Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snowman/woman Oreos

These snowman/woman cookies are so cute, but are so incredibly time consuming. This was the second time making them, which was a little surprising to me considering that after I made them the other day I swore it would be the first and only time I would ever make them. But they are just so cute!
To make them, I used double stuffed Oreos, white chocolate, royal icing, large sugar crystals, and luster dust for the cheeks. I'm hoping the next time I have to make these (which will be in a few days!) they will start to go a little faster!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ahhhh...all in a days work.

I found this recipe for Eggnog Thumbprints on which is one of my favorite recipe sites. Normally I when I find a recipe I tend to change it up and play with it some, but this one was perfect as is.
Eggnog Thumbprints
3/4 c. butter
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Next add flour and salt and combine until a dough forms. Roll dough into 1 inch balls, and make a thumbprint in the center of each ball.
Bake cookies in a 350 degree oven for about 10-ish minutes (I never set the timer) or until cookies are firm when you touch them.
For the frosting, combine 1/4 c. butter, 1 c. confectioners sugar, 1 tbsp. rum, and a pinch of nutmeg until smooth (I kept thinking that I would have to add more liquid, but it ended up being fine.) Using a star tip (#21) pipe rosettes into the thumbprint of each COOLED cookie. I had just enough frosting, but if you make your cookies smaller you probably will have to make a little more frosting. Sprinkle cookies with nutmeg and let sit until frosting is set up.

This is kind of a generic recipe for Peanut Blossoms, but I can't ever do anything plain and generic, so I had to change them up a little.

1 c. shortening (yeah, I know)
1 c. peanut butter
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. white sugar
2 eggs
1/4 c. milk
2 tsp. vanilla
3 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
sugar for rolling
2 bags of mini peanut butter cups
chocolate chips for striping
Cream together shortening, peanut butter, and sugars until smooth. Add eggs, and then milk and vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, and salt until combined. Roll into balls and then roll in sugar. Place on greased cookie sheets and bake in a 375 degree oven for 10-ish minutes.
Make sure you have all of your pb cups unwrapped, and place one on each cookie as soon as it comes out of the oven.
Melt chocolate chips in the microwave (add some vegetable oil if you need it) and stripe cookies. I was short some pb cups, but Emily had also been in the bag some, so I'm not sure how many (if any) I might of been lacking. =)

Ahhh, and here is a finished tray, ready to be wrapped up for Adam to take to work. I had also made Cake Truffles, a few variations of Almond-Marmalade Shortbread Thumbprints, one with coconut mixed into the dough, black cherry jam, toasted coconut on top, and striped with white chocolate (these were GOOOOOD!) Spritz, and some Chocolate-Peppermint Fudge.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Snowflake Butter Cookies

Making these cookies really makes me wonder how Anna has the patience to decorate the butter cookies at work like she does. I really enjoy decorating snowflakes like these, but man they are time consuming! Maybe it's just because when you do "projects" like this at home, you are are bound to get interrupted by two little girls, wondering what you are doing, wanting to watch (which means getting too close and bumping into me while I'm trying to pipe royal icing,) wanting to help, or wanting me to stop a million times to get them something. These snowflakes are all that I have the patience for, probably in part because I only need two colors of icing, and one tip. And I can't help getting a little nostalgic, remembering how my sister and dad taught me to make paper snowflakes when I was little (something that I've recently failed at teaching Em and Cam!) Anyway, I thought these cookies turned out really pretty, and I have more dough in the fridge ready to be rolled out, so I probably will be making more in the next few days. Sorry no recipe on this one; it's a cafe recipe, so I can't disclose! =)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Lots of cookies, so little time......

I can't even believe it's already into December; where did November go? I started off November thinking that I would get ahead on holiday baking and start filling up the new freezer (yay!) but having Ziploc bags of cookies at hand made it seem like we had a free cookie store in house. =) So basically, it's the first week of December, and I don't have any baking done. Plus it's into another round of Operation Baking Gals...I have to get "crack-o-lackin!"

These cookies did not last long in our house! I'm trying to think back now and remember which recipe I used for these...I'm almost thinking maybe I used the recipe for Almond-Marmalade Thumbprints, replacing the almond extract with vanilla and rolling them into logs instead of balls. I really liked these a lot, too, but I think I might use a recipe for shortbread fingers next time. I had problems getting these to roll into a rope so I could slice them evenly, so I hope to find a more fitting recipe.

I think these cookies are pretty close to the top (if not THE top) of my favorite cookie list. I don't know what it is about them...they just have this subtle, not overpowering, buttery, yummy...they are just GOOD! The almond just adds THE right touch. I love them!

Almond-Marmalade Shortbread Thumbprints
1 c. butter, softened
2/3 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 c. flour
marmalade, or any type jam
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in extract, and then flour. Roll dough into balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Make a thumbprint hole in the center and fill with jam.
Bake in a 350 degree oven until slightly brown (between 10-15 minutes.)
Once cookies are cooled, make a thick glaze using confectioners sugar, almond extract and milk. Stripe cookies and let the glaze set.

I think I'm the only one that has been eating these cookies! I'm not really sure why, considering that Em was eating the kisses.
Candy Cane Kisses
1 c. butter, softened
2/3 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 2/3 c. flour
1/4 c. cocoa
1 bag candy cane flavored Hersey Kisses
confectioners sugar
Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, then flour and cocoa. Refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour (or throw it in the freezer for 15-20 minutes.) While you are waiting for the dough, unwrap kisses. Wrap about 1 tsp of dough around each kiss and roll to form a ball. Roll balls in confectioners sugar and place on and ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 10 minutes.
Place remaining kisses in a small microwavable bowl and microwave until they are melted. Stripe cookies and let set.

I hate making these cookies. I don't really know why. It's not like they are difficult to make, or even have a lot of ingredients. They require no baking, I don't even need to use a mixer. Just a lot of ball-rolling.
Brandy Balls
2 1/2 c. crushed chocolate graham crackers
1 1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter, melted
1/4 c. brandy
confectioners sugar or more crushed chocolate graham crackers (to roll in)
Combine first four ingredients. The mixture will be crumbly, so you will need to adjust with more melted butter and/or brandy until you find the right consistency so you can roll the dough into balls without having them fall apart. Then just roll them in the confectioners sugar or graham crackers. Refrigerate them in a covered container, and give them a good week to get "saucy."
Rum Balls
2 c. crushed vanilla wafer cookies
1 c. sugar
1/3 c. butter, melted
1/4 c. rum
confectioners sugar (for rolling)
Combine first four ingredients; dough will be a little crumbly. This year I added another 1/8 c. rum and it made it perfect consistency for rolling. After rolling the dough into balls, roll them in confectioners sugar and refrigerate in a covered container. Again, give them a good week to get "saucy."

These cookies were really easy to throw together; I will probably mess with them and think of some other cookies to make out of them.
Sugar Sprinkle Slices
1 1/2 c. butter, softened
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla
3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
confectioners sugar
clear vanilla extract
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, and then flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix to form a dough. Split dough into two even parts. Roll each into a log, and roll each log in sprinkles. Wrap each log in plastic wrap and throw in the freezer until hard enough to slice.
Cut 1/4 in. slices, and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a 350 degree oven until cookies are just set (they are better when they are slightly underdone.)
Make a thick glaze using confectioners sugar, milk, and clear vanilla extract. Once cookies are cool, spoon glaze onto the center of each cookie.