating tips on them to write on cookies or make details.  Just spoon white or colored frosting of choice into the bottle, screw on the cover with tip attached, and gently squeeze the bottle.

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That’s how I made these. Trees with snow on them. Aren’t they cute?

 

With the batch of Swedish Ginger Cookies that I made yesterday, and only 1 batch of the Simple Glaze, I was able to get this variety of cookies.

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It’s easy to make an impressive and colorful assortment of cookies that look like they required more work than they actually did, using this decorating method.

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Now, go……bake,……decorate,……have fun!   🙂

 

Swedish Ginger Cookies ( Pepparkakor)

Swedish Ginger Cookies

Swedish Ginger Cookies

I’m into gingerbread and ginger flavored baked goods in a big way this year.  Don’t know why!   That’s not usually the case in previous years.  But for whatever reason, this year is different and I just can’t get enough ginger-spiced goodness.

This vintage Swedish Ginger Cookie recipe has been in my family for a long time, and I just love to make it.  Besides the fact that the flavor is so perfectly spicy, it makes a LOT of cookies, it can be rolled out thin for cutouts, or rolled into a log, and sliced.  The dough is pliable and handles really well; and you can reroll it at least 3 times without it becoming tough.

Makes lots of cut-out cookies.

Makes lots of cut-out cookies.

The dough is made a little differently than some of the contemporary gingerbread cookie recipes.  Instead of creaming butter and sugar together (like most any cookie recipe), the molasses is heated to boiling, then the butter and sugar are added to it so they melt.  Then you let the mixture cool a little and stir in the egg and dry ingredients.  Really very easy to make. Another reason why I love it;  no need to take out butter to soften up,  you can make these any time you want to with cold, hard butter, because it gets melted.  Hee, Hee!

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It’s recommended that you chill the dough overnight before rolling and cutting so the molasses and butter can firm up, but then you are in for a treat as you work with it.  I love it, but you don’t have to be Swedish to love these cookies.

SWEDISH GINGER COOKIES

Yield:   Makes about 10 dozen small cookies

Ingredients:IMG_8714

  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • 2  1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Directions:

1.  Heat molasses in a small saucepan to boiling.  Allow to boil for 1 minute.   Add sugar and butter and stir until butter is melted.

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2.  Cool, then beat in the egg.

3.  Whisk or sift together the flour, salt, soda and spices.

Mix spices in with the flour.

Mix spices in with the flour.

Add to molasses mixture and mix thoroughly .

4.  Cover bowl tightly and chill overnight.   When ready to bake, divide the dough into 3 portions and work with one portion at a time, keeping the rest chilled.  Preheat oven to 350*F.

5.  On a lightly floured surface or pastry cloth, roll the dough out thin.  Cut into desired shapes.  Place on greased cookie sheets, or use parchment paper to line the baking sheets.

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Bake at 350*F for 6 – 8 minutes.  The shorter baking time will give you a more chewy cookie,  while the longer time will produce a crisp cookie.

6.  This dough may also be shaped into a log (roll) and wrapped in wax paper or plastic wrap.  Chill thoroughly overnight or longer.  Slice thin and bake in moderate oven (350*).

These cookies should be stored in an airtight container to allow flavors to “ripen”.

My post tomorrow will show you how I decorated these cookies with a simple, easy glaze.   Y’all come back!

SOURCE:   old family recipe

 

 

Holiday Cookies

Today I’m going to keep it short and Sweet!

By way of kicking off the cookie baking season I’ve compiled a few of my favorite cookies recipes from here on the blog to give you some inspiration for those marathon baking sessions…..Christmas Cookies!

I’ve been getting my list of “Plan to Bake Cookies” ready, and am about to embark on a baking storm.  I just love to have cookies and treats on hand to give to everyone I see at this time of year.  So as I bake and photograph these new additions, here are a few to keep you going in the meantime.

Coffee Biscotti

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Gingerbread Biscotti Dipped in Chocolate

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Kringla

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Nutella Crackles

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Red Velvet Crinkles

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White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread

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Cocoa Thumbprints

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Stay tuned for some awesome festive treats.   Have a fun time baking!

Chocolate Chip Coconut Mounds

Chocolate Chip Coconut Mounds

Chocolate Chip Coconut Mounds

A bake sale table is always an inviting sight. All those assorted cakes, cookies, pies, breads and bars just begging to be taken home. Everything looks so good they practically sell themselves.

Bake sale items, by definition, are lovingly homemade in the same way as baked goods auctioned off at church suppers, or judged at country fairs.  They are the real deal, no fillers, no ingredients to prolong shelf life, or strange chemicals you can’t pronounce.

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The recipe I have for you today is a bake sale favorite that contains chocolate chips, flaked coconut, and chopped walnuts.  Probably  the chocolate chips alone would be enough to entice most people, but add in the coconut and nuts, and they become chock full of true blue flavor and goodness.IMG_7483

I made these recently to bring to an end of the year picnic event.  They disappeared “quick as a wink”.  Give these chunky cookies a try for your family or the next time you’re asked to bake for a bake sale.  They are really good!!

CHOCOLATE CHIP COCONUT MOUNDS

Yield:  About 2  1/2  dozen cookies

Ingredients:IMG_7472

  • 1  1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons cake flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons ( 1 stick plus 2 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1  1/2 teaspoons hot water
  • 2  1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (lightly packed) sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Directions:

1.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt.

2.  In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter for 2 – 3 minutes on low speed.  Add the light brown sugar and beat for 30 seconds on moderate speed; add the granulated sugar and beat for 30 seconds longer.  Beat in the egg.  Blend in the hot water and vanilla extract.

3.  Add the flour in thirds, mixing well after each addition.  Remove the bowl from the beater, and stir in the coconut, chips and nuts.

Stir in chips, coconut and nuts.

Stir in chips, coconut and nuts.

Chill the dough, covered with plastic wrap, for 30 minutes.  Can leave longer if necessary, up to 48 hours.  No need to bring to room temperature prior to baking.

4.  In advance of baking, preheat the oven to 350*F.  Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Drop dough in mounds of approximately 2 tablespoon size, leaving 1  1/2 inches  between cookies.  A cookie scoop helps to form uniformly sized cookies.

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5.  Bake the cookies for 12 – 14 minutes, or until just set and light golden here and there around the edges and golden in spots on top.  Let the cookies cool on the sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer them to cooling racks, using a wide spatula.  Store the cookies in an airtight container, or pack in food-safe containers or bags for sale.

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A little chewy, a little crunchy, totally good!

A little chewy, a little crunchy, totally good!

 

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SOURCE:  A Country Baking Treasury by Lisa Yockelson, via Chocolatier Magazine

Shortbread Heart Cookies

Shortbread Heart Cookies

Shortbread Heart Cookies

I remember the first time I ever had shortbread cookies.  They were made by a woman from Scotland who was a friend of my mother’s.  I thought they were the most delicious cookies I had ever had.  Tasting strongly of butter, with a texture that was tender and flaky, they simply melted on my tongue.  I have tried on many occasions to duplicate those cookies.  Somehow the ones I turn out fall just shy of the perfection I remember.  Or is it that time has a way of altering our memories just a little?

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Anyway, the recipe I’m sharing with you today is my go-to recipe for shortbread cookies.  I like it because the dough can be made in the processor, thereby eliminating all that stirring and blending of butter with the flour /sugar mixture.  An egg yolk, a little water, and almond or vanilla extract add just enough moisture to hold it all together.  Once chilled it is easy to work with and rolls out easily, so it can be cut into shapes for whatever the occasion may be.  Here, I cut heart shapes, and then to fancy them up for Valentine’s Day I added a strip of raspberry jam and a chocolate drizzle.  Since raspberry and chocolate are a favorite combination, this works very well, and makes an attractive and tasty cookie.

Shortbread  Heart Cookies

Shortbread Heart Cookies

SHORTBREAD CUTOUT COOKIES

YIELD:   Makes about 3 dozen

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup blanched almonds**
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

** If you would prefer to eliminate the almonds, substitute 1/2 cup more flour.

To make cookies that look like mine you will also need:

  • 1/2 cup seedless raspberry preserves
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

1.  In a food processor, combine the flour, almonds, sugar and salt;  cover and process until almonds are finely ground.  Cut butter into cubes; add to processor.  Pulse on and off until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

2.  Combine the egg yolk, water and extract in a small bowl.  With processor running, gradually add yolk mixture; process until dough forms a ball.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

3.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out half of the dough to 1/4-inch thickness.  Cut into desired shapes with floured cookie cutters.  Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets.  Repeat with remaining dough.

Cut into desired shapes

Cut into desired shapes

4.  With the handle of a wooden spoon, or other small cylindrical object, make a depression diagonally across each cookie.

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4a.      Place the raspberry preserves in a microwave safe cup or small bowl, and stir in the cornstarch.  Bring to a boil in the microwave:  about 1 minute.  Stir well and allow to cool.

Fill the indentation in each cookie with a small amount of the raspberry preserves.

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5.  Bake at 325*F.  for 12 – 14 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.  Cool for 1 minute before removing from pans to wire racks to cool.

6.  Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring @ 30-second intervals until melted and smooth.   Drizzle  the melted chocolate over each cookie.  Allow the chocolate to harden before storing in an air-tight container.

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SOURCE:  Adapted from Taste of Home

Here are some more Valentine’s Day cookies that have been featured previously in this space.

Sandwiches Sweet and Pink

Pecan Sour Cream Sandies

Speculoos Buttons

Speculoos Buttons

Speculoos Buttons

Speculoos, or Speculatius, are lightly spiced little cookies that are often made with a special rolling pin, that imprints a design on the cookie.  In this version the dough is formed into a log, then sliced; thus making them small and round like a button.  To keep this idea going I put only a small round disc of frosting on the top of each one and sprinkled colored sugar or pearls on it.  These cookies are quite small and dainty, with their edges sparkling with sugar, and the dab of frosting on top, each one is just a quick little bite of deliciousness.

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I modified the original recipe to include a more elaborate mix of spices that make a nice blend with the light brown sugar and mild-flavored light molasses.  You might wish to make these little gems somewhat larger than I did, if you wish to decorate the top surface with piping or add more colored sugar.

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SPECULOOS BUTTONS

Yield:  About 8  dozen cookies

Ingredients:

A nice blend of spices give these cookies their yummy flavor.

A nice blend of spices give these cookies their yummy flavor.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. ground mace
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup (1-stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. mild-flavored (light) molasses
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 egg white
  • sanding, or other decorative sugar

    Decorative sugars to roll the logs in.

    Decorative sugars to roll the logs in.

Glaze:

  • 1  1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • sprinkles, colored sanding sugar, or dragées

Directions:

1.  Whisk the dry ingredients (flour through salt) in a medium bowl; set aside.  Using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat butter in a medium bowl until smooth, about 2 minutes.  Add both sugars and molasses; continue to beat until mixture is smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes.  Beat in egg and vanilla, mix for 2 minutes.  Reduce speed to low;  add dry ingredients and mix to blend well.

2.  Scrape dough from bowl and divide into thirds.  Using your palms, roll each piece of dough into an 8″ log.  Wrap logs tightly in plastic or parchment paper and freeze for at least 3 hours.

Roll the dough into 3 logs, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze.

Roll the dough into 3 logs, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze.

I left mine overnight before baking.  For neater edges, remove logs from freezer after 1 hour and roll on counter.   Do Ahead:  These cookies can be made up to 2 months ahead. Keep frozen until ready to bake.

3.  Preheat oven to 375*F.  Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

4.  Whisk egg white in a small bowl to loosen, lightly brush all over 1 log.  Sprinkle with (or roll in) sanding sugar.  Using a long slender knife, slice off a sliver of dough from each end of log to make ends flat. Cut log into 1/4″-thick rounds.  Transfer to baking sheet, spacing 1/2″ apart;  place in freezer while you cut the next log.  (The cookies hold their shape better if you bake when dough is cold.)  Repeat with remaining dough.

Slice the logs into "coins" before baking.

Slice the logs into “coins” before baking.

5.  Bake the cookies for 11 – 13 minutes, until tops are golden brown and centers are almost firm.  Transfer cookies to wire racks and let cool.  Repeat with all of the baking sheets.  Do Ahead:  Cookies may be baked up to 2 days before glazing.  Store airtight at room temperature.

6.  Glaze:  Mix powdered sugar and 1 – 2 teaspoons cold water in a medium mixing bowl.  Add more water a little at a time if needed.  Glaze should be quite thick.  You may spoon about 1/2 tsp. glaze onto each button, or fill a resealable plastic bag with glaze and cut a small hole in 1 corner, and pipe an even circle onto the cookies.  Decorate with sprinkles, colored sugar, or dragées, if desired.

Decorate each cookie with a little glaze and some colored sugar.

Decorate each cookie with a little glaze and some colored sugar.

Let stand on rack at room temperature for at least 30 minutes for glaze to set.  Cookies may be stored at room temperature in a tightly sealed container.

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SOURCE:   Slightly modified recipe from Dorie Greenspan, via Bon Appetit.com

Cocoa Thumbprints

Cocoa Thumbprints

Cocoa Thumbprints

Today, because I don’t already have enough browned, crisp, sugary, buttery thoughts swirling around in my head, I’m going to talk about chocolate, thumbprints, white sugar, sprinkles and all sorts of other decorative garnishes.  So just let me get suited up in my mask, and super-woman cape and gallop into my kitchen with a sense of urgency.  Not so fast, time, I’m coming, I’m coming. Wait for meeee…….

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Something would be noticeably absent if I didn’t include a chocolate cookie in my gifts and platter of Christmas cookies.  I have too many such recipes to count, but if you’ll remember I’m trying to keep my cookie choices to ones that are simple to make, yet have great texture and outstanding flavor.  So this great recipe got my vote this year.  At this point, I’ve made them and we’ve eaten a few, and I can say for certain they get a “standing ovation”.  You can mix them up by hand, no electric mixer to get out, butter is melted so you don’t have to take it out in advance to soften, and once they come out of the oven they are finished and ready to eat.  If you’re in a hurry, these are perfect!

Thumbprints are easy to make and traditionally filled with jam, but these are much more fun.  Even though the cookies are all the same, they look different due to the variety of garnishes I used in the centers.  Try chocolate kisses, crushed candy canes or a dollop of frosting.  Colored sprinkles, mini marshmallows,  M&M’s, or dried fruit would work out nicely as well.  Let your imagine go wild, use what ever you have on hand.  They will be delicious no matter how you decorate them.

COCOA THUMBPRINTS

Yield:    Makes about 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

Dutch process cocoas makes a nice dark cookie.

Dutch process cocoa makes a nice dark cookie.

  • 1  1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 1/2 cup for rolling
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • various decorative sprinkles, nuts, mini marshmallow, candies etc. for filling

Directions:

1.  Whisk the flour, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, the cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.  Add the melted butter and eggs and stir until combined.  Cover and refrigerate the dough until firm, about 30 minutes to 1 hour.  If you’re really in a hurry I think you could shape these without chilling, but the cookies may spread more while baking.

2.  Preheat the oven to 325*F.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.  Place the confectioners’ sugar and the remaining granulated sugar into 2 separate small bowls.  Roll scant tablespoonfuls of dough into balls;  roll in the granulated sugar and then in the confectioners’ sugar.

Roll first in regular sugar, then in powdered sugar.

Roll first in regular sugar, then in powdered sugar.

Place 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets.  Lightly flatten each ball with your fingers and make a deep 1/2-inch wide indentation in the centers with your thumb.  (TIP:  use a cork to make perfect indentations, taking care not to press all the way to the bottom of the cookie.)

3.  Place your choice of filling in the indentations.

Red and green glacée cherries fill these cookies.

Red and green glacée cherries fill these cookies.

4.  Bake cookies until puffed and slightly cracked, about 10 minutes.  Let cool 3 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

Cocoa Thumbprints with various fillings.

Cocoa Thumbprints with various fillings.

SOURCE:   Food Network Magazine, Dec. 2011

Oatmeal Ginger Cream Cookies

Oatmeal Ginger Cream Cookies

Oatmeal Ginger Cream Cookies

These large sandwich cookies made their way onto my cookies-to-give list.  The moist filling and the soft oatmeal cookie are both delicious separately, but when you put them together they become sublime.  I chose to include them in my cookie collection this year because they are BIG, not some little dainty cookie that’s gone in two bites.  (Although I love those, too!)  I think guys will really like them because they’re “manly”.

These are generously sized cookies, with a cream cheese filling that has bits of crystalized ginger in it.  (Did you notice what happened there?  I found another way to sneak in some ginger. :P)  The cookie part is a nice soft, oatmeal that’s got lots of spices in it.  The oats are toasted in the oven before incorporating them into the batter, making them crispier and toasting the oats also brings out their nutty flavor.  When two oatmeal cookies are sandwiched together with the ginger cream filling the flavors fuse and compliment each other so well.  Mr. D. described them as YUMMO!!IMG_5676

The recipe expects you to get 12 cookies, but I must have made mine a little smaller, because I got 15 sandwich cookies, and they were plenty big for my taste.  They are not low in calories, but I tried to reduce the fat and calories somewhat by using low-fat cream cheese.  These are definitely cookies that guys will like.

Without the filling these are still very good oatmeal cookies, and I think the addition of raisins in that case would really enhance them.

OATMEAL GINGER CREAM COOKIES

Yield:  Makes 12-15 sandwich cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1  1/2 cups rolled oats

    These cookies are nicely spiced.

    These cookies are nicely spiced.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 stick butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • Ginger Cream  (recipe follows)

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.  Position racks in the top and bottom levels of the oven.  On a baking sheet, bake oats on the top rack, shaking the pan intermittently to prevent burning, until lightly browned, 10 minutes.  Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool, leaving oven on.

Begin by toasting the oats on a baking sheet.

Begin by toasting the oats on a baking sheet.

2.  Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt.  In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy….

Cream butter, sugars and egg.

Cream butter, sugars and egg.

Beat in the egg.  Add the flour mixture, beating until just combined.  Stir in the toasted oats.

This is a thick dough.

This is a thick dough.

3.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Roll dough ( about 2 tablespoons/cookie), into balls, or use a #30 (1-ounce) ice cream scoop.  For each baking sheet, drop 12 balls 2 inches apart.  With dampened hands, flatten each ball to 1/2-inch thickness.

Flatten dough balls prior to baking.

Flatten dough balls prior to baking.

Using the bottom and top racks, bake until cookies are lightly browned around the edges and set, 12 minutes, switching the baking sheets from top to bottom and rotating them from front to back halfway through baking.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes on baking sheets, then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

After baking, browned but not crispy.

After baking, browned but not crispy.

4.  Frost the bottoms of 12 cookies with Ginger Cream, then top with the remaining 12 cookies.

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For Ginger Cream:IMG_5670

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature (low-fat cream cheese is OK)
  • 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger

In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth.  Beat in the ginger.

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SOURCE:  The Beekman Boys via Country Living Magazine