Posts Tagged ‘Cookies’
As I surveyed our pantry, I realized that although we just went grocery shopping we did not have much by way of snacks. I decided to make sugar cookies with the kids and we had a blast. I absolutely love the way the kids wear flour and powdered sugar and don’t bother trying to hide the fact that they are sneaking sugar cookie upon sugar cookie as soon as they hit the plate.
This is the sugar cookie recipe that my mom has used since my sister and I were little girls. It is just the perfect flavor. We make these cookies every year for Christmas but this is the first time I have made them for another holiday.
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla
1 t. cream of tartar
1 cup margarine, softened
1/2 t. almond extract
2 1/2 cup flour
1 t. baking soda
Mix powdered sugar, margarine, vanilla, almond extract, and egg. Stir in the remaining ingredients. I usually start with my Kitchenaid mixer and then finish mixing the dough by hand. Cover and refrigerate for at least three hours. When it comes out of the refrigerator, it may seem crumbly. Mix it up and knead the dough by hand. Roll out on a lightly floured surface (or my favorite Pampered Chef pastry mat!) and cut with cookie cutters.
Bake on a lightly greased cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 7-8 minutes. The longer they cook, the crispier they will be. Cool on a baking rack.
Once completely cool, frost with your favorite frosting.
I usually use a buttercream frosting, but this time I used a powdered sugar frosting.
2 cups powdered sugar
2 T. vanilla
2 T. milk
food coloring if desired
Mix the vanilla and milk and add powdered sugar. Continue to mix until it is almost a pourable consistency but not quite.
I also made a chocolate powdered sugar recipe. Following the above directions, I just added 2 T. of cocoa powder to the powdered sugar before combining with the liquid. Next time, I will probably not add the vanilla or only add about 1/2 teaspoon. I felt like the frosting was much overpowered by the vanilla. The kids don’t have a problem with it though!
Once you cover the cookies with frosting (it will be messy!!), allow to dry for at least an hour.
Swiss Meringue cookies make a sweet delicate Valentine’s treat. For these cookies, I used Martha Stewart’s Swiss Meringue recipe.
4 large egg whites
2 cups of sugar
2 pinches cream of tartar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Using a double boiler, combine egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar whisking constantly until the sugar is dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch (you don’t need to boil it). Transfer ingredients to mixer and beat with the whisk attachment. Begin beating on a low setting and eventually increase speed.
Beat for about ten minutes or until stiff peaks form.
The egg mixture should stay at a peak when you lift the whisk attachment.
Add in the vanilla and food coloring.
Drop or pipe on to a parchment covered cookie sheet. Bake at 175 degrees for 2 hours or until they lift off of the parchment easily.
Aren’t these a sweet treat for your favorite Valentine? I made mine a light shade of pink and I also made this chocolate meringue recipe, too.
Here is my last cookie post for a while…I promise! I figured I should probably share with you one of the recipes I made for my 1st Annual Cookie Exchange! I tried something that I have never made before (which is ALWAYS scary when you are preparing for a party). I highly recommend testing new recipes PRIOR to the time you are going to make them to share with people. Who knows, these could have turned out to be more like Messy Brown Chips instead of Macadamia Brittle Cookies.
Luckily for me, they turned out exactly as they should have. At least they tasted great to me! They are a definite toss back to the great taste of pralines. This cookie has many different layers of taste. You first get a taste of crunchy butter cookie, but then as the praline mixture starts to dissolve in your mouth it has the fantastic vibrancy of the macadamia nuts…true Hawaiian delicacies. The after taste, I cannot quite pin down, put it is pretty darn great too. I would not rate this as one of my favorite cookies ever or anything, but it is rare to find a treat with such fanciful layers. A wonderful addition to a holiday party!
Macadamia Brittle Cookies
- 8 ounces coarsely chopped, toasted macadamia nuts
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels, melted in microwave or double boiler
- In a heavy saucepan, cook sugar over moderate heat: shake the saucepan 2 or 3 times until the sugar melts, then cook without stirring until the sugar becomes caramel colored. Remove from heat and add ½ cup of macadamia nuts. Pour the praline nut mixture onto a cookie sheet covered with wax paper and let cool completely.
- Grease 2 cookie sheets. Break apart praline mixture and grind in a food processor. Add the remaining toasted macadamia nuts and continue grinding until medium fine.
- In a large bowl of an electric mixture, cream together butter and confectioners’ sugar on medium speed. Add flour and praline mixture and combine until well blended.
- Roll tablespoonfuls of dough into 2 ½ inch logs. Arrange them 1 inch apart on cookie sheets and flatten each log slightly. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly colored.
- Let cookies cool in pan for 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. When cool, dip in melted chocolate and let cool on wax paper.
Here is yummy recipe #2 from my first annual cookie exchange. I think it is a fairly well known cookie. Chocolate crinkles are basically a brownie mixture that you chill for HOURS. After waiting and waiting and waiting, you take the dough out of the fridge, roll it into balls and coat it with powdered sugar before baking. It is totally worth the wait. This was the other cookie from the exchange that was gone the first day I had them. So yummy and addictive! Thanks H.B. for contributing!.Chocolate Crinkles
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- In a medium bowl, mix together cocoa, white sugar, and vegetable oil. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the cocoa mixture. Cover dough, and chill for at least 4 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough into one inch balls. Coat each ball in confectioners’ sugar before placing onto prepared cookie sheets.
- Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Let stand on the cookie sheet for a minute before transferring to wire racks to cool.
These cookies have a wonderful cracked texture with the powdered sugar. They will add beauty and taste to any holiday place setting!
My family is famous for cookie swaps. I think Jennifer is on her 8th? year of hosting her annual cookie exchange. Down South they are serious and take cookie swapping to a whole new level. It has evolved into it’s own living breathing cookie creature. The first year a couple of us got together to bake cookies. I think by year two we already decided that was too much work and we would just bring cookies to share. Then some people started packaging stuff a little more cute than usual and then she started having prizes for who’s was the most creative. Of course, the gauntlet had been thrown down! Now people plan months in advance for the best tasting cookie, most clever packaging and tackiest Christmas sweater (everyone decided they had to compete with mom’s sweaters) :o). Those are only a few of the highlights too! There is a gift exchange and more! It is a great time for friends to get together, share great recipes and eat good food. Unfortunately, I moved away a year and a half ago and this was my second year missing the cookie party. They gave me the option last year to send my cookies in to compete, but there was just too much going on!
This year I decided it was high time I continue the tradition on my own and I threw my first Christmas Cookie Swap. It was planned a little on the fly so I didn’t have time to incorporate all the things I wanted to, but there is always next year! I had a great turn out and there were AWESOME cookies. I love any excuse to hang out with my neighborhood ladies and today was no exception. A few of the highlights of my party:
- 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place for most creative packaging/beautiful cookies (this was included in the invite) and because we all have a great sense of humor, a prize for “maybe next year!”
- Each guest brought 4 – 6 cookies per person attending pre-packaged for easy “grab and go” as well as enough printed recipes for each guest to take home with them (I made it clear if people did not RSVP by a certain date they would not be able to attend and emailed the number of guests out a few days before)
- Guests were also encouraged to bring their “leftovers” on a tray for the ladies to snack on during the party
I had a small amount of meats, cheese, olives, and crackers to snack on as well as mimosas, coffee, wine, etc.
Things I will be prepared for next year:
Cute name tags, probably designed to look like recipe cards
A “theme” such as tacky sweater or maybe even holiday cocktail…we all have those dresses we have to wear to holiday parties, why not get an extra use out of them!
Next year I will probably switch and do it late on a Sunday afternoon like they do back home; I just think it would be easier
I am so blessed with so many amazing friends. I love my neighborhood and I am so thankful I have these woman to support me and my family in the good times and the not so good times. Thank you everyone for helping me make my Christmas even more special this year!
I am including some of my favorite pictures from the party and it was so hard to choose! I plan, it time allows, to post my favorite three recipes over the next week or so. There were so many fantastic cookies!
It is holiday cooking baking time!! These “patties” are easy to make, don’t actually require any baking, and little people can help out! They lend themselves particularly well to cookie exchanges … easy, fun & fancy looking, and package well!! Just be sure that you label them as “containing peanut butter” for anyone that might have nut sensitivities/allergies.
2 boxes Ritz crackers
l large jar Peanut butter, creamy or chunky
2 large packages Chocolate melts/bark
Makes: A whole bunch!! (more than 100 sandwiches – but I lost count after making what I needed for the cookie exchange)
Spread peanut butter on the inside of a cracker; put a top on it to make a little sandwich
Heat chocolate melts/bark in the microwave until smooth (check after 1 minute). If the chocolate is not thin enough for coating purposes, melt a bit of shortening and mix in well (do NOT use milk or water).
Using tongs, dip each sandwich in the melted chocolate mixture. Let excess drip off and place on cookie sheet lined with parchment or waxed paper.
Decorate before chocolate has a chance to set (I usually add the decoration/sprinkles after dipping 4-6 sandwiches). Can set up quickly by placing cookie sheet in the refrigerator.
Store in an airtight container.
Update: The Pioneer Woman , one of our very favorite bloggers, is sponsoring a holiday give-away.
I’m thinking this might be like the new printer Marissa was posting about on FB the other night!! All you have to do is go to the Tasty Kitchen section of her blog and post your favorite holiday dish — since this cookie is a family favorite I’m going with this recipe!
Every year at this time, our mom would break out her Molasses Sugar Cookie recipe and would start rolling those balls out, coating them in sugar and baking them to that perfect finish where they have just enough crunch but are soft and chewy at the same time.
I have a little secret to admit…somehow in the ten years I have been married and on my own (immediately after college), I haven’t made these cookies once. Not once. It isn’t like I haven’t wanted them every holiday it is just that every time I head over to my mom’s or my sister’s they have already made the cookies and I go home with a bag full! This year, though, I got to send my mom home with a bag of cookies!
These are the perfect cookies for a cookie swap or to put out for Santa!
Molasses Sugar Cookies
Melt 3/4c shortening in large bowl (microwave). Cool. Add 1 cup sugar, 1/4c molasses and 1 egg. Beat well. Add 2t baking soda, 2c flour, 1t ground cloves, 1t cinnamon, 1/2t ginger, 1/2t salt.
Form into 1 inch balls and roll in granulated sugar.
Place on greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 375 for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on a rack.
Hello blog world! Yes, we are still alive over here at Threaded Together! Between family trips, work trips, Halloween, and more, we are keeping busy doing all sorts of things that have kept us away from craft posting for a little while. We’ll try and get back on the blogging wagon though, especially as the holidays approach!
Yesterday we celebrated my son’s 9th birthday! I know, I am getting so old! For his birthday we decided to play it low key this year and just had a group of boys (12 to be exact) come over to hang out at the house. We ate pizza, watched movies, colored, and snacked on chips, cookies, and cupcakes. They DEVOURED the four pizzas and two boxes of wings I ordered and there were only 3 of 24 cookies leftover at the end.
We did not have any a cake at this party. My son does NOT like cake. I know, right? Clearly he is not my son, but I’ll have to figure that one out another day… Instead of cake I made him his favorite type of cookie, sugar cookies, and decorated them to look like Pikachu from the Pokémon card trading game. Go figure, he didn’t like the cookies either. Apparently I didn’t make the right KIND of sugar cookies. Don’t let this lead you to believe the cookies didn’t taste good. They were awesome. My kid just has issues :).
Instead of walk you through how I did it, check out this great post on Snack or Die. Apparently, knowledge of this website is a necessity if you have a boy ranging from age 5 to 15 who likes to play video games! They have cupcakes, cookies, and more, all decorated to look like characters and worlds from video games and shows. Super cool.
I followed their tutorial exactly, all the way down to the fact that I had to cut the cheeks and chin off of my bunny shaped cookies to round out the faces. My differences: for cheeks I used red-hots, chocolate morsels for the ears and eyes, and fruit by the foot pieces for the mouth. I also just used regular butter cream icing spread over them.
This is it! Today is the day! 30 Days and 30 Bites has come to an end! I have made it through heaps of chocolate, fondant, fruits, FLOUR and more…and I am still standing and still married to my amazing husband :). I cannot express to you how glad I am that it is over! I am so happy I chose a THIRTY day challenge, and not a 365 day challenge. I give major kudos to Julia for making it through that cookbook in a year! I thoroughly loved this walk down the baking path, but I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. The last thing I want to look at for at least a week is SUGAR. I don’t want to smell it, see it, eat it, feel it…I may even bring what I have left to my neighbors so it is out of the house!
When I started this challenge I thought it would be a good idea to keep track of the volumes of the various items that it took me to make it through the 30 days of baking. This was a bit of a let down actually. I definitely went through several bags of powdered sugar (all that icing!) and there is a good dent in my Sam’s Club size vanilla extract bottle. Other than that though, the amounts of things were not that impressive. I may have used 10 lbs of flour and five of sugar. Definitely half a (big) bag of brown sugar. I didn’t even use more than one or two cake boxes though. What a let down! I did, however, buy all sorts of things I never thought I would. For instance, almond paste, which took forever to find and looks like a refrigerated sausage. This just goes to show though, baking can certainly be done on a budget. For the most part, if you do any baking at all, you are probably going to have most of the materials on hand. And let me tell you, Chips Ahoy ain’t got nuthin on my chocolate chip cookies! I would much rather bake fresh goods than buy them packaged, any day!
I would like to thank my husband, who not only encouraged this baking bonanza, but also gave his honest opinion. Thank you sweetheart, for always eating the ugly cookies and cupcakes so I could save the pretty ones to give to our friends. You are the best!
So, a few things I learned: there is no such thing as too much vanilla; washing the stuff it takes to bake every day is really annoying; chocolate is God’s gift to mankind; my husband really will eat anything; sometimes simpler is better; sometimes better requires A LOT of work; I have a long way to go before opening that bakery!
So what am I going to do now? I thought about 30 Days of Diet, but to be honest I actually lost 4 pounds this month. I certainly had my days where I pigged out on that daily concoction, but for the most part I was so good about only eating one of what I made. Let me tell you, it was rough at first, but you already know how I feel about sugar now! I really do know why bakers can be thin…you really get to the point where you just can’t eat anything made with flour and sugar anymore!
Needless to say, I am taking a break from the kitchen. I have a few things (like those mango muffins) that I have the supplies for, so I need to bake them! I think I’ll enjoy it even more now without the pressure of having to write about it each night! I only missed one day out of 30, and that was day 15. I figure I deserved a break at the halfway point.
Of course, now on to the topic of tonight’s post…
I was trying to be so clever for my big finale. First I thought I would do some enormous topsy turvy cake. I decided I didn’t have it in me. I’ve tried that once before and the results weren’t pretty. Then I thought I would do something that required NO baking. Alas, I did not feel like making cheesecake (I just ate a friend’s 2 days ago) or no bake Krispies cookies. I finally just decided that I would delve into my allrecipes.com recipe box and find something I have been wanting to do for a while and haven’t. The final decision: Magic Peanut Butter Middles.
These required a little bit of extra work. As I have shown in the picture, you form the middles of a peanut butter mixture and then wrap them with a chocolate mixture. Everyone’s comments on the site were about different ways to make this work. You can try one or all of them, but in the end, it is all about what you feel comfortable doing.
The cookies received rave reviews after we brought them to a friend’s house this evening for game night. I definitely think I prefer the peanut butter cup cakes I made on day two of 30D30B. Those took a lot less work for something that tasted just as great, if not better.
I hope you have all enjoyed 30D30B. I know I have! Thanks to you for reading and thanks to my neighbors for allowing me to invade your houses with baked goods this month!