Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2018 (II)

Every would-be cookie baker needs a taster — that person who will sample your fare and tell you whether the batch is brilliant . . . or a bust.  I’m blessed to have the greatest taster of all under our roof, so when Kish sent along some holiday cookie recipes from the New York Times I had to pick one to try this year.  I like coconut, so this was my choice.

Toasted Coconut Shortbread

merlin_146903328_7ae9fcfc-36b5-47f1-b4da-ae60eb1a466d-articlelargeIngredients:  2 1/4 sticks cold salted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces; 1/2 cup granulated sugar; 1/4 cup light brown sugar; 1 teaspoon vanilla extract; 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour; 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (plus more for rolling); 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon; 1 large egg, well beaten; sanding sugar

Using an electric mixer and medium bowl, beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla on medium-high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.  Use a spatula to scrape down sides of bowl, then put mixer on low speed and slowly add flour, followed by 1/2 cup coconut and beat until blended.

Divide dough in half and place each half on a piece of plastic wrap.  Sprinkle each piece of dough with half of the cinnamon, then fold plastic over to cover dough and use your hands to form dough into a log shape about 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter.  Chill logs in the refrigerator for 1 1/2 hours, until they are firm.

Heat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper.  Brush outside of logs with egg wash, then roll logs in unsweetened coconut.  Slice each log into 1/4-inch rounds.  Dip each round on one side into sanding sugar and arrange on backing sheet, sugar side up, 1 inch apart.  Bake cookies 10-12 minutes, until edges are just beginning to brown.

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2018

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Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2018

The calendar — and, unfortunately, the too-early winter weather — confirm that it is indeed December.  In fact, it’s December 5.  December 5!!  That means it’s high time to start collecting the Christmas cookie recipes that I’ll be baking this year.

If you like Christmas cookie recipes, the internet is truly a mixed blessing.  It’s great in that there are countless cookie recipes that can be called up by running a simple Google search for “Christmas cookie recipes,” which will give you awesome variety and concoctions that you’ve never even thought were possible.  It’s bad, however, because at many websites Christmas cookie recipes are classic clickbait, and you need to click through multiple pages to finally get to the recipes.  If you hate the constant clicking, as I do, because you believe the website is treating you like a pawn in an advertising game whose time is of no value, I recommend the iambaker.net website, which allows you to get directly to the recipes like the one below.

Peppermint Meltaway Cookies

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Ingredients:  For the cookies — 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature; 3/4 cup cornstarch; 3/4 cup confectioners sugar; 1 tsp. McCormick pure peppermint extract; 1 cup all-purpose flour 
For the glaze — 2 cups confectioners sugar divided; 6 -8 teaspoons whole milk divided; 1/4 -1 teaspoon of McCormick pure peppermint extract; McCormick green food color optional
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Mix the butter and cornstarch until well combined and lighter in color, then turn the mixer off and add in confectioners sugar.  With the mixer on low, add the peppermint extract and mix until ingredients are fully incorporated.  Turn mixer off again and add flour, then with the mixer on low to medium-low, mix until the dough comes together and pulls away from sides of the bowl.

Using a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop or a tablespoon measuring spoon, remove about a tablespoon of dough. Place on parchment lined cookie sheet at least 2 inches apart. Once the cookie sheet is full, gently roll each scoop of dough between your hands until it is a smooth ball.  Bake 9 minutes at 350 degrees.  Right out of the oven take a glass with a flat bottom (that is smaller than the cookie) and gently press into the cookie.  Allow cookies to cool for about 5 minutes and then move to a cooling rack. Make sure cookies are completely cool before adding glaze.

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2017

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2016

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2015

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2014

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2013

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2012

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2011

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2010

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2009

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2017 (II)

Every year, the Columbus Dispatch publishes a holiday cookie section with some new recipes.  Knowing that I would be doing my holiday baking, Mom would send me the Dispatch cookie section to give me some new ideas, and to say thanks I would always make sure that a big plate of cookies went her way at the end of the process.  Mom always enjoyed a good Christmas cookie!

So, as a tribute to Mom, I visited the Dispatch cookie guide webpage for 2017 and tried to pick out a recipe that I thought Mom might like.  She had a taste for the simple sugar cookies, and this rosemary cookie recipe (from Margaret M. Titerington of Ostrander) looked intriguing — the sort of straightforward cookie that Mom might have liked and that might have been baked back in old England during the holidays and consumed with a cup of tea with lots of milk.

Rosemary Cookies

dsc_0046_resize_colorcorrectIngredients: 1 cup butter; 1 cup sugar; 2 eggs; 1 teaspoon baking soda; 4 cups flour; 1 cup oil (I use extra light olive oil); 1 cup powdered sugar; 1 teaspoon vanilla; 1 teaspoon cream of tartar; at least 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all ingredients, except rosemary, in mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly. You might need to add a little more flour if dough appears sticky — add 1 tablespoon at a time. Add rosemary and gently mix into batter. Chill the dough thoroughly until very firm.

Roll dough in small balls and then in sugar and flatten with the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar.

Bake, watching carefully until light golden — about 5 to 10 minutes. Baking time depends on how large you form the cookies.

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2017 (I)

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes –2017

Mom and Grandma Webner had a Betty Crocker cookbook in the kitchen, and Kish’s Mom did, too.  So when the time comes to look for some new Christmas cookie recipes to try this year, the Betty Crocker website — hey, who actually messes with looking at a book anymore? — is one of the first places I check out.  I’ve been brought up to trust Betty, and her website always has lots of good options.

I’m always on the lookout, too, for different options for bar cookies, and for some new ways to add a little color, variety, and eye-catching zing to the collection of cookies I’ll be putting into tins and sending out to my friends.  The recipe below caught my eye because of its color, shape, and use of cranberries, a perennial holiday favorite.  And since I like the taste of cranberries, how can I resist?

White Chocolate Cranberry Cookie Bars

0de8c64b-c5ff-4abc-97a3-b0234cf4b2c3Ingredients:  1 pouch (17.5 oz) Betty Crocker™ sugar cookie mix; 1/2 cup butter, softened; oz (half of 8-oz package) cream cheese, softened; egg; 1/4 cup coarsely chopped dried cranberries; 1/2 cup white vanilla baking chips.  Frosting and topping: package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened; 1/4 cup butter, softened; teaspoon vanilla; 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar; 1/3 cup coarsely chopped dried cranberries
Heat oven to 350 degrees and spray 13×9-inch pan with cooking spray.  In large bowl, stir cookie mix, 1/2 cup softened butter, 4 oz. cream cheese and egg with spoon until soft dough forms. Stir in 1/4 cup cranberries and the white chocolate chips. Spread dough in bottom of pan. Bake 20 to 23 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on cooling rack, about 1 hour.
In large bowl, beat 8 oz. cream cheese and 1/4 cup softened butter with electric mixer on medium-high speed until smooth. Beat in vanilla. On low speed, beat in powdered sugar until frosting is smooth and creamy. Spread frosting over top of bars; sprinkle 1/3 cup cranberries over frosting. Cut into 6 rows by 4 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2016 (III)

This morning Kish sent me a link to the New York Times “Christmas Cookie Plate” — their listing of Christmas cookie recipes from the Times Cooking section.  It’s the kind of thoughtful gesture that makes her the best wife ever.

The Christmas Cookie Plate offers an impressive array of cookie recipes, but one in particular caught my eye.  I’m a sucker for spice cookies and have been making Dutch Spice cookies ever since I started doing holiday baking years ago.  The recipe below for Grammy’s Spice cookies, though, includes a lot of spice — plus heavy cream and Irish whiskey in the icing.  I’m guessing that Grammy’s house was pretty festive.

Grammy’s Spice Cookies

Ingredients:  2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened (some of which is used for cookies, and some for icing); 1 cup sugar; 1/4 cup molasses; 1 large egg; 2 cups all-purpose flour; 2 teaspoons baking soda; 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon; 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger; 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves; 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt; 3 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar; 1 teaspoon vanilla extract; 3 tablespoons heavy cream or milk (add more as needed); 1 to 2 tablespoons Irish whiskey (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick liners.  Using an electric mixer, beat 12 tablespoons butter with the sugar, molasses and egg until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Slowly beat in flour, baking soda, spices and salt.  Shape dough into walnut-size balls and place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Bake until firm, about 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on wire racks.

To make the icing, slowy beat remaining butter (4 tablespoons) butter with confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Beat in vanilla and enough cream or milk, and whiskey if using, to make a spreadable frosting. Use on fully cooled cookies.

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2016 (II)

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2016

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2016 (II)

I like carrot cake, so when I saw this recipe for carrot cake cookies on the excellent delish.com website, I couldn’t resist it.  Now, whether I can actually successfully make the cookies is another question entirely . . . .

Carrot Cake Cookies

carrot-cake-cookies-9Ingredients:  1 cup softened butter, 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon cinnamon; 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 cup shredded carrots, 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, 1/2 cup raisins, 2 cups old-fashioned oats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment. Beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, until incorporated, then add vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture until well-combined.  Stir in carrots, coconut, raisins, and oats and mix until just combined.  Scoop 1-inch rounds of dough onto baking sheet. Bake until golden, 13 to 15 minutes. Let cool.

Cream cheese glaze ingredients:  1 cup powdered sugar, 1 ounce cream cheese, at room temperature, 1 tablespoon milk, 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Beat together cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until combined. Drizzle glaze over each cookie and let harden before serving.

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2016

Hey — it’s December already!  That means I need to get off my butt, stop trying to analyze the Ohio State-Clemson matchup in the college football playoffs, and start thinking about what cookies I’m going to be baking for the holidays.

This year I’m going to be making some gluten-free options, in view of a new acquaintance who is of the gluten-free disposition.  When I started looking around for recipes, I learned to my surprise that there are an abundance of gluten-free cookie recipes available.  This one looked interesting, and not just because it might cause me to learn how to pronounce the word “quinoa” and give me my first chance to eat something containing “tahini.”  I’d also be interested in any other gluten-free recipes readers would be willing to share.

Quinoa Tahini Cookies

picjok7auIngredients:  1/2 cup honey, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup tahini, 1 1/4 cups rice flour, 7/8 cup quinoa, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine honey, brown sugar, butter, and tahini; mix until creamy.  Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Spoon rounded teaspoonfuls of batter onto cookie sheets.  Bake for 10 – 14 minutes, until cookies start to turn golden brown.

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2015

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2014

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2013

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2012

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2011

Calling for Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2010

Calling for Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2009