21 December 2010

Cookies for the Holidays.....

Yay! Cookies!!  I love making cookies this time a year. It just puts a smile on my face for the wonderful taste and smells of the holiday. Also I just love cookies!

So, since it has been a hard year on my family and I (Jobs especially), we decided to do a cookie exchange instead of presents this year. I'm sure your wondering the reasons. Well, one, it's cheap; two, it's yummy cookies; three, it's easy to make cookies and not hunt the mall for something to buy someone; four, it's cheap.... oh did I say that already! 

So I thought I'd share the cookie pics and recipes with you guys in case you'd like to try making them for your families (or yourself) this holiday season. Enjoy and take care!

1 (8-ounce) package caramels  
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 cup pecan halves
16 (1-ounce) squares semi-sweet chocolate 
 1) In the top of a double boiler over hot water, melt caramels in heavy cream.

2) Arrange pecan halves in groups of five (head and four legs) on greased wax paper. 

3) Spoon caramel into a small mound in the middle of the nuts to make the body. (The caramel should partially cover the nuts to keep them in place.) Let stand until hard.

4) In the top of a double boiler over hot water, melt chocolate; gently stir with spatula until melted. 

5) Using a spoon, coat body, head, and legs with the melted chocolate, leaving ends of pecans uncovered.

6) Refrigerate 30 minutes or until chocolate is firm.

3 cups flour
2 teaspoons Ginger, Ground
1 teaspoon Cinnamon, Ground
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg, Ground
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

1) Mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in large bowl. Beat butter and brown sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add molasses, egg and vanilla; beat well. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed. Press dough into a thick flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

2) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness on lightly floured work surface. Cut into gingerbread men shapes with 5-inch cookie cutter. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets.

3) Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges of cookies are set and just begin to brown. Cool on baking sheets 1 to 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks; cool completely. Decorate cooled cookies as desired. Store cookies in airtight container up to 5 days.

(Please note: I got this recipe off last year and it didn't have the vanilla in it. I actually think it taste better without the vanilla. But that's just me.)

(Makes six 8-inch candy canes)

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 large egg
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon pure almond or peppermint extract
¼ teaspoon salt
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
Red food coloring, preferably gel-paste
Coarse sanding sugar, for decorating

1) With an electric mixer on medium speed, cream butter and confectioners’ sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, both extracts, and salt. With mixer on low speed, add flour, beating until combined. Divide dough in half. Knead food coloring into one half until desired color is reached. Form dough into disks, and wrap in plastic. Chill 20 minutes, or up to over-night. (Dough can be frozen up to 1 month; thaw in the refrigerator before using.) 

2) Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide untinted dough into 6 pieces. On a lightly floured surface, shape each into a 12-inch-long log. Chill 10 minutes, until firm but pliable. Repeat with tinted dough. Twist a tinted and an untinted piece together; bend one end to form a cane. Repeat. Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared sheets. Chill 1 hour (or up to overnight, covered in plastic).

3) Preheat oven to 325°. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are firm but not taking on any color, 20 – 24 minutes. Transfer sheets to wire racks to cool completely.

4) Brush untinted stripes of candy canes with water. Sprinkle with sanding sugar; tap off excess. Cookies can be stored up to 1 week at room temperature in an airtight container.

Images for me. Recipes from Whats Cooking America, All Recipes.com, Martha Stewart Holiday Sweets Magazine 2009

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...