Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sweet Treats

Tis the season to have lots of goodies in your house right? Well, I did, but they just weren't mine to keep. This year I had a record breaking 39 dozen cookies ordered, made and shipped to varies places in the US. This was great for my little business, but not so great for the cookie status here at the house. For this holiday season and blog, I had thoughts of doing a 12 days of Christmas cookie segment on here, with some of the cookies having ingredients that match their day. But then visions of sugar plums started fighting with those crazy lords a leapin', and before I knew it, it was only a few days before Christmas. Oh well, maybe next year.

I did however manage to pull it all together and make some cookies for my family. Of course once again my thoughts were bigger then my actions, and I made far less kinds of cookies then I had planned, but I am happy with the ones I made. So here you are, a small but tasty collection of Christmas cookies (with recipes).

What yummy treats will this box hold... (corny I know, it's early and the Pepsi hasn't fully kicked in yet)

First up, my Mom's Almond Tea cookies. These are my favorite cookies and I look forward to them every year. You will need a cookie press for these guys.

Almond Tea Cookies:

1 cup salted butter (trust me, do not use the unsalted kind)
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
2 1/2 cup flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. almond extract
maraschino cherries, cut and quartered

Preheat oven to 450

Combine you dry ingredients and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add egg and mix until incorporated. Add flour mix in small batches. Add almond extract, and the batter is ready to go.

Put batter into cookie pressed with flower shaped cookie disk. Press cookies out onto a ungreased cookie sheet. Top with a quarter of cherry.

Bake for 4-6 minutes (depending on your oven) or until cookies are lightly browned.

You can eat these cookies right away, but they are best if they sit at least one day. The almond extract really stands out if they have that extra time.

Next we have some Gingerbread men ready to face the cold weather. I'm not the biggest fan of gingerbread, but I do like decorating them, and really liked making these guys.

Gingerbread Cookies:

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg
3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground allspice

Preheat oven to 350

Combine dry ingredients and set aside. Cream together the butter, brown sugar, molasses and egg until light and fluffy. Add flour mix in small batches, and mix until blended. Use the dough immediately or wrap up and refrigerate dough for a week.

If using right away, roll dough between two pieces of wax paper until about a 1/4 inch thick. Cut out gingerbread men and place 1 inch apart on a greased cookie tray. Bake for 8-12 minutes, or until firm but not dark.

Allow cookies to fully cool before you frost them. Now frost with your favorite icing recipe (I like to use royal icing) and decorate to you heart's content.

A few tips...even if you are not going to use the dough right away, roll it out between the sheets of wax paper so it's ready to go when you do want it. This way you don't have to have to dough come to room temperature again to roll it our once you have refrigerated it. Also, if you line your baking sheets with parchment paper, you won't have to grease the cookie sheets (a little cleaner this way) If you use royal icing to frost your cookies, allow the icing to dry 8 hours so if you draw on the cookies with food coloring makers (like I did), the markers won't be breaking through the icing.

And last, but certainly not least, Peanut Butter Blossoms. I made my version with what has to be the easiest and the tastiest peanut butter cookies recipe. Three ingredients, that all it takes to make the cookies. Thanks again Nicole for posting this recipe on Facebook!

Peanut Butter Blossom Cookie:
1 cup sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 egg
Hershey Kisses, unwrapped
1/3 c sugar

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine all ingredients together. Scoop out into balls, roll in sugar and place on baking sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes or until cookies are slightly browned. Once out of the oven, top each cookie with a Hershey Kiss and let cool.

One quick tip...before you bake your cookies, try to scoop all the batter out and then count to see how many you have. Then you can unwrap all the Hershey kisses and have then ready to go once your cookies come out of the oven.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, my gosh, Kris,

    Your gingerbread cookies are astounding!!I know how talented you are from watching you for many years, but you out do yourself over annd over again. Keep up the good work. Your friends out in Wis. are certainly lucky to have you as their baker and friend. Love, YOUR MOM