Tag Archives: butter

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

I really love lemon cookies. You don’t usually see too many out there either and this recipe was too good not to include. I think most people may have these around Easter or springtime but who says you must have certain cookies certain times of the year? The cookie police? I don’t think so. These little delights are just so tasty and very addicting! I rationalize that cookies are better than cake because they are smaller. 🙂 This way I can eat more! These are also a sort of drop cookie so they are pretty simple. No cutting or pressing involved. They are also topped with a wonderful lemon glaze to make them even more enticing! Like I need an excuse as it is!

INGREDIENTS:

2½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 stick butter, softened

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 (15 oz) container whole milk ricotta cheese

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 lemon, zested (this is probably the hardest part of the recipe and it’s not even that hard!)

GLAZE:

1½ cups powdered sugar

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 lemon, zested

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.

2. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl combine the butter and sugar. Using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until mixed in. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice and lemon zest. Beat till combined and stir in the dry ingredients.

4. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. (Trust me, using parchment paper will make your cookie experience so much better!) Spoon the dough (about 2 tablespoons for each cookie) onto the baking sheets.

5. Bake for 15 minutes, until slightly golden on edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the cookie sheets for about 20 minutes. (Don’t get anxious and try to take them off earlier! You’ll be sorry! :P)

6. GLAZE: Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Spoon about ½ teaspoon onto each cookie and use the back of the spoon to gently spread it. Let the glaze harden for about 2 hours. NOW you can take them off the cookie sheets and pack them in decorative containers. Enjoy!

Makes about 44 cookies

Festive Cherry Drops

I found another really tasty cookie from the great people at Land O Lakes. This recipe uses maraschino cherries, and yes, I can hear some of you saying how bad they are for us. Yes I know. But we’re not eating the whole jar and it just makes these cookies burst with flavor! For one time of the year just enjoy them. Sometimes I think we’d all be better off not knowing “what is bad for us”. Life is short. Enjoy!

This recipe also has a chocolate drizzle on it. So cool looking! If you prefer you can change the chocolate morsels for the drizzle to white chocolate and make it a white drizzle instead. Still really delicious! Remember no calorie counting till next year!! (Though I did look at the calorie content for one of these delicious bites and it’s a scary 160 calories PER COOKIE!) Like I said, no calorie counting till next year. This is also a pretty easy recipe to make. Drop cookies are always pretty simple.

Photo is courtesy of Land O Lakes.

INGREDIENTS:

½ cup sugar

½ cup butter, softened

1 egg

½ teaspoon vanilla

1½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 (6 ounce) jar (½ cup) maraschino cherries, well-drained, chopped

DRIZZLE:

2/3 cup real semi-sweet chocolate chips (or white chocolate)

2 teaspoons shortening

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350º.

2. Combine sugar and butter in a large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add egg and vanilla, continue beating until well mixed. Reduce speed to low, add flour and baking powder. Beat, scraping the bowl often, until well mixed. Add the cherries and stir into dough.

3. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls (use a regular teaspoon not a measuring spoon) onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Cool for 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire cooling rack. Cool completely.

4. Place chocolate chips and shortening in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH, stirring occasionally, until melted. (30-45 seconds). Drizzle cooled cookies with melted chocolate. Let stand until chocolate is set.

Makes about 3½ dozen cookies

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

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

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

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

Pina Colada Oatmeal Cookies

Ok my Christmas tree is up and decorated! Woo Hoo! Now I just need to clean up and finish up the loose ends for the inside decorating. Spent all morning and part of the afternoon Christmas shopping so I got a late start on the tree today. I had promised myself I would write the blog in the morning also. Didn’t happen! It is amazing that even though I am not working (unemployed but not by choice!) you would think I had so much time on my hands! I seem to have even less. Looking for a job is a full-time job in itself so I am happy to take time and just write about my recipes and research photos and just escape into my own little food blog world. It’s a great place!

My Christmas tree

Great places have great food and drinks. The piña colada is a wonderfully decadent and delicious drink and it definitely brings up images of palm trees, warm weather, sandy beaches, tiki huts…You get the picture. So I found a recipe for my last cookie exchange that took that wonderful cocktail and made it into a cookie! The recipe calls for rum extract but I like to use the real thing. Or even use a coconut rum. It’s a small amount so don’t worry that anyone will be getting plastered from eating these cookies. They are tasty and tropical and they even go great with a real piña colada to wash them down! Why not! It’s the holiday! Enjoy! (I know the picture is small but I didn’t have a close up them by themselves. Never thought I’d be doing a blog when I made them!)

Pina Colada Oatmeal Cookies

INGREDIENTS:

1½ cups firmly packed dark brown sugar

1½ sticks butter, softened

1 egg

1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple in juice

1 teaspoon rum or coconut rum (or use rum extract)

2 cups flour

½  teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1½  cups rolled oats (not quick cooking)

½ cup flaked coconut

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350º. In a large bowl, beat the brown sugar and butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, pineapple with its juice, and rum extract until well blended.

2. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat until well blended. Stir in oatmeal and coconut.

3. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets. (Those silicone mats or parchment paper work great also). Bake for 15-20 minutes. Let cookies cook on sheets for 2 minutes, then remove to a rack and let cool completely.

Makes about 48 cookies

Rainbow Cookies

Here they are as promised! Rainbow Cookies! This recipe was from one of my very first Cookie Exchanges. My sister was the ambitious one! She didn’t have any kids yet and had lots of time! (She has 5 now!) The recipe itself isn’t really that hard, it is however time-consuming. Many things to do but if you follow the directions you’ll have no problems. Some rainbow cookies have a chocolate layer on the bottom as well as the top, this one has only chocolate on top. Either way they are delicious and your friends and family will be impressed when you tell them you actually baked them yourself!

I was trying to find a picture from this party way back when. It had to be in the mid-late 1990s. I’m still looking though so if I find it (after 5 or 6 moves I’m lucky I find anything!) I will add it in. I know I must have a photo of it somewhere so be patient and I’ll search for it.

This recipe will NOT, I repeat NOT, be low-calorie. Then again, most cookies that are really good aren’t! It is the season for eating and being merry so no worries this time. Just get in the kitchen and bake like crazy! I wonder if I asked my sister to make these today what she would do. Hmmm…Oldest child is 12 and youngest is now 6. Free time? Sure! NOT! She’ll just laugh at me.

Cousin Linda (L) and sister Michele (R)

I may still do an exchange this year if I want to throw one together real fast. I just love them. I just wish everyone else did! I have so many fun memories of the past ones I’ve had. Like my cousin Linda showing up to the party with cookies that were still warm from the oven! As my sister-in-law Maureen told her, “Linda, the party starts at 4:00, that doesn’t mean start baking at 4:00!” She was also late to the party. The following year I told her an hour before everyone else. Guess what? She showed up on time, an hour before everyone else! It’ll never happen again though!

INGREDIENTS:

3 sticks butter

1½ cups sugar

1½ cups flour

4 eggs

4 ounces almond paste (½ stick or ½ can usually)

1 bag (about 12 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips

red, green, yellow food coloring

1 jar seedless raspberry jam (use sugar-free here if you want to save a little calories)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Combine butter, sugar, flour, eggs and almond paste in a large bowl with an electric mixer.

2. Divide batter evenly into 3 bowls (something that won’t get stained). Add yellow, green and red food coloring into bowls. One color per bowl. Add a few drops at a time till the color you want is reached.

3. Spray three 11½ x 8 (1½” deep) aluminum pans with cooking spray. Line with wax paper and spray again. Pour each bowl into a separate pan.

4. Bake individually for 15-20 minutes at 350º.

5. After cooling, remove from pans, stack and layer with raspberry jam. Don’t put jam on the top. Just between the two bottom layers.

6. Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes. Stir till smooth. Frost top of layers only with the melted chips. After chocolate hardens (put in fridge to help this along), cut into individual squares. Store in refrigerator.

**Not sure how many this will make but it also depends on how big or small you cut the squares. Enjoy!

She-Crab Soup

Keeping with the Charleston recipes today’s is She-Crab Soup. I have had this soup here in Florida and it was delicious. So creamy and rich and just plain scrumptious! It is not a low-calorie soup but you can lighten it up a bit by substituting some ingredients with their lighter counterparts. But for now I’m leaving the recipe as is. I won’t put in the calories I found on this either. No need. We know it’s high and we’ll leave it at that. Now what is a “she-crab” and why is it in a soup?

The soup is a regional specialty from the South Carolina Lowcountry. It is considered to be the signature dish of Charleston, SC and is featured on the menus of many of the city’s restaurants.

The soup is named for the “She-Crab”, or female crab, originally a gravid crab, heavy with the flavorful orange crab roe that is typically a main ingredient in traditional she-crab soup. You can leave the roe out of this recipe if you wish, nobody will know! I definitely plan on having this while on our little visit and I will be making a lighter version of my own when I get home. I looked through many recipes and formed my own version for this recipe.

If you want to learn a little more on the history of  She-Crab Soup, just click on the link for more information and another version of the recipe. I will add my substitutions after some ingredients.

INGREDIENTS:

5 tablespoons butter (or butter substitute)

5 tablespoons all-purpose flour (or soy flour)

1 small sweet onion, grated

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 quarts half-and-half (or fat-free half-and-half)

1 pint heavy cream (or light cream)

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup chicken broth (fat-free)

1 pound lump crabmeat

3 tablespoons crab roe (optional)

1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (my husband would want more I am sure!)

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons fresh dill (2 tsp. dried)

2 tablespoons scallions, chopped

½ cup sherry wine

DIRECTIONS:

1. Melt the butter in a large stockpot/dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in the flour to make a smooth paste (a roux) and cook for about 3 minutes, making sure you stir constantly! Stir in the onion and garlic and season with the salt and pepper. Continue cooking and stirring for about 4 more minutes.

2. Gradually whisk in the half-and-half making sure no lumps form. Stir in the chicken broth and heavy cream. Bring this to a simmer and pour in half of the sherry. Add the dill, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the soup has reduced by a third. Add the crabmeat (and roe if you decide to use it), stir carefully. Simmer for another 10 minutes stirring occasionally.

3. Serve the soup and top each bowl off with a splash of the rest of the sherry and a sprinkle of the scallions!

Serves 8 (cut the recipe in half if this will be too much for your family)


Homemade “Boursin” Cheese

Years ago I discovered Boursin Cheese. But that little container (only 5.2 ounces!) can be very expensive. I haven’t bought it in years because of that. It would also be gone in minutes because there isn’t much to it. This recipe may not give you a huge amount either (8 ounces at least) but you can also double the recipe and use lighter ingredients as well to save some calories and fat. It’s a cream cheese base so use the light cream cheese. I will not use fat-free cream cheese because I feel that it really loses all it’s flavor when you take away ALL the fat. But that’s just me. It’s up to you and what you wish. If calories are no object then by all means use the full fat version of cream cheese in the recipe. Another great thing about this recipe is that all the herbs and spices in it are very common and I would think most of us have them all on hand in our pantries. This recipe actually comes from The Queen Victoria Bed & Breakfast Inn. I had stayed there many years ago. The Inn is in Cape May, New Jersey and was a wonderful place, not far from the water. So give this a try and remember to make it the night before. It’s better that way, trust me! The spread itself is mild and is accented nicely by the crushed peppercorns. It’s a great spread with crackers during cocktail hour!

INGREDIENTS:

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon dried basil

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

freshly ground black peppercorns

DIRECTIONS:

1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

2. Shape into a ball or log and roll in crushed black peppercorns or place in a serving dish and sprinkle generously with coarsely crushed black peppercorns. Or just serve it in a decorative serving bowl! Your choice!

3. Best if refrigerated at least overnight before serving.

Makes 1 cup

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