Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cookie Making Recipe Swap

Let the baking begin!

Each year the kids and I make an assortment of holiday treats and it's always loads of fun and a big mess. Flour and sugar everywhere and lots of sugary smiles. Each year we make classic cut outs and a variety of other cookies that have become family favorites. One of our favorites are Kris Kringle's which are basically a fancier version of the classic and all time favorite chocolate chip cookie! So simple...but so good. Do you have a favorite family cookie recipe that you make every year? I thought it would be great fun to share some recipes. If you have an awesome cookie recipe you would love to share email me the recipe and I will be happy to share it with everyone. What a great way share and inspire others with some delicious new recipes. Here are a few of our family favorites to get things started.

Kris Kringles

what you need

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup  granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2-1/4 cups  flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp.  salt
2 pkg. (6 squares each) BAKER'S White Chocolate, chopped
2 cups dried cranberries
make it

HEAT oven to 375ºF.

BEAT butter and sugars in large bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Add flour, baking soda and salt; mix well. Stir in chocolate, nuts and cranberries.

DROP rounded tablespoonfuls of dough, 1-1/2 inches apart, onto baking sheets.

BAKE 9 to 11 min. or until lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets 3 min.; remove to wire racks. Cool completely.

what you need
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoon cinnamon

make it
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Mix butter, sugar, eggs thoroughly. Blend in flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt.
Shape dough by rounded teaspoonfuls into balls. Mix 2 Tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon in a small bowl.
Roll balls into mixture.
Place balls 2" apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until set.
Remove immediately from baking sheet.

Lemon Whippersnappers

what you need

  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package lemon cake mix
  • 2 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

make it

  1. In a large bowl combine cake mix, whipped topping and egg; mix until well combined. Chill the dough several hours or overnight (or freeze dough wrapped in plastic).
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  3. Form tablespoons of dough into one inch balls and roll them in the confectioners' sugar. Place the cookies on greased or parchment lined cookie sheet a couple inches apart.
  4. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until cookies are set, but not browned. Cool on wire rack.

Butter Pecan Cookies

Caroline's recipe

what you need

  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at
      room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

make it

In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla. Using an electric mixer, beat the mixture on medium speed until it is smooth. Turn off the mixer a few times so you can scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the flour and nuts. Continue mixing until the dough looks like moist pebbles, then turn off the mixer.

Gently squeeze the dough together with your hands. When the dough comes together in a mass, place it on a large piece of plastic wrap. Using your hands, shape it into a log 10 inches long and about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap the log in the plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours.

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line 3 baking sheets with aluminum foil.

Unwrap the dough and place it on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut the log into slices 1/4 inch thick. Arrange the slices about 1 inch apart on the foil-lined baking sheets. 

Place 1 baking sheet in the oven and bake the cookies until their edges are golden brown, 14 to 16 minutes. Using oven mitts, remove the baking sheet from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the second and then the third baking sheets.

Lift the cooled cookies off the baking sheets with your fingers. Store the cookies in an airtight container. Makes about 40 cookies.

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Judy's recipe

what you need

  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

make it 
Preheat an oven to 350°F. Grease 2 baking sheets with butter. 

Put the confectioners' sugar into a bowl and set aside.

Mix the ingredients
In another bowl, using a wooden spoon, stir together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add 1 egg and beat on medium speed until blended. Add the other egg and vanilla and beat until blended.

Turn off the mixer and add the flour mixture. Beat on low speed just until blended.

Form the cookies 
Using a tablespoon, scoop up a rounded spoonful of dough. Scrape the dough off the spoon into the palm of your other hand. Roll the dough into a ball. Roll the ball in the confectioners' sugar until covered. Place the balls on a prepared baking sheet. Repeat, spacing the balls about 2 inches apart.

Bake the cookies
When 1 baking sheet is full, put it in the oven and bake the cookies until they are crackled and puffed, 10 to 12 minutes. Using oven mitts, remove the baking sheet from the oven and set it on a wire rack for 15 minutes. 

Linzer Cookies

Petra's recipe
what you need

1 cup hazelnuts or slivered almonds, toasted and skinned
8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 1 tsp. finely grated orange or lemon zest
    • 3⁄4 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 1⁄4 tsp. almond extract
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1⁄2 tsp. ground cinnamon
    • 1⁄4 tsp. salt
    • About 1⁄4 cup seedless raspberry jam
    • Confectioners' sugar for dusting

    make it

    In a food processor, finely grind the hazelnuts using short pulses. Set aside.

    In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter on high speed until fluffy and pale yellow. Add the granulated sugar and continue beating until combined. Reduce the speed to low. Add the egg yolk, orange zest, vanilla and almond extract and beat until blended.

    Sift together the flour, cinnamon and salt into another bowl. Add the ground hazelnuts and stir to blend. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat on low speed or stir with a wooden spoon until blended. The dough should be soft. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, divide into 4 equal portions and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.

    Preheat an oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets or line with parchment paper.

    Remove 1 portion of the dough at a time from the refrigerator, place between 2 sheets of waxed paper and roll out 1⁄4 inch thick. Using a cookie cutter about 2 1⁄2 inches in diameter, cut out the cookies. Using a 1 1⁄4-inch cutter, cut a hole in the center of half of the cookies. Repeat with the remaining portions of dough, then reroll the dough scraps as needed to make 24 cutouts total, cutting holes in half of them. If the dough becomes sticky, wrap it in plastic wrap and freeze for 10 minutes before rolling out.

    Using a thin spatula, carefully transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheets. Bake until the cookies are firm to the touch, about 12 minutes. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks. Loosen the cookies with the spatula, but leave the cookies on the sheets until thoroughly cooled.

    To assemble, spread the solid cookies with a thin layer (about 1 tsp.) of raspberry jam to within about 1⁄4 inch of the edges. Dust the cutout cookies generously with confectioners' sugar. Top the solid cookies with the cutout cookies.

    Spiced Molasses Cookies

    Angie's recipe

    what you need

    • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 tsp. baking soda
    • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
    • 1 tsp. ground ginger
    • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
    • 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
    • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
    • 1/4 tsp. salt
    • 12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room
    • 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1/4 cup molasses
    • About 3 Tbs. granulated sugar

     make it

    In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cloves and salt.

    In a large bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat together the butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg and molasses. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture, mixing until blended. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or for up to 8 hours.

    Preheat an oven to 350° F. Grease 2 baking sheets.

    Place a large sheet of waxed paper on a work surface and sprinkle it with the granulated sugar. Using your palms, shape the dough into balls 1 1/4 inches in diameter. Then roll the balls in the granulated sugar, coating them evenly. Arrange the balls on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart.

    Using the tines of a fork, press the fork into each cookie, pushing down to create a decorative top.

    Bake until just set and lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on the sheets for 10 minutes. Gently transfer cookies to racks and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

    Rugelach with Apricot & Pistachio Filling
    Jackie's recipe
    what you need

    • 1/4 lb. cream cheese, cut into small pieces,
       at room temperature
    • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into
       small pieces, at room temperature
    • 1 cup plus 2 Tbs. unbleached all-purpose flour
    • 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
    • 1/4 tsp. salt

    For the filling:

    • 3/4 cup dried apricots, halved
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1 Tbs. granulated sugar
    • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
    • 2 Tbs. finely chopped unsalted pistachios
    • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

    make it

    In a food processor, combine the cream cheese, butter, flour, granulated sugar and salt. Pulse just until the dough begins to clump together. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and gather into a ball. Divide into 4 equal portions. Place each portion on a piece of plastic wrap, flatten slightly into a disk, wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 6 hours.

    Meanwhile, make the filling: In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the apricots and water. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fruit absorbs the water, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool slightly, then transfer to the food processor and process to a fairly smooth puree. Pour into a bowl and stir in the granulated sugar, cinnamon and pistachios. Set aside.

    Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

    Lightly flour a work surface. Remove 1 disk of dough from the refrigerator and roll into a 7-inch circle. Spread one-fourth of the filling evenly over the top. Using a large knife, cut the dough into 6 wedges. Starting at the outside edge, gently roll up each wedge toward the point. (If needed, use a thin metal spatula to loosen the wedges from the work surface.) If the dough becomes too soft to roll, refrigerate for about 5 minutes to firm up.

    As each piece is formed, place it at least 1 inch apart on one of the prepared baking sheets; bend the ends of the dough toward the center to form a crescent shape. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling, flouring the work surface as needed.

    Bake the rugelach until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer the rugelach to the racks to cool completely. While still warm, use a fine-mesh sieve to dust the rugelach with confectioners' sugar. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

    Thanks to everyone for sending me their recipes...keep them coming!

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