Friday, December 15, 2017

Gingerbread Gooey Butter Cookies

You can’t have Christmas cookies without some sort of ginger cookie. I love ginger and do tend to make cookies with ginger all the time. In looking for a different variety of cookies to make this year, I came across the gingerbready gooey butter cookies and I knew I was sold. I’ve made one other gooey butter cookie and they were great. Pairing that with gingerbread flavors sounded like it couldn’t be beat.

With so many things going on during the holidays, I look for cookies that are either quick and easy to make, or cookies that can be made in stages. This cookie can be made in stages, with just a couple of minutes to put the dough together and then bake the cookies up another day. This dough is very sturdy, and I actually made the dough, refrigerated two days, and then baked them up. Ok, it was because I didn’t have power for a while at the time I was planning to bake them.

I really love crinkly cookies with powdered sugar; it seems very appropriate for the holidays. These cookies have a lot of different spices, but they are too spicy. Refrigerating the dough helps the flavors meld together, and since my dough was refrigerated for an extra long time, I think the flavors came together so nicely. The dough is sticky, even after refrigeration, but once you roll them in the powdered sugar that won’t be a worry. Rolling twice in the powdered sugar ensures a heavier coating, which makes the cookies look nicer. Thanks to the cream cheese in the dough, these are a lovely soft, spicy cookie!

Gingerbread Gooey Butter Cookies
2¼ cups plus 1 tablespoon flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2½ teaspoons ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon salt
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
½ cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon almond extract
1 egg plus 1 yolk
Powdered sugar

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves and salt. In a large mixer bowl, beat on medium the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the sugar, brown sugar, molasses, vanilla, and almond extract. Beat again on medium until well combined. Add the egg and egg yolk and stir to combine. With the mixer running on low, gradually add the flour mixture. The dough will be soft and sticky. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

Shape the dough into 1-1/2 in balls. Roll the cookies in powdered sugar, reshape the balls and then roll in powdered sugar again. Place on the prepared baking sheets, leaving at least 2 inches between the cookies.

Bake for 13-15 minutes, until set. The cookies will not be browned. Allow the cookies to set on the baking sheets for at least 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from Wicked Good Kitchen

Friday, December 8, 2017

Eggnog Snickerdoodles

I really like eggnog, and I love including the flavors of eggnog in Christmas cookies. I have to say though, that some “eggnog” recipes aren’t what I would say resemble eggnog very much at all. I’ve seen recipes where there is a teaspoon of rum extract and that makes it eggnog. Yeah, I don’t think so. Rum and nutmeg? Maybe, as those are the main components, but this recipe with prepared eggnog, rum and nutmeg really fits the bill.

Snickerdoodles were the first cookies that I remember making and they are my favorite. Incorporating the flavors of eggnog into my favorite cookie couldn’t be bad, right? I was actually surprised that I hadn’t made these before! If alcohol isn’t your thing, you could use rum extract or vanilla, but the flavor would change somewhat. I halved the recipe that you see below, and it made 25 cookies.

The dough is a different technique that you use with cookies. You put the dough together more like you would put together a cake, where you alternate adding the flour and the liquid. I figured that would lead to a softer cookie, and that certainly is the case. My cookies didn’t crack all that much, a little bit as they cooled, which would have made for a prettier cookie. I think this cookies do a fine job of conveying the flavors of eggnog, and the nutmeg sugar on the outside of the cookies give them a little extra punch.

Eggnog Snickerdoodles
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon rum
1 cup eggnog
4 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

In a large mixer bowl, combine the butter and sugar. Meat on medium until light. Add the egg and the rum and stir to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar. With the mixer running on low, add a third of the flour mixture, then half of the eggnog. Add another third of the flour mixture, the remaining eggnog, and finish with the last third of the flour mixture. The dough will be sticky.

In a small bowl, stir together the 1/3 cup sugar and nutmeg. Shape the dough into 1-1/4” balls and roll the balls in the nutmeg/sugar mixture. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 9-11 minutes, until the cookies are set and lightly browned along the edges. Allow The cookies to cool on the baking sheets for at least 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from Let’s Dish

Friday, December 1, 2017

Peppermint Shortbread Cookies

This time of year, it would be amiss to not make something with peppermint. It’s often paired with chocolate. I like that combination, but it can be fairly heavy. This cookie is simple: shortbread paired with peppermint crunch chips. Andes makes two types of mint chips, a chocolate mint and a peppermint crunch chip, which is more like white chocolate and peppermint candies. You use the latter in this recipe. They come in a red bag, so that’s the easiest way to identify the right ones.

This is a refrigerator cookie, which is convenient this busy time of the year. You can make the dough and then bake them up later or the next day. They only need to be refrigerated for two hours, so that was enough time for me to run some errands and have dinner and then baked them up. I mixed the dough up in the mixer, but you could also use the food processor. The original recipe said to cut in the butter, but I don’t typically have the best luck doing that.

The dough for these cookies is crumbly, which isn’t that strange for shortbread, but I was worried that the dough would never come together. It did finally come together, but required some hand-kneading. I added food color, and I will admit that I used too much food coloring. I was aiming for a nice pink and these are more than that. The cookies that I sliced thicker fared better when baking, but you can adjust as you prefer. These have a good peppermint flavor, and are very buttery. Be careful not to bake them too long or the cookies will be too crispy.

Peppermint Shortbread Cookies
2½ cups flour
¾ cups sugar
1 cup cold butter, cut in pieces
1¼ cups Andes peppermint crunch chips
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
Red food coloring
In a large mixer bowl or food processor, combine the flour and sugar. Add the butter cubes and mix or pulse until crumbly. Add the peppermint crunch chips, vanilla, peppermint extract and food color. Stir until the dough forms a ball. 

Divide the dough into two halves. Shape each half into a log, about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap each log of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least two hours.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats. 

Unwrap the dough and slice the cookies into slices, ¼” to 1/3” thick. Place on the prepared baking sheets.

Bake for about 12 minutes. Cookies will be soft but will set as they cool. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack. 

Recipe from Mom on Timeout