Friday, December 13, 2013

12 Days of Cookies "Pecan Sandies" Day 11

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

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

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!

Cherry & Oatmeal Cookies
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
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...

A cup o' joe is a wonderful accompaniment to this cookie. 
Carrot 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 
1/2 tsp orange peel
1/4 tsp orange juice
3 Tbs powdered sugar
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. 
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
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
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.
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
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
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.  
Apple Cider Ginger Cookies
                        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      
                        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
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
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.)
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)
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.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

12 Days of Cookies "Frosted Cranberry Orange Drops" Day 3

Today's recipe comes from my beautiful Great Aunt Anna Mary.
She is an AMAZING woman, with being a phenomenal cook just one of the many attributes that make her so special.
Fifteen years ago she compiled every recipe she could think of, as well as what her file box contained, into a treasure trove of a cookbook she dubbed "From Grandma's Table".  Some of the recipes are hers, and others not.  When she knows the source, she gives credit accordingly.  It's a treasure trove of dishes that sparkle with yumminess and heritage.  These cookies were the first recipe I tried from her cookbook- and I WAS NOT disappointed!!  Cranberries and oranges pair so well with one another-especially in a baked good. 


And whatever you do, DON'T skip the homemade icing!

The orange juice adds just the right amount of acidity to the ultra sweetness of the powdered sugar, creating an icing that, well, is pretty much icing on the cake cookie! ;)
Frosted Cranberry Orange Drops
2 1/2 C All Purpose flour
3/4 C sugar
1/2 C fat-free sour cream
1/2 C butter, softened
1/4 C honey
2 eggs
1/2 tsp baking soda
 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 C dried cranberries
2 tsp grated prange peel
Heat oven to 350F.  In large mixing bowl, combine all cookie ingredients except 1 C of the flour, cranberries and orange peel.  Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often until smooth (1-2 minutes).  By hand, stir in remaining flour, cranberries and orange peel until well mixed.  Drop dough by teaspoonful's onto lightly greased cookie sheets.  Bake 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool completely.
1 1/2 C powdered sugar
2 tsp butter, melted
1-3 Tbls orange juice
In a small, deep bowl, stir together sugar and butter.  Stir in enough orange juice to make desired consistency for icing.  Frost cooled cookies.
*A little slice of heaven!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

12 Days of Cookies "Pumpkin Cookies" Day 2

Was THRILLED when mySamuelson approached me this evening and asked if he could help make tonight's cookie.
You see, with being at 10's backdoor, he's starting to identify more with "Dad"- 

as it should be.
Thus, I try to never allow an opportunity to spend time with this awesome kid, whose had my heart since March 4, 2004 at 3:07 p.m., pass by.

Pumpkin Cookies
*A wholesome, healthy cookie low in fat.

3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup fat-free plain yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups All-Purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup light brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease baking sheet.  Mix together pumpkin puree, yogurt, and vanilla.

In a separate bowl sift the flour, spices, and baking soda.  Add the sugar.  Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture gradually, and blend until smooth. (See "NOTE" below)

Drop spoonfuls onto baking sheet 2 in. apart.  Bake 12-15 minutes until firm.  Cool on wire racks.

When completely cool, store in an airtight container for 4-5 days.

Makes appx. 2 dozen

{NOTE: These are a cake-type cookie.  The batter comes out quite thick and sticky, so I highly recommend using a spoon to scoop and drop on the baking sheet. If you plan on handling the dough- perhaps to shape it once it's been dropped- try spreading a bit of vegetable oil on your hands.  It's a great non-stick solution to handling sticky dough.  With the intent of thinning it out and experimenting, I did add a fourth a cup of Skim milk to the last batch I cooked.  It affected nothing other than the cosmetic appearance- the taste remained the same, full of spice!  Yummy!!

Monday, December 2, 2013

"Traditions" have to start somewhere; 12 Days of Cookies "Sugar Cookies" Day 1

~ the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way.
Maybe it was the taste of the Pumpkin Pie and Pumpkin Roll at Thanksgiving dinner.
Could it be the whetting of my "writer's appetite" when pulling out my half finished memoir for my GrUnk (Uncle who's great) to proofread during his and my Aunt Su Su's visit last week? 
Or perhaps- let's go back a little further- it was the Halloween candy.  After all, 3 kiddos, even "treat'ing a small amount, generates a mound when combined at the end of the night!

I'd like I'm going to think it's just honest-to-goodness, sincere excuse desire to consume sugar spend special time with my young'uns, making happy Christmas memories.  
 Regardless of "how" the idea originated, am thrilled it sally forth'ed  to the front of my mind two days ago!

12 days somewhere in December
Family "doing".

And isn't that what it's all about, anyways? 
That's at least what this Wemmick family is all about; "doing together to STAY together"!
I hereby officially launch a new Wemmick family tradition:
12 Days of Cookies!!!
And what better way to start than making cookies with Grandmaw Janiceson??
Sugar wanted to take mySamuelson hunting
 so he dropped Mad & Punk off at Grandmaw's and spent the evening scoping out deer while the girls made the much-loved

hard to resist

finger-lickin' good

    Soft Sugar Cookies 
     1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup oil (canola or vegetable oil)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cream of tartar
½ tsp baking soda

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, oil and both sugars.  Add the egg and vanilla, and mix until fluffy.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, cream of tartar and baking soda.  Add the flour mix to the butter mix, and stir until fluffy.
Let the dough rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes or longer. 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray your cookie sheets with cooking spray.
When ready to bake, drop the batter by rounded tablespoon (I use a small scooper) onto the cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart.  Bake for 9-11 minutes, making sure not to let them brown.  Makes 18 cookies.
Crack-a-lackin' cookies!! :)