Thursday, January 28, 2010

December: Cookie Exchange






almondbar peppermintbar


1/2 c. butter
1c. sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups flour (add slowly)


Cream butter, sugar, and egg. Add almond extract, baking powder, salt and flour and mix. Divide dough into fourths. Form each into a 12-inch roll. Place two rolls 4 to 5 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten until 3 inches wide. Repeat with remaining rolls. Brush flattened rolls with milk and sprinkle with almonds. Bake at 325 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes. While cookies are still warm, cut them crossways at a diagonal into 1 inch strips. Cool and drizzle with almond icing.

Almond Icing:
3 to 4 teaspoons milk (I always use a bit more)
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Mix together until smooth.

* For peppermint bars omit almond extract for peppermint extract. Also use crushed peppermint instead of almonds and apply at the end after you ice the bars.



3/4 cup butter

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons water

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

2 eggs

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

36 Andes Mints

In a large pan over low heat, cook butter, sugar and water until butter is melted. Add chocolate chips and stir until partially melted. Remove from heat and continue to stir until chocolate is completely melted. Pour into a large bowl and let stand 10 minutes to cool off slightly.

At high speed, beat in eggs, one at a time into chocolate mixture. Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients, beating until blended. Chill dough about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Roll dough into balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake 8-10 minutes. While cookies are baking unwrap mints and divide each in half. When cookies are brought out of the oven, put 1/2 mint on top of each cookie . Let the mint sit for up to 5 minutes until melted, then spread the mint on top of the cookie. Eat and enjoy!






















2 cups flour (I used Pamela's Gluten-Free Baking Mix)

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup cold butter

1 cup pecan halves


2/3 cups butter

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

1 cup Milk Chocolate Chips

1.   Heat oven to 350 degrees.

2.   Combine flour, brown sugar and butter in large bowl; mix until fine crumbs form (a few large crumbs may remain).  Press into ungreased 13x9-inch baking pan.  Sprinkle pecans over crust.   Prepare Toffee Topping; drizzle evenly over pecans.

3.   Bake 20 - 22 minutes or until topping is bubbly and golden.  Remove from oven.  Immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over top; press gently onto surface.  Cool completely.  Cut into bars.

TOFFEE TOPPING:  Combine 2/3 cups butter and 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar in small saucepan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to boil; boil and stir 30 seconds.  Use immediately.





2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup unsulfured molasses

1 extra-large egg, at room temperature

1 1/4 cups chopped crystallized ginger (6 ounces)

Granulated sugar, for rolling the cookies


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and salt and then combine the mixture with your hands. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the brown sugar, oil, and molasses on medium speed for 5 minutes. Turn the mixer to low speed, add the egg, and beat for 1 minute. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula and beat for 1 more minute. With the mixer still on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the crystallized ginger and mix until combined.

Scoop the dough with 2 spoons or a small ice cream scoop. With your hands, roll each cookie into a 1 3/4-inch ball and then flatten them lightly with your fingers. Press both sides of each cookie in granulated sugar and place them on the sheet pans. Bake for exactly 13 minutes. The cookies will be crackled on the top and soft inside. Let the cookies cool on the sheets for 1 to 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.






Lemon Cookies
3/4 cup granulated sugar (5 1/4 ounces)
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
1 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (8 3/4 ounces)
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), cold, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 large egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Lemon Glaze
1 tablespoon cream cheese , softened
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar (6 ounces)
1. For the cookies: Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions; heat oven to 375 degrees.

2. In food processor, process granulated sugar and lemon zest until sugar looks
damp and zest is thoroughly incorporated, about 30 seconds. Add flour, salt,
and baking powder; pulse to combine, about 10 one-second pulses. Scatter butter chunks over; pulse until mixture resembles fine cornmeal, about 15 one-second pulses. In measuring cup or small bowl, beat together lemon juice, egg yolk, and vanilla with fork to combine. With machine running, add juice/yolk mixture in slow, steady stream (process should take about 10 seconds);continue processing until dough begins to form ball, 10 to 15 seconds longer.

3. Turn dough and any dry bits onto counter; working quickly, gently knead together to ensure that no dry bits remain and dough is homogenous. Shape dough into log about 10 inches long and 2 inches in diameter, wrap dough in parchment, and twist parchment to seal. Chill dough until firm and cold, about 45 minutes in freezer or 2 hours in refrigerator.

4. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove dough log from wrapping and, using sharp chef's knife, slice dough into rounds 3/8 inch thick; place on prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Bake until centers of cookies just begin to color and edges are golden brown, 14 to 16 minutes, rotating baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through baking time. Cool cookies on baking sheet about 5 minutes; using wide metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature before glazing.

5. For the glaze: Whisk cream cheese and lemon juice in medium nonreactive bowl until no lumps remain. Add confectioners' sugar and whisk until smooth.

6. To glaze the cookies: When cookies have cooled, working one at a time, spoon scant teaspoon glaze onto each cookie and spread evenly with back of spoon. Let cookies stand on wire rack until glaze is set and dry, about 1 hour.











· 1/2 cup powdered sugar

· 1 cup butter, softened

· 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

· 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

· 1/2 cup cornstarch


· 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

· 2 tablespoons butter, softened

· 1-2 tablespoon milk

· 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

· 2-3 drops red food coloring

· hard peppermint candies or candy canes, crushed


FOR COOKIES, combine sugar, butter and 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract in large mixer bowl. Beat at medium speed until creamy (1 to 2 minutes). Reduce speed to low; add flour and cornstarch. Beat until well mixed (1 to 2 minutes). Cover; refrigerate until firm (30 to 60 minutes).

Heat oven to 350°F Shape rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into 1-inch balls.

Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

Let stand 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets.

Cool completely.

FOR GLAZE, combine 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons butter, 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract and enough milk for desired glazing consistency in small bowl.

Stir in food color, if desired.

Drizzle over cooled cookies.

Immediately sprinkle with crushed candy.

(I have found it is easier to put the crushed candy in

a bowl and "dip" the top of cookies in them right after I frost them).





1 lb butter (4 cubes) room temperature

1 1/2 C sugar

2 C whole wheat pastry flour

2 1/2 C white flour

2 C chocolate chips (milk or dark)


Blend butter, sugar and flours with a pastry cutter. Press into two 8-in round pans. Chill one hour before baking. Bake at 300 degrees for 45-55 minutes (shortbread should still be soft when you take it out of the oven). Immediately distribute chocolate chips over shortbread, and spread with a spatula as they melt.




2C walnuts, chopped
1C peanut butter chips, chopped
1C milk chocolate chips, chopped
1C brown sugar
½ C corn syrup
1/4 C butter
2/3 C sweetened condensed milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
pretzel rods

In saucepan combine sugar, syrup, and butter. Bring to a boil, over medium heat. Reduce to med-low heat and combine milk. Return to a boil and stirring constantly bring to soft ball stage (about 8 minutes) Remove from heat and add vanilla. Dip pretzels and roll in nuts and chips. Cool on wax paper.