Friday, December 13, 2013

12 Days of Cookies "Pecan Sandies" Day 11

Ok.
I admit,
after making today's cookie I had to turn to Google to find out more about these light, flavorful concoctions!
Had never heard, nor obviously attempted, to bake a "sandie".
Yes, I have been living under a rock.
This delicious shortbread will definitely find its way back into my oven again. :)
 
 

Pecan Sandies

Ingredients
1 C butter
1/2 C powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 C All-Purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 C pecans, crushed, chopped

Directions
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a bowl, beat butter until creamy; then beat in sugar, vanilla and almond extracts until fluffy.  Mix in flour, salt and 1/2 C nuts until blended. 

With floured hands, form dough into 1" balls.  Roll balls in remaining nuts; place 1 1/2" apart on light greased baking sheets.  Flatten with fork tines dipped in flour to 1 1/2-2" across. 

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly brown.

Yields appx. 2 1/2 dozen.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

12 Days of Cookies "Cherry & Oatmeal Cookies" Day 10



Nothing like the whir of a KitchenAid mixer!
video

 
Cherry & Oatmeal Cookies
 
Ingredients
1/4 C (1/2 stick) butter
1/2 C light brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 C sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 C all-purpose flour 1/4 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 C oatmeal
1 C (5 oz.) dried cherries
 
 
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together.  Add the egg. 
 
Beat in the sour cream and vanilla extract.
 
Stir in the dry ingredients and cherries.
 
Drop spoonful's of the mixture on a non-stick baking sheet.  Bake for 12-15 minutes.  Cool for 5 minutes before removing from the sheets.
 
Store in an airtight container for 5-7 days.
 
These are scrumptious!  Tangy, tart and sweet all at the same time!
 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

12 Days of Cookies "Carrot Cookies" Day 9

In the event you didn't catch the huge change in the title, allow me to point it out: I subtracted 19 days of cookies.
Yes, I too am breathing a sigh of relief.
My waistline is happier for sure. ;)
While I have no doubt I could have pushed through for the entire 31, my gut's telling me that's just too much sugar for too consistent a period of time.  Am not out to rival the guy who ate nothing but McDonald's for 30 days!!
And my brain's pointing out that the joy will eventually start to wane, to be replaced by dread.  Something along the lines of, "Good grief.  I've got to make the day's cookies before I can go to bed."
I want this to become a tradition my family and I revisit with excitement and anticipation every year.  Furthermore, it allows a little wiggle room in when I do the 12 days, rather than having to start December 1st and stop December 31. 
And I have to admit, the play on words- "12 Days of Christmas Cookies"- really appeals to the linguistic lover in me.  
 
Now without further ado, the day's cookie post...
 
No, I lay no claims to fortune telling, prophecy, or any type of omnipotence: I'll leave that to our one true God.
But I bet I know what you're thinking...
"Carrot Cookies??  She's done flipped her lid.  I let the "Banana & Coconut combo go by with nary a word.  But carrots?  This is just too much!!"
Am I right??
;)
All I can say is, who would have thought "carrot" and "cake" would have gone so well together??
I got one word for ya...
 
Mmmmmm.

A cup o' joe is a wonderful accompaniment to this cookie. 
 
 
Carrot Cookies
 
Ingredients
 
Cookies
1 C shortening
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 C sugar
1 small can carrots, mashed
1 tsp vanilla
2 C flour 
 
Frosting
1/2 tsp orange peel
1/4 tsp orange juice
3 Tbs powdered sugar
 
 
Directions
 
Cookies
Preheat oven to 400 degrees  Mix all ingredients thoroughly.  Drop on greased cookie sheet by teaspoonfuls.  Cook 10 minutes and transfer to wire rack upon pulling from oven.  Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before frosting. 
 
Frosting
Mix all three ingredients in a small bowl.  Adjust powdered sugar and orange juice as needed to achieve a semi-thick frosting.  Drizzle on cookies. 
 
Yields appx 3 dozen



Sunday, December 8, 2013

12 Days of Cookies "Banana & Coconut Cookies" Day 8

One of the aspects of the "12 Days of Cookies" I'm enjoying the most is the opportunity to try a wide variety, and styles, of cookies.
From snaps to drops, and combos like today's pairing of banana and coconut, my taste buds are riding high!

 
 {Note: These cookies are wheat-free and have no added sugar, getting their incredible sweetness naturally from the bananas and dates.}
 
Banana & Coconut Cookies
 
Ingredients  
3 ripe bananas
1 C (5 oz.) pitted dates (with being quite sticky and elastic, I used my Ninja blender to dice them)
1 1/2 C rolled oats
1/2 C flaked coconut
1/3 C canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
 
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
 
Mash the bananas and chop the dates fine.  Mix all ingredients in a bowl together and put to one side for 15 minutes.
 
Drop teaspoonfuls onto a non-stick baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
 
Store in an airtight container and eat within 24 hours, or refrigerate up to 3 days.

12 Days of Cookies "Lemon Snaps" Day 7

I can hardly believe we're a week deep into the cookie fun!
 
 
Besides some very late nights, elbow deep in dough trying to get to the bottom of the bowl who knew most of the recipes would make 3 to 4 dozen!!, have found immense pleasure in tackling this project.
 
Today's cookie was made with love with my Sugar in mind;
 
 whom has an unusual sweet tooth.
He favors off-the-beaten-path flavors like the main ingredient in today's cookie, lemon.
 

But doesn't like chocolate all that much.
I KNOW!!!
UNFATHOMABLE!!
Imagine MY being a chocolate fiend reaction!
I'm thinking their has to be a defective gene somewhere.
I pray to God it wasn't passed down to any of our children.
  
 
Lemon Snaps
 
Ingredients
1/2 C butter
2/3 C sugar
2 tsp lemon peel, grated
1 egg
1 3/4 C All Purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
3 TBLS lemon juice
1 TBLS water
1/2 C finely shopped almonds
1/2 C powdered sugar
 
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and lemon peel until fluffy.  Beat in egg until fluffy.  Combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar in a separate bowl.  Mix the lemon juice and water in another bowl.  Add in the flour mixture alternately with the lemon juice mixture.  Mix just until blended.  Stir in nuts.
With floured hands, form dough into 1" balls; place 1" apart on ungreased baking sheet.  Bake for 15-18 minutes or until very light brown and firm to touch.  Cool 5 minutes than move to a wire rack and cool an additional 5 more minutes.  Then gently shake a few at a time in a small bag of the powdered sugar.  Cool completely.  Freeze if desired between sheets of wax paper (dust with powdered sugar again before serving).
Yields appx. 3- 3 1/2 dozen



Saturday, December 7, 2013

12 Days of Cookies "Apple Cider Ginger Cookies" Day 6

 
Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday of the year,
 

 
for a myriad of reasons.
 

 
One of those is my annual "Gal Pals ONLY Christmas Party".
 
Last year's was a resounding success,
(NOTE: No, mySamuelson was not in attendance- remember, NO testosterone! ;)  This pic was taken at the end of the night- minus a few who had to leave early- just in time for him to photo bomb after returning from a movie with Dad.)
 
with a whole lotta smiles
 
 
 
and  much laughter.

Per the party's tradition, attire was casual.

 And the Ornament Exchange a barrel of fun.
 
 
You know what, though?
Somehow nobody got a picture of the spread of cookies from our Cookie Exchange!! 
Than again, they didn't grace the table all that long. ;)
 
With being such a pretty cookie, as well as one of mine and mySamuelson's faves, it demands its turn in the spotlight.  
 
Enjoy!
 
 
Apple Cider Ginger Cookies
                        Ingredients:
                        2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour           
                        ¾ t salt               
                        1 T ground ginger
                        2 t baking soda                                 
                        1 t cinnamon       
                        1 t ground allspice
                        1 t ground cloves                            
                        1 large egg          
                        1 t vanilla extract
                        1/3 cup apple butter                                                    
                        1 ¼ cups packed dark brown sugar
                        12 T (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature      
 
                        Directions:
                        In a bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger,
                        allspice, and cloves; set aside.  Using an electric mixer, cream butter and
                        brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 min.  Add egg, vanilla, and
                        apple butter and mix until just combined.  Stir in the flour mixture in two
                        batches, beating each addition on low speed until just incorporated; cover
                        and refrigerate dough for 1 hr.
                        Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line 2 baking sheets with
                        parchment.  Form chilled dough into 2-tablespoon-size balls (you can use
                        a 1 ½-inch cookie scoop), then roll in the red sugar to coat.  Place balls on
                        prepared baking sheets 2 inches apart.  Bake until lightly browned around
                        the edges, 10-12 min.  Cool on the baking sheet for 5 min; transfer to a
                        wire rack to cool completely.  Store at room temperature up to 1 week.
                       
                        Yields: 3 1/2 dozen 




Friday, December 6, 2013

12 Days of Cookies "Peanut Butter Cookies" Day 5

A classic...
 
Peanut Butter Cookies
 
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick) sweet butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup (8 oz) crunchy peanut butter
Pinch of salt
 
Directions
Sift the flour and baking soda together.  In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugars until soft and creamy.  Combine the egg, flour mixture, peanut butter, and salt.  Add the butter and sugar mixture and mix until smooth.
 
Wrap the dough in foil or parchment and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
 
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
 
Shape the dough into 1 1/4-in. balls and place them 2 in. apart on a baking sheet.  Flatten slightly with a fork.  Bake 15 minutes or until golden.
 
Remove from the oven and allow to cool.  Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. 
 
Makes 2 dozen.
 

 


Thursday, December 5, 2013

12 Days of Cookies "Two Hundred Fifty Dollar Cookie Recipe" Day 4

Neiman Marcus
 Two words synonymous with posh, extravagant and rich if there ever were two!
$1M watches.
$250,000 Private Dinner for 10
(Click here for 9 of their most lavish, impractical gifts for 2013.) 
 
Definitely fare for the wealthy!
 
Until now that is.
 Thanks to my Great Aunt Anna Mary, us commoners are now privy to one of their recipes!!!
And it cost someone $250!
Yep, you read me write! ;)
250 buckaroos for a cookie recipe!!!
No, my Great Aunt isn't wealthy, in worldly terms that is.
She was given the recipe from a friend, whom I believe obtained it from a friend, who procured it from a friend...
Somewhere back there is either a person with a large bank account, or someone desperate for a new cookie recipe!
I just couldn't let this one pass by.
My curiosity got the better of me,
 "WHAT in the world does a two hundred and fifty dollar cookie taste like??"
 
I'm not telling.
:)
 
Make a batch and judge for yourself.
;)
 
(Note: For those not aware, the darker a stone gets, the more non-stick it becomes.  Have had this one for 8 years now and can attest to the truth in that statement.  It's not pleasing to the eye, for sure, but the stomach finds the fruit of its labor quite appetizing!)
 
 
Two Hundred Fifty Dollar Cookie Recipe 
(As you can see, the recipe makes a large batch- yielding a supposed 112 cookies!  I cut it into a third and came out with 3 1/2 dozen.  I listed my adjustments in parentheses, off to the side of each ingredient.  Measuring was a bit of a challenge, especially the 1.3 eggs.  In that case, I used one egg and a few teaspoons of the egg white of another.  It also helps to have a kitchen scale that weighs in ounces.  Mine was my saving grace for the Hershey Bar and chocolate chips.)
 
Ingredients
5 C blended oatmeal (1.6)
2 C butter (.6)
2 C sugar (.6)
2 C brown sugar (.6)
4 eggs (1.3)
2 tsp vanilla (.6)
2 C flour (.6)
1 tsp salt (.3)
2 tsp baking powder (.6)
2 tsp baking powder (.6)
24 oz chocolate chips (8)
18 oz Hershey Bar (grated) (.6)
3 C chopped nuts (your choice) (1)
 
Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Measure oatmeal and blend in a blender to a fine powder.
Cream butter and both sugars.  Add in eggs and vanilla, mix well.  Mix together flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and baking soda and add to the wet mixture.  Blend well.  Stir in chocolate chips, Hershey Bar and nuts.  Roll into balls (I made 1 1/2 inch balls) and place two inches apart on a cookies sheet.  bake for 13 1/2 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.