Cakes, Cookies & Pies

Butter Cookies

Christmas cookies wouldn’t be complete without the usual butter cookie. Some cookies are formed using a cookie gun or cookie cutters. This recipe mainly uses cookie cutters but if you want to use your smaller cookie maker go right ahead. These cookies are also frosted! They are easy to cut out and easy to make. Win win! Decorate them with colored sugars, sprinkles or anything you wish to make them festive!

I remember when we were kids there was a wonderful lady on our street who used to make the most incredible butter cookies. We’ve tried to recreate them over the years but they were just never the same. I will always think of her though when I make or eat butter cookies. Why is it when we try and recreate a recipe from childhood it just never quite tastes the same.

I found this recipe from Land O Lakes Butter. They called for “all-natural” eggs in the recipe but just use a regular egg. No big deal. Unless you don’t have to worry about money and can afford those fancy “all-natural” eggs. Also remember to make the dough ahead of time. It should be refrigerated 2-3 hours at least before cutting into cookie shapes.

COOKIE INGREDIENTS:

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 egg

2 tablespoons orange juice

2½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

FROSTING INGREDIENTS:

3 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup butter softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

1-2 tablespoons milk

food coloring if desired

DIRECTIONS:

1. Combine 1 cup butter, sugar and egg in a large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until it is creamy.

2. Add the orange juice and vanilla and mix well. Reduce speed to low. Add flour and baking powder. Beat until well mixed.

3. Divide dough into thirds. Wrap each in plastic food wrap and flatten slightly. Refrigerate until firm, about 2-3 hours.

4. Heat oven to 400º. Roll out dough onto a lightly floured surface, one-third at a time, to 1/8-1/4-inch thickness. Keep remaining dough refrigerated. Cut with 3-inch cookie cutters. Place 1 inch apart onto ungreased cookies sheets. Sprinkle with colored sugar if desired.

5. Bake for 6-10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

6. If using the frosting combine powdered sugar, 1/3 cup butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla in small bowl. Beat at low-speed, scraping bowl often and gradually adding enough milk for desired spreading consistency. Tint with food color, if desired. Frost and decorate cooled cookies as you wish!

– If you use a 4 to 5-inch cookie cutter the recipe will make about 2 dozen cookies

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Macaroons in Paradise

Well here it is again, almost 7pm and my blog is still not ready for today. But here we go. I found this recipe on Food Network back in 2008. It is one of Alton Brown’s recipes and it is full of calories and downright deliciousness. The cookies are definitely NOT on the diet list. But like I’ve said before it’s the holidays and no calorie counting till the new year. The cookies are also very rich and sweet so be careful eating them. They are very addicting. Not only are they addicting but they are really easy to make also.  Easy and decadent!


INGREDIENTS:

2 (7 to 8 ounce) packages sweetened shredded coconut

2 ounces sweetened condensed milk

Pinch kosher salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 large egg whites at room temperature

5 ounces granulated sugar

12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

1 ounce vegetable shortening

2 ounces finely chopped dry-roasted macadamia nuts

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

2. Combine the coconut with the sweetened condensed milk, salt and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a hand mixer) with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue to whip the whites until medium peaks form, 6 to 7
minutes.

4. Gently fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture. Scoop tablespoon-sized mounds onto a parchment-lined half sheet pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately transfer the parchment with the macaroons to a cooling rack. Cool completely before topping.

5. Fill a 4-quart pot with enough water to come 2 inches up the side, set over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Combine the chocolate chips and shortening in a small metal or glass mixing bowl and set over the simmering pot. Stir occasionally until melted, then remove from the heat.

6. Dip the cooled cookies in the chocolate mixture, sprinkle with the chopped macadamia nuts and place on parchment paper to set, about 30 minutes.

Makes about 42 cookies

Poinsettia Cookies

What says Christmas more than a beautiful red poinsettia. I continue to buy them every year, they just make everything more Christmas-like. I even plant them outside when Christmas is over. Here in Florida they continue to grow long after the holidays. We’ve had them get pretty big too, until the landscapers did something and killed it. I think they poisoned it or something but I can’t prove it. Anyway…When I saw this recipe it sounded really cool. I could not find a picture however and I have not made them yet. So you can use your imagination on it until I bake some and post the photo. They are a pretty simple cookie to make also. You can make the dough ahead of time and use it later.

INGREDIENTS:

¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter, softened

¾ cup sugar

1 egg

2 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup butterscotch chips, divided

½ cup sweetened flaked coconut

1 jar (4 ounces) red candied cherries


DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350º.

2. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, egg, water, and vanilla until well blended. Gradually add the flour, baking powder and salt until well combined.

3. Stir in ¾ cup butterscotch chips and the coconut. Cover and chill at least one hour.

4. Cut the candied cherries in half. Then cut each half into 3 slices.

5. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and place on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten each ball and place a butterscotch chip in the center of each. Arrange 5 cherry slices in a circular pattern around each butterscotch chip to resemble the pattern of a poinsettia.

6. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cookies are firm but not brown. Cool the cookies for about 1 minutes on the baking sheets then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

Super Easy Sugar Cookies

When I say these cookies are super easy I am not joking. They are drop cookies so that means no cookie cutters, no shaping, no forming, just dropping onto a cookie sheet! The best part is that there are only 4 ingredients also! Yes, you heard me, 4 ingredients!

Of course today as usual I had all good intentions of getting this blog done early. But as it’s now 7:30pm and my husband will be home for dinner shortly I am rushing to get this done. Again. I started the day with my mental list of what to do. Christmas cards was at the top. They are mostly done. Wrote them all out and addressed the envelopes. But I still have to seal, stamp and send. Whew. Before I knew it the day was gone, again. I spend most of my day looking for a job. It’s a tiring and frustrating experience to say the least. I had the perfect job until July 2009. I worked at home on my computer. Never had to go to an office, never had to deal with the general public, never got bothered by annoying people (except telemarketers, but that’s what caller id is for). It was perfect. I set my own schedule and I loved it. But as we all know this economy is in the toilet. It effected my job and the company I worked for had to close. I was an independent contractor for them so I of course was not getting a nice severance or unemployment. So when you all read about the 10-15% unemployment rate out there, it’s a lie. It’s more like 25% if not higher. People like me aren’t counted. So now I just scour the ads, online, newspaper, everywhere. If I could only make some money doing this blog! So that is why my day gets away from me. I am happy now to go into my little world of blogging and become useful for a while.

Ok, now to the super-duper easy peazy recipe. And did I mention these are so tasty you will want to eat them all? They are very moist and soft and they also freeze and store well! They are wonder cookies! 🙂


INGREDIENTS:

1 (8 ounce) container fat-free dessert whipped topping

2 egg whites

1 (18.25 ounce) box white cake mix, dry (you will not be following the box directions)

¼ cup confectioner’s sugar (or for the holidays use red and green sugar crystals instead!)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350º. Spray three cookie sheets with cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl mix the whipped topping and egg whites with a spatula until combined.

3. Add the cake mix and stir until well blended.

4. Scoop the dough by tablespoonfuls and dip into the sugar crystals or confectioners’ sugar. Using another spoon scrape the dough onto the prepared cookie sheets.

5. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies are set in the middle.

Makes about 36-40 cookies

Cranberry-White Chocolate Cookies

These cookies are very festive looking with their white chips and red cranberries! To make them look even more Christmas-like you can even add some shelled pistachios! The green will be subtle but very classy looking.

These cookies are also pretty easy to make. They are drop cookies. Nice and simple.

INGREDIENTS:

2½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

½ cup butter, softened

1 1/3 cups sugar

2 large eggs

1½ cups white chocolate morsels

1 (6 ounce) package sweetened dried cranberries

DIRECTIONS:

1. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.

2. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add egg, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.

3. Add flour mixture to butter mixture gradually, beating at low-speed until blended. Stir in white chocolate morsels and cranberries.

4. Drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto lightly greased baking sheets.

5. Bake at 350º for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned on bottom. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Makes 3 dozen cookies

Mini Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Talk about an easy cookie to make. These little bites of cookie and candy are another one of my favorites. Not only because they are so easy and only use 2 ingredients but because they are just so darn tasty! I could eat a dozen of them easily in one seating. If not more! The first time I had these, thanks to my friend Beth, I fell in love! When Beth made them they were just regular chocolate chip cookies but when I make them I use nuts. The two ingredients are pre-made cookie dough and mini peanut butter cups. You can use any of your favorite “tubes” of premade cookie dough. Chocolate chip, chocolate chip with nuts, sugar, chocolate… Also needed are mini muffin tins. I bake one tin at a time. It’s easier.

INGREDIENTS:

1 roll of pre-made cookie dough (your choice)

Bag of mini peanut butter cups (about 36 cups needed)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to directions on cookie dough package.

2. Fill each mini tin about 3/4 full with cookie dough. Bake according to package directions. If you wish you can spray the tins with cooking spray before adding dough just in case they stick.

3. While cookie dough is baking unwrap about 36 mini peanut butter cups so you have them all ready to go.

4. When cookie dough is finished baking remove from oven and place on cooling rack. While still warm press a mini peanut butter cup into each muffin tin. The heat will melt the chocolate a little which will help it to bond with the dough when it cools. Work quickly so the cookie dough does not harden before you can get the peanut butter cups into them.

5. When cookies are cool enough to handle carefully remove from tins and continue to cool on racks till hardened.

Makes about 36 cookies

Pecan Petites

One of my favorite cookies from a cookie exchange was from my friend Aimee. These cookies melted in your mouth! There was no way you could eat just one! Or two or three…They are delicious round balls of yumminess!

This recipe is also very easy to make. Easy is good. This way you can make more than one type of cookie! The recipe originally called for margarine but I don’t like using margarine. So using butter is a great alternative.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup butter/margarine

¼ cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1 cup chopped pecans

Confectioners’ sugar

DIRECTIONS:

1. Cream butter or margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in vanilla.

2. Add flour, mix well. Stir in the pecans.

3. Shape rounded teaspoons of dough into balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

4. Bake at 325º for 20 minutes. Cool slightly, roll in confectioners’ sugar.*

*If you want to make them festive for Christmas roll them in red or green sugar crystals.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

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