Here are a few cookie recipe resources for the holidays. The first is the Food Network newsletter featuring cookie recipes emailed over 12 days. The second is a link to Epicurious “25 Days of Cookies” featured content for holiday baking. I recommend both to generate some new ideas.Read More
What is more fun than baking? Finding promising new ideas!!
As usual, I was researching recipes and I happened to bump into this new recipe about to come out in the December issue of Bon Appétit. I love ginger of any kind, and I am sure the combination of ground, crystallized and fresh ginger will give this an intense flavor. ….Think I will add this to my weekend baking list.
Makes about 40
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup minced crystallized ginger
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1/4 cup light (mild-flavored) molasses
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated fresh peeled ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/3 cup (about) sugar
Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, crystallized ginger, baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until creamy and light, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in both brown sugars. Beat on medium-high speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add egg, molasses, fresh ginger, ground ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Beat to blend. Add flour mixture in 2 additions, beating on low speed just to blend between additions.
Place 1/3 cup sugar in small bowl. Measure 1 tablespoon dough. Roll into ball between palms of hands, then roll in sugar in bowl to coat; place on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining cookie dough, spacing cookies 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart.
Bake cookies until surfaces crack and cookies are firm around edges but still slightly soft in center, about 15 minutes. Cool completely on sheets on rack.
Store in airtight containers at room temperature for up to 4 days.Read More
A good friend shared this recipe with me last year. I liked the chewy tart cherries and the crunchy pistachio combination. I also thought it was a fun cookie for the holidays because of its red and green color scheme. The original production size was way to much for me, so I cut it down dramatically without any ill effects on quality.
Pistachio and Cherry Mexican Wedding Cakes
Makes about 20 cookies
1 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup powdered sugar plus more for coating
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shelled unsalted natural pistachios, chopped
1/4 cup dried tart cherries or dried cranberries
3/4 cup + 1tablesoon sifted cake flour
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sifted all purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 1 baking sheets.
Using electric mixer, beat butter and powdered sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla and salt, then pistachios and cherries. Using spatula, stir in all flour (do not overmix dough).
Shape dough by generous tablespoonfuls into football-shaped ovals. Place on prepared sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake cookies until bottoms just begin to color, about 16 minutes.
Cool cookies on sheets 10 minutes before coating in extra powdered sugar. Pour generous amount of powdered sugar into medium bowl. Working with 1 or 2 warm cookies at a time, add cookies to bowl of sugar; gently turn to coat thickly. Transfer cookies to sheet of waxed paper. Repeat with sugar again and cool completely.
Store in airtight container at room temperature for up to 4-6 days.Read More
On a trip to Finland earlier this year, I realized that the food that had surrounded me as a child was Scandinavian. I guess I never connected that my great-grandpa was from Sweden. Alas, the myopia of the third-generation USA-born offspring.
One of my favorite cookies is a delicate Norwegian butter cookie, topped with chopped almonds, called Serina Kaker. It calls for vanilla sugar which is easy to make by pulsing 1/4 cup of sugar and a 1/2 vanilla pod together in a food processor and then seiving out the seeds. Or you can find it premade at specialty baking supply or spice stores.
Makes about 30.
1 cup cold butter (not margarine)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
(or substitute 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 tsp vanilla)
1 cup chopped almonds
Cut butter into small pieces in the mixer’s bowl, stir in the flour and baking powder. Blend on medium speed until well blended.
Add one egg, reserving the other, to the mixture, then blend at medium speed for 1 minute. Add the sugar and vanilla sugar while continuing to blend at medium speed, about one more minute. Refrigerate the dough in a covered container for two or three hours.
Beat the other egg. Roll the dough into small balls, about 3/4″ round, and place on ungreased cookie sheet 2″ apart. Flatten each ball slightly with a fork. Brush the top of the cookies with egg and sprinkle some chopped almonds or coarse sugar on top.
Bake at 375F for 8-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool the cookies.Read More
My quest for gingerbread crackles has lead me to Nuremberg Germany where the oldest gingerbread recipe in writing dates back to the 16th century and is kept in the Germanic National Museum.
The recipe below was given to me by my friend Jim. As best as I can determine, this is a variation on German almond lebkuchen.
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/3 teaspoon of salt
1/3 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon clove
1 tablespoon orange peel
grated rind 1/3 lemon
3/4 cup blanched chopped almonds
Beat egg whites, add sugar gradually. Add beaten egg yolks, plus flour mlxed with salt and spices, oragne and lemon.
Fold blanch almonds in mixture.
Drop by spoonfuls on cooky sheet dredged with cornstarch
and powdered sugar, bake in oven 350F about 15 minutes, until light brown.