View Full Version : A holiday cookie challenge . . .
11-29-2011, 10:39 AM
After taking a few years off, I have decided to give cookies as gifts to friends and neighbors this year. I've been baking holiday cookies over the last few years, but just standards (snickerdoodles, peanut butter kisses, sugar etc) - which don't get me wrong, are wonderful - but I want to branch out a bit this year and bake some magical stuff. So, I'm looking for cookies that are :
1. Unique - not your standard holiday cookie tray kind of cookie
2. Fairly easy to make, relatively low stress
3. Freezer and packaging friendly
4. Pretty and delicious
Is this too tall of an order? Am I asking too much? Or, do you have the perfect cookie for me?
11-29-2011, 11:06 AM
These are really good and fit all of your requirements except maybe "pretty." They look nice, with all the nuts, but when I think of pretty, I think of fancy icings or trimmings.
SALTED NUT BARS
Heat oven to 350
Blend the following ingredients:
3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 cup butter or margarine, melted
Press into an ungreased 15 X 10 pan. Bake 10 - 12 minutes.
Sprinkle 3 cups of mixed nuts or salted peanuts over partially baked crust.
In small saucepan combine:
1/2 cup corn syrup
2 Tbsp margarine
1 Tbsp water
6 oz. butterscotch chips
Bring to a boil and boil 2 minutes, stirring constantly. (don't overboil, a little less is better than over doing it). Pour cooked mixture over nuts. Bake 10 - 12 minutes.
I find these are easier to cut if I line the pan in aluminum foil. I can lift them out of the pan whole, and put the on my cutting board to cut with a long knife. These are great. I have never made them with peanuts. I always use the deluxe nuts - without any peanuts at all.
11-29-2011, 12:39 PM
I think these meet your criteria.
Linzer Torte Cookies-AllRecipes.com
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup blanched slivered almonds, ground
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup raspberry jam
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a cookie sheet.
In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the egg and lemon peel. In another bowl, stir together the flour, almonds, cinnamon and cloves. Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture. The dough will be stiff, so you may need to knead it by hand to get it to come together.
Roll the dough out to 1/8 inch thickness and cut into rounds using a cookie cutter. Place cookies onto a cookie sheet spaced 2 inches apart. Count your rounds and use a small cookie cutter to cut the center out of half of the cookies. This can be done while the other half of the cookies bakes. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until firm and lightly browned at the edges. Allow cookies to cool completely. Spread jam on the tops of the solid cookies and top with the cookies that have shapes cut out. Dust with sifted confectioner’s sugar.
NOTE: I do not use the lemon zest or cloves in this recipe. I instead use 1 tsp. vanilla or almond extract. I also chill the dough for 1-2 hours before rolling it and cutting it out.
11-29-2011, 01:25 PM
I saw this one on "My Kitchen Adventures" blog. It really looked nice. To see a picture and her entry on this cookie click HERE (http://mykitchenadventures1.blogspot.com/). It is the November 17th post.
Almond Joy Shortbread Cookies
adapted from Lemon Coconut Snowball Cookies
Yield: approx. 2 1/2 doz. cookies
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar, that has been whizzed in the food processor for 30 seconds
1/4 tsp. salt
16 TBS unsalted butter, at cool room temperature ( 2 sticks cut into 8 pcs each )
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp imitation coconut flavoring
2 TBS ( 1 oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature ( I used light)
1/2 cup shredded coconut, that has been whizzed in food processor for 30 seconds
1 cup milk or semisweet chocolate chips, or similar melting chocolate
1 cup sliced and roasted almonds
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, with the paddle attachment on, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Let mix on low speed until combined. With mixer running on low, drop butter in by TBS one piece at at time until all butter is incorporated and the mixture looks slightly wet and crumbly. Add in the vanilla, coconut flavoring, and the cream cheese. Mix on low until it comes together into a smooth ball. ( it will...like magic!) Add in the coconut until just combined.
3. With hands, roll dough into 1 inch balls and place on parchment lined cookie sheets. With palm of hand, flatten each ball into a disc. Bake one batch at a time in oven until lightly browned on bottoms, about 12 minutes. Remove to wire rack and allow to cool.
4. Melt the chocolate in microwave at 50% - 70% power or over a double boiler on stove. If you are using chips, you might want to add a little shortening to loosen up the chocolate. Dip or spread the melted chocolate on the tops of the cookies then sprinkle with a bit of the almonds. ( you may not use all the chocolate or the almonds) Allow chocolate to set before storing. These cookies freeze well.
11-29-2011, 06:20 PM
If you really like snickerdoodles and really want some but a bit different, you might like to try these:
Eggnog Snickerdoodles Yields 4 dozen
2 3/4c flour
1 1/2c sugar
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp brandy extract
1/2 tsp rum extract
1/8 tsp nutmeg
Mix, chill, shape into balls. Roll in sugar mix
Bake 8-10 minutes at 375°. And I always double the recipe!!
11-30-2011, 07:55 AM
These are really good and very easy. I'm sorry I don't know where the recipe comes from, aside from my mom. She's made them since I can remember and I know I've never come across a similar recipe. the batter is runny and spreads a bit. I could eat the batter with a spoon, it's that good. :o
Preheat Oven to 350 degrees
½ Cup Heavy Cream
½ Cup Sugar
1 Cup Pecans, Chopped
¼ Cup Flour
Few grains salt
Beat the sugar and cream together until well blended. Add the flour and salt (just a tiny pinch). Stir in pecans.
Spoon batter 2 inches apart on aluminum foil (or a silpat). Bake until brown around the edges (about 10 minutes - it usually takes a little longer for me). Allow to cool completely before removing.
Melt 8 oz. semisweet chocolate. Add 2 TB cream or water. Spread mixture over baked cookies. Also can be made into sandwich cookies (my mom used to make them this way) – spread the chocolate mixture on one cookie and top with another.
11-30-2011, 11:39 AM
I made these last year I they were a hit, simple to make and freezer friendly. Don't know if this fits the bill of your #1. Also how about a biscotti? CL has a good cranberry whtie chocolate recipe.
here is the link to the recipe
12-01-2011, 02:03 PM
I really like this recipe from Land O Lakes and it's different than the usual stuff yet simple
Sparkling Butter Toffee Cookies
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup Land O Lakes® Butter (http://www.landolakes.com/Products/Butter/), softened
1 Land O Lakes® All-Natural Egg (http://www.landolakes.com/Products/Eggs/)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup English or almond toffee bits
Heat oven to 350°F. Combine sugar, butter, egg and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add flour, baking powder and baking soda; reduce speed to low. Beat until well mixed. Stir in toffee bits by hand.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten each with bottom of glass to 1 1/2-inch circles. (If glass sticks, dip glass in sugar.)
Bake for 9 to 1l minutes or until edges are just lightly browned. (Do Not Over Bake.) Sprinkle with sugar while warm. Cool completely.
Here's a picture:
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