Let’s have a Virtual Cookie Exchange!
For the uninitiated a cookie exchange is a holiday party where everybody brings a large batch of their favorite holiday cookies. The cookies are all set out on a table and when the gathering is over each guest takes home some of each kind so you end up with a nice assortment of different cookies.
Obviously we can’t reach into our computers and take cookies home (much as we’d like to!) but Dewberry and I thought this would be a great way to share recipes and give people a chance to try some new ones.
Our family favorite, by far, is iced sugar cookies. No, ours don’t look quite as good as the ones pictured above but they taste great! Any sugar cookie dough works but we’ve used Alton Brown’s the last few years with good results:
Recipe courtesy Alton Brown
about 3 dozen-2 1/2 inch
* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 egg, beaten
* 1 tablespoon milk
* Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric stand mixer and beat until light in color. Add egg and milk and beat to combine. Put mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl. Divide the dough in half, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with powdered sugar. Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator at a time, sprinkle rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Move the dough around and check underneath frequently to make sure it is not sticking. If dough has warmed during rolling, place cold cookie sheet on top for 10 minutes to chill. Cut into desired shape, place at least 1-inch apart on greased baking sheet, parchment, or silicone baking mat, and bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking time. Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes after removal from oven and then move to complete cooling on wire rack. Serve as is or ice as desired. Store in airtight container for up to 1 week.
Now this is me speaking. Be sure to use powdered sugar and not flour for rolling out the dough - you’ll end up with heavy, not very sweet cookies otherwise. And re-roll the scraps until there’s only enough dough left to eat by itself. ;-)
For icing either make your favorite white icing recipe or do what we do which is buy the pre-made stuff in the store. Divide into several small bowls and tint with food coloring. You can mix the basic colors to make all kinds of great shades. Have plenty of sprinkles, colored sugar and small candies on hand for decorating. Admire and devour.
Another recipe after the fold.
I think any cookie (or other food dish) featuring ground hazel nuts is good. This is a nice version of jam thumbprint cookies. It’s from a cookie recipe book sold as a fund raiser for the Botanic Gardens here and edited by a late and dear friend of mine.
Makes 5 dozen
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2/ cup ground hazel nuts
1 cup butter or margarine
2 egg yolks
raspberry and/or apricot jam
Combine all ingredients except jam. Chill overnight. Shape into walnut size balls. Flatten and make indentations in each with tip of finger. Grease pans, bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Cool completely and fill holes with jam.
What’s your favorite recipe or recipes? It’s the season of sharing! (And anyone who brings up health care reform on this thread will be banned!)
Categories: Food • Recipes • I Don't Know Much About Art, But I Know What I Like • Messylaneous •