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.

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