Friday, December 23, 2011

12 Days of Cookies! Day 10: Rice Krispie Treats....I know not technically cookies....

I know its cheating a little since Rice Krispie treats aren't technically cookies but for me they go hand and hand with Christmas and the Holidays.  Since we all know the basic components of Rice Krispie treats (Butter, Rice Krispies, & Marshmallows) I thought it'd be a little more fun to find festive ways to use them.  Here are some fantastic Holiday ideas:

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

12 Days of Cookies! Day 9: Chocolate Mice!

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse....or were there?  These are the cutest cookie creations yet! Fun & quirky, kids will love them!

4 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
1/3 cup sour cream
1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs
1/3 cup chocolate cookie crumbs
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
24 silver dragees decorating candy
1/4 cup sliced almonds
12 (2 inch) pieces long red vine licorice
1.     Melt the chocolate, and combine with sour cream. Stir in 1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs. Cover and refrigerate until firm.
2.     Roll by level tablespoonfuls into balls. Mold to a slight point at one end (the nose).
3.     Roll dough in confectioners sugar (for white mice), and in chocolate cookie crumbs (for dark mice). On each mouse, place dragees in appropriate spot for eyes, almond slices for ears, and a licorice string for the tail.
4.     Refrigerate for at least two hours, until firm.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

12 days of Cookies! Day 8: Lemon Pistachio Biscotti!

Not to sweet perfectly crunchy and delicious with tea!

1/3 cup unsalted butter , softened
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 teaspoons lemon zest , finely minced
1 cup powdered sugar , sifted
1 teaspoon lemon zest , finely minced
1 -2 tablespoon lemon juice or 1 -2 tablespoon milk


FOR THE COOKIE ~ Preheat oven to 375 degrees F & lightly grease several cookie sheets or 1 LARGE one. In large mixing bowl, beat butter with electric mixer on medium-high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder & salt, beating to combine & scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs & vanilla until combined. Beat in lemon zest & as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon or your hands, stir or knead in remaining flour & pistachio nuts. On lightly floured surface, divide dough into 3 equal portions. Shape each portion into an 8-inch-long loaf. Flatten loaves to about 2 1/2 inches wide, & place them at least 3 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet(s).Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown & tops are cracked. (Loaves will spread slightly.).Cool on cookie sheet for 30 minutes, When cooled, preheat oven to 325 degrees F, then transfer loaves to a cutting board to cut each loaf into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place slices, cut sides down on previously used cookie sheet(s), & bake 8 minutes. Turn slices over & bake 8-10 minutes more or until dry & crisp. Transfer to wire rack & cool.

THE ICING ~ In a small mixing bowl, stir together sifted powdered sugar & 1 teaspoon lemon zest. Stir in enough lemon juice (or milk) to make icing of drizzling consistency. Either dip 1/4 of one end of each cookie into icing OR drizzle each with icing.

Monday, December 19, 2011

12 Days of Cookies! Day 7: Triple Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal could be a meal!

This was one of the first cookies I ever made and immediately I was in love.  Super hearty from the oatmeal, sweet from the chocolate & tart from the cranberries....this cookie is to die for!

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh or frozen cranberries

2 ounces milk chocolate or white chocolate, chopped (for drizzling)

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars in large bowl until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add flour mixture and oats and stir until blended. Stir in all chocolate chips and cranberries.

Drop batter by rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until edges are light brown, about 16 minutes. Cool on sheets 5 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool completely.

Stir chopped milk chocolate in top of double boiler until melted and smooth. Using small spoon, drizzle melted chocolate over cookies in zigzag pattern. Let stand until milk chocolate sets, about 1 hour. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Store in airtight container at room temperature.)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

12 Days of Cookies! Day 6: Coconut Lime Shortbread Cookies!

Normally I only like soft chewy cookies but these are one of the few exceptions.  Buttery and rich and full of flavor these shortbread cookies have made it on the list of my favorite cookies!

Coconut-Lime Shortbread Cookies

Cookie Ingredients:
1/2 cup flaked coconut, toasted
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. lime peel
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
Lime Glaze Ingredients:
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. lime peel
1 Tbsp. lime juice
2 to 3 Tbsp. water
To Make Cookies:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  In a food processor, combine coconut, sugar, 2 tablespoons lime peel, and the vanilla.  Cover and process until coconut is finely chopped.  Add flour; cover and process for one or two pulses until combined.  Add butter; cover and process until mixture starts to cling.  Transfer to a very large bowl (dough will appear dry).  Knead dough until smooth.  Shape dough into a ball; divide in half. 
On a lightly floured surface, roll out one of the dough portions to about 1/4 thickness.  Using desired 1.5 to 2 cookie cutters, cut out dough.  Place cutouts 1 apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 15-17 minutes, or just until bottoms start to brown.  Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool.  Repeat with the remaining dough portion.  If desired spread tops of cookies with the lime glaze and sprinkle with additional lime peel.
To Make Lime Glaze:
In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, lime peel, and lime juice until combined.  Add in the two or three tablespoons of water, and whisk until it reaches a good consistency for spreading.

recipe from GimmeSomeOven

Saturday, December 17, 2011

12 Days of Cookies! Day 5: Peppermint topped Sugar Cookies!

These is the simplest cookie and easiest cookie to make that always puts me in the holiday spirit.  Using a basic sugar topped with a little cream cheese frosting and crushed peppermint makes this easy cookie super festive and super delicious!

Sugar Cookie
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients. Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and place onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden. Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese
2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Beat softened butter and cream cheese until well blended.
Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until creamy.

12 Days of Cookies! Day 4: Chocolate Puddle Cookies!

The first time I made these I thought they were the most delicious ugliest things I've ever tasted! So waht they lack in looks they totally make up in flavor.  Super fudgy and totally chocolately I love these best with a warm cup of coffee.  A little hint, I'm known for my under baking, it's what makes a cookie delicious in my opinion but don't under bake these.  They'll be too gooey and impossible to remove from the baking sheet.

3 cups halves, toasted & cooled
4 cups confectioner's (powdered) sugar
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1 tablespoon real vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 320 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Make sure your walnuts have cooled a bit, then chop coarsely and set aside. Sift together the confectioner's sugar, cocoa powder, and sea salt. Stir in the walnuts, then add the egg whites and vanilla. Stir until well combined.
Spoon the batter onto the prepared sheets in even mounds of about 2 tablespoons each, allowing for LOTS of room between cookies. These really expand! Don't try to get more than 6 cookies on each sheet, and try to avoid placing the batter too close to the edge of the pan.
Bake until they puff up. The tops should get glossy, and then crack a bit - about 12 -15 minutes. Slide the cookies still on parchment onto a cooling rack, and let them cool completely. Makes 18 large cookies.

12 Days of Cookies! Day 3: Chewy Toffee Coffee Cookies

I remember when I first ate a  Skors could argue it was my first love. So who wouldn't think toffee wouldn't be AMAZING in a cookie and it IS! How about adding a little coffee to kick up the flavor too!

1 cup butter, softened 
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar 
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1 tablespoon hot water
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 
1/8 teaspoon salt 
1/2 cup almond toffee bits

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Stir together espresso powder and water. Add to butter mixture, stirring well.
Combine flour and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed until blended. Stir in toffee bits. Cover and chill dough 30 minutes.
Roll dough to 1/2" thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut with a 2 1/2" round cutter or Christmas cookie cutter. Place 2" apart on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake at 275° for 50 minutes. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheets. Remove to wire racks to cool

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

12 Days of Cookies! Day 2: Almond Snowballs

1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 cup butter, softened 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1 cup powdered sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
Parchment paper
1/2 cup powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake almonds in a single layer in a shallow pan 6 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Cool completely (about 20 minutes). Reduce oven temperature to 325°.
2. Process almonds in a food processor 30 seconds or until finely ground.
3. Beat butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy. Gradually add vanilla and 1 cup powdered sugar, beating well. (Dough will be crumbly.)
4. Combine flour, salt, and almonds; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until blended.
5. Shape dough into 3/4-inch balls, and place 2 inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
6. Bake at 325° for 12 to 15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets 2 minutes. Transfer to wire racks, and cool 10 minutes. Roll cookies in 1/2 cup powdered sugar.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

12 Days of Cookies! Day 1: Classic Chewy Gingerbread Molasses Cookies

I couldn't think of a better cookie to kick-off our 12 days of cookies until CHRISTMAS!!!  This cookie always puts me in the Holiday spirit with it's spicy chewy ginger center & sugary outside....YUM! 

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup margarine, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons white sugar

1.       Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
2.       In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then stir in the water and molasses. Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the molasses mixture. Shape dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and flatten slightly.
3.       Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.