Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘cookies’ Category

As much as I love over-the-top desserts, I also love cookies or treats that have very few ingredients but pack a big punch.  The other night I was feeling like shortbread.  Something about the crunchy and butter cookies was calling to me.  I have always thought that shortbread was something that you couldn’t really get wrong, but trust me on this – YOU CAN.  It can taste like flour or it can not bake up evenly, leaving you with a chewy center.  None of those things will happen with this incredibly easy recipe.  I have made it twice in the last three days (and yes – I did figure out the weight watcher’s points, and no – I did NOT eat them all myself.)  What are workplaces for if not to welcome your weeknight baked goods with open arms!?

These shortbread cookies have three main ingredients.  That’s right – just three – most of which you should have in your kitchen right now.  Unless, unlike me, you remembered to bring your 8 pounds of butter to your holiday baking day and didn’t leave them at home necessitating the purchase of 8 more pounds of butter – I have been on unsalted butter overload.  If you are feeling like taking things up a notch, you can even dip them in dark or semi-sweet chocolate like I did.  SO GOOD!

In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream together 1 pound butter and 1 cup brown sugar.

Mix until light and fluffy – about 3 minutes.

With the mixer on slow, add in 3 1/2 cups of your flour, making sure not to add it too quickly and spray it all over your counter – like me.

When it seems like the dough is no longer accepting flour, dump the remaining flour on a smooth surface and plop ( couldn’t think of a better word) the dough on top.  Kneed in the remaining flour until you have a smooth dough.  It may seem slightly sticky, but don’t worry – it will roll out perfectly.

Roll out the dough to 1/2 inch thickness.  Try your best to get it in a semi-rectangle shape so that it makes cutting out the cookies easier.

Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, trim off the edges so you are left with a big even rectangle.  Slice the cookies into cute even little squares and using a spatula, transfer them to a cookie sheet.

Take a fork and make fork pokes in the cookies.  Bake @ 325 for 20-25 minutes.  The larger your cookies are, the longer they will take to work.  My 2″ by 1 1/2″ cookies took 23 minutes.  They will be golden brown and look like little blond pillows.

You can transfer them to a cooling rack now or later – it doesn’t matter either way!  Repeat with the remaining dough:  roll, shape into a rectangle, cut cookies, transfer and bake.

Once the cookies are completely cool, melt the chocolate in the microwave, setting out 1/3 of the chocolate to mix into the melted chocolate once it is melted.  This will help with the tempering.

Dip the cookies one by one until they are covered by chocolate on one side.  Place on a silicone mat or parchment paper to set.  (I went one step further and sprinkled a little sea salt over the chocolate just before it cooled).

When you bite into these cookies, you taste the richness of the butter, the slight sweet of the chocolate, and the tang of the salt.  The bonus is, you probably have all the ingredients on hand right now!  Go make them!

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

snickerdoodles

It is ABOUT time. I named this blog Snickerdoodle Baby because that is our nickname for our little girl – along with stinky bum, princess snicklefritz, baby bunny, and many more.  New to this whole blog thing, I didn’t realize how many times my blog would show up in google searches for those actually searching for Snickerdoodles!  So, I decided it was about time to make some and I found a recipe on allrecipes that looked perfect!  Enter Mrs. Sigg’s Snickerdoodles!  I made these specific ones almost entirely due to the name – makes me want to meet Mrs. Sigg.  These cookies are incredibly easy, delicious, and appropriately sweet, spicy, AND old-fashioned.

Cream together the butter, shortening, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cream of tarter, soda and salt.  Am I the only one who has ever wandered what on earth cream of tartar really is?  It is like the mystery spice – if it really even IS a spice.  So, like any good blogger, I looked into it!  What I found is kind of disturbing.  It is not a spice at all, but rather potassium hydrogen tartrate.  REALLY makes you want to cook with it, doesn’t it?  Actually, it is created on the inside of wine barrels during the fermentation process.  Yum.  Like baking powder, it doesn’t do anything in its dry form, but reacts in the mixing bowl or oven as a stabilizing agent.

Add your dry ingredients to the creamed butter/sugar mixture.

Mix until combined!

In a separate small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon and set aside – it will be the coating for your cookies.  Set aside and roll your dough into perfect little balls using a small cookie scoop.  I used to do a couple at a time, roll them and then set them on the sheet.  What I’ve found is easier, is to roll all the dough at once, setting the balls on a sheet of waxed paper.  That way, when your hands get all cinnamon-sugary, you won’t have to dip them into the dough bowl again.

Roll your dough balls – that just sounds kind of funny – in the sugar/cinnamon.  One tip, roll each ball separately.  If you attempt to roll more than one, you will primarily coat the cookies in cinnamon.  You can see in the baked cookies that the darker ones received proportionately more cinnamon on the coating than sugar.  If you roll one by one, you get a more even cinnamon/sugar coating.  (Can you believe I actually just wrote four sentences about how to roll a cookie in cinnamon and sugar?)  Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes.

ENJOY!!!


Mrs. Sigg’s Snickerdoodles
adapted from allrecipes

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons white sugar
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Cream together first 5 ingredients until light and fluffy.  With the mixer on low speed, stir in the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt until completely combined.  Form the dough into balls and place on a piece of waxed paper.  In a separate shallow bowl or plate, combine the sugar and cinnamon.  Roll each cookie individually in the sugar and cinnamon and place on a baking sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Transfer immediately to a wire cooling rack and try to keep yourself from eating them all!

Read Full Post »

There is this cookie that has been associated with holidays in my family forever.  I can’t remember a Christmas when my mom didn’t make what she referred to as “Girl Scout Cookies.”  The crazy thing is, there is nothing about these cookies that even closely resembles what we know now of as Girl Scout Cookies.  The original recipe is from my Great Grandma, Grandma J., and I have seen iterations of it on the web all talking about how old it is.  Maybe it is one of those recipes, like jello-cottage-cheese-canned fruit salad, that everyone’s great grandma has in her recipe book. (does anyone really like that salad?  I think mine added walnuts AND mini marshmallows – YUM!)

I decided to update these a little for the holidays by switching out the raisins for cranberries and adding orange zest.  A fun new twist on an old favorite.

First, mix together 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup shortening, and 1 cup sugar.  (the original recipe called for all shortening or all margarine, but I just couldn’t do it.)

Next, add in 2 eggs, 2 T milk, 1 t vanilla, and 1/2 t almond extract.  The best thing about these cookies is the almond!

In a separate bowl, combine 2 1/2  cups flour, 2 T baking powder, and 1 t salt.  Add to the wet ingredients all at once and mix until just combined.  The dough will be pretty sticky and rolls out best when chilled for 1-2 hours.

While the dough is chilling, take a medium saucepan and combine 2 T flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water, the zest of a medium orange, and 1 cup chopped craisins.  Bring to a boil and cook 1 minute or until thick.  All you have to do now is keep yourself from eating it all while you wait for the cookie dough.  (see those flecks of orange zest below?  PURE MAGIC!)

When the dough has firmed up a bit, roll out 1/4 of the dough on a flat surface with a pretty good amount of flour.  I think I used around 1/4-1/2 cup for the entire bowl of dough.  You want it to retain it’s soft texture but you also have to be able to get the dough onto the cookie sheet.  (Continue to add additional dough as you roll out more cookies…you will probably need more flour…these cookies seem to soak it up.)

Using a circle cookie cutter (or any other nesting set of cookie cutters that comes with multiple sizes), cut out your bottom pieces.  Place 1 T of filling in the center of your cookie base and cover with another circle that has the center cut out, leaving space for the filling to show through.  These gingerbread men would up the holiday ante a little bit.  (not quite sure what happened to the pour cookie on the left…I think I was trying to pat down the top a bit too hard.  There is not really a need to do that – they will adhere on their own while baking.)


Bake @ 375 for 8-10 minutes.  Let cool on the cookie sheet for 1 minute and transfer to a cooling rack to until completely cool.  You can top each cookie with a drizzle of powdered sugar, orange juice, almond and vanilla extracts like I did, or leave plain – they are wonderful either way.  (storage tip – make sure to separate each layer of cookies with wax paper or parchment.  The cranberries will make the layers stick together if stacked on top of one another.)  These cookies are so unique and delicious!  I hope you family enjoys them as much as mine!  Merry Christmas and welcome to our family tradition!

Cranberry Filled Sugar Cookies

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 T milk
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. almond extract
2 1/2 cup flour (plus more for rolling)
2 t. baking powder
1 t salt

Filling: 2 T flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water, zest of 1 orange, 1 cup cranberries (chopped.)

Cream together the butter, shortening, and sugar. Add to it the eggs, milk, and extracts.  Mix until completely incorporated.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking powder.  Add all at once to the sugar/butter mixture and stir until combined.  Chill 1-2 hours.  Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine filling ingredients and bring to a boil.  Cook 1 minute or until thick and set aside.

Once cookies are chilled and dough is malleable, roll out on a flat surface and use nesting cookie cutters to cut out a top and bottom.  Place 1 T of the filling on top of each bottom cookie, covering it with the top cookie.  Bake @ 375 for 8-10 minutes.  Allow to cool on the cookie sheet 1 minute and then transfer to a cooling rack until completely cool!

alternate drizzle:  combine 1 1/2-2 cups powdered sugar, 2-3 T orange juice, 1/2 t vanilla, and 1/4 t almond extract.  You want it to drizzle and not frost the cookies.

What is your favorite family cookie recipe?  Do you have a version of these cookies running around your family cookbook?

Happy Baking!

Read Full Post »