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    Butterscotch Sundae Cookies

    If I’m going to write about cookies, it would be nice if I actually provided a recipe for one. It’s nearly the least I could do.

    So why this recipe? Well for one, members of my household love the flavor of butterscotch, both the real and artificial kind (and yes, there is a huge difference between the two). Second, with a name like “Butterscotch Sundae”, I was intrigued as to how close the recipe could get to an ice cream flavor. Finally, it was a simple drop cookie, so I didn’t have to sweat things like cookie cutters or press guns.

    The recipe comes from the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion. The more I go through this book, the more I find myself falling in love with it. This isn’t a bad thing. Romantic love of course, and very much unrequited.

    Part of my love affair comes from the fact that it provides the amounts of key ingredients in both weight and volume sizing. As I dig further into the realms of baking, I’m finding that the American preference for measuring cups lends itself to inconsistencies in results.

    Speaking of results, keep an eye on these cookies when in the oven. The use of dark brown sugar in the recipe makes it difficult to see if the cookie is overdone. Twelve to thirteen minutes is really all you need, eleven if you like moister cookies.

    Do the cookies taste good? Yes. Very much so. But they don’t taste a thing like an ice cream sundae.

    • 3 oz. (by weight) unsalted butter
    • 8 oz. (by weight) chopped pecans
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt
    • 6 oz. (by weight) unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 10.875 oz. (by weight) dark brown sugar
    • 1 Tbsp. dark spiced rum
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 8.5 oz. (by weight) all purpose flour, sifted
    • 6 oz. (by weight) butterscotch chips

    Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.

    Place a skillet over medium-low heat on your stove top and melt the 3 oz. of butter. Add the pecans and coat with the melted butter.

    When the pecans begin to brown and start to smell toasty, add your 3/4 teaspoon of salt. Mix well, and then remove from heat. Pour into a bowl and set aside.

    In a mixing bowl, cream together the 6 oz. of butter, brown sugar, and rum. Add to this mixture the eggs, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Once thoroughly incorporated, slowly add the flour, pecans, and butterscotch chips.

    On a baking sheet that has parchment paper, drop 1 tablespoon of the dough repeatedly until the sheet is full, keeping between 1 to 2 inches between each drop of dough.

    Place the baking sheet into the oven and allow to bake between twelve and thirteen minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool.

    Makes about 3 dozen cookies

    12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Elfin Shortbread

    12 days of Christmas Cookies: Day 11

    Ooof. Out of all of the cookies I’ve made so far, these have impressed me the least.

    I was looking for another ‘novelty’ type cookie, and found these little treats. Teeny tiny cookies appeal to some base instinct within me that I yet to figure out.

    But after making them, they ended up being nothing more than tiny pieces of shortbread. The novelty of the idea of the recipe did not match up with the reality of the results. Alas, this happens from time to time.

    And yes, when we’re referring to Santa’s workshop helpers the word is ‘elfin’. When we’re referring to the pointy-eared snobs of Middle Earth, it’s ‘elvin’. And when we’re referring to the peanut-butter and banana sandwhich afficianado, it’s ‘Elvis’.

    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
    • 1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
    • 2 Tablespoons red+green colored sprinkles

    In a mixing bowl, whip together the butter and sugar. Add the flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until you get a doughy consistency. Stir in the sprinkles. Cover the dough and refrigerate for at least one hour.

    To bake, preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.

    Take the dough and place it one parchment paper. Roll it into 1/2″ thickness. Then cut into 1/2″ by 1/2″ squares. Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Place the cookie sheet into the oven and bake between 14 to 16 minutes. Remove and allow to cool on the sheet.

    Makes a lot

    Technorati Tags: Recipe, Cookies, Holiday+Cookies, Shortbread

    12 days of Christmas Cookies: Almond Coconut Drops

    12 days of Christmas Cookies: Day 10

    Here we are, heading into the homestretch of this cookie marathon. Let me state, for the record, that I have hit the figurative “Cookie Wall”, where I’m not sure I can bear to face another recipe and another load of cookies to make. I just thank goodness that Tara’s coworkers have taken on the task of eating a fair majority of the items I have baked thus far.

    Which comes to what I believe to be a new law – Let’s call it “Kate’s Law of Christmas Cookie Baking”. This law states that “Unless one is a professional baker, one should make no more than five different cookie recipes for any Holiday season.”

    Meanwhile, to answer a question posed to me by the ever lovely Tara – These are not macaroons, for a variety of reasons. The primary reason is that macaroons need egg whites, which this recipe lacks.

    • 2 2/3 cup shredded coconut
    • 2 Tablespoons corn starch
    • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
    • 2 teaspoons almond extract (Amaretto will also work)
    • 1/2 cup slivered almonds

    Preheat yoru oven to 325 degrees F.

    In a medium bowl, combine the coconut and the corn starch. Stir in the condensed milk and the almond extract and mix well. Lastly, mix in the slivered almonds.

    Drop the coconut dough, one teaspoon at a time, onto a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet, spreading the drops at least one inch apart from one another.

    Place the cookie sheet into the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove and allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet.

    Makes 2 dozen cookies, give or take

    Technorati Tags: Recipes, Cookies, Holiday Cookies, Coconut Drops

    12 days of Christmas Cookies: Kris Kringles

    12 Days of Christmas: Day 9

    I remember these cookies from my childhood, but did not know that they were called Kris Kringles until recently. It’s one of those names that make little sense to me, as the dominating ingredients (various citrus zests) seem to be the antithesis of the traditional Christmas giftbringer of Germany.

    But they are fine looking cookies, that is for sure.

    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
    • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
    • 1 cup AP Flour
    • 1 Tablespoon orange zest
    • pinch o’ salt
    • 1 egg white, beaten
    • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
    • 12 candied cherries, halved

    In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the butter and sugar until the butter becomes slightly whipped. Then beat in the egg yolk, lemon zest and lemon juice. Once combined, add the flour, orange zest and the pinch o’ salt. Mix until the dough forms and the flour is thoroughly incorporated. Cover the dough in plastic wrap and place inthe refrigerator for at least one hour.

    Immediately prior to taking the dough out to use, pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees F.

    Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll the balls in the beaten egg whites and then roll in the chopped nuts. Place on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Top each cookie with a cherry half.

    Put the cookies into the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately place on a wire rack to cool.

    Makes 2 dozen +/-

    Technorati Tags: Recipes, Cookie Recipes, Holiday Cookies, Kris Kringles

    12 days of Christmas Cookies: Rum Balls

    12 days of Christmas Cookies: Day 8

    These little treats contain three of my favorite ingredients (sugar, cocoa and rum) and places them into a cookie. Rum? In Cookies? It’s like I’ve died and gone to liquor heaven. And since these are no-bake cookies, the alcohol doesn’t burn off. Can life get any better? I think not.

    Since there’s still alcohol in the cookies, one might wish to avoid handing these out to kids. Not that I think that there’s enough alcohol to do any damage to the kids, but rather because I think the adults need their own cookies. Let the children have their sugar cookies and rice krispie treats. We have our rum balls.

    One could easily replace the rum with any number of other alcoholic beverages. I’d recommend bourbon, vanilla vokda or cinnamon schnapps. However, I personally like the rum because it allows me to use my favorite brand of rum – Sailor Jerry’s (or as I refered to it recently, “The breakfast of Champions).

    • 1 1/2 cups pecans
    • 1 1/4 cups (vanilla wafer cookies
    • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon cardomom (optional)
    • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
    • 1/4 cup spiced rum
    • Powdered sugar and sweetened cocoa powder, to garnish

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

    Place the pecans on a baking sheet, place in the oven and toast for about 8 minutes.
    After cooling, chop the pecans with either a knife or place in a food processor. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

    Gronud the vanilla wafers by either placing them in a plastic bag and smashing the bejesus out of them with a mallet, or place them a food processor and pulse into fine crumbs. Add the crumbs to the bowl with the chopped pecans. Add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, cardomom and cocoa powder and stir until combined. Add the corn syrup and rum and mix well.

    Chill the dough for one hour and then shape into 1 inch balls. Place the remaining powdered sugar and the sweetened powdered cocoa into two seperate small bowls. Roll the rum balls in either the sugar or cocoa.

    makes 3 dozen

    Technorati Tags: recipes, cookies, rum balls

    12 days of Christmas Cookies: Tollhouse and M&M Cookies

    12 days of Christmas Cookies: Day 7

    If memory serves me correctly, Cook’s Illustrated recently did an article on how to make the best chocolate chip cookie and found that the Toll House Cookie recipe that we’ve all come to love is as close to perfection as one could get (at least when it comes to chocolate chip cookies).

    That’s not to say that one cannot nor should not tamper with a classic, all in the name of “The Holidays”. To wit, add red and green M&M’s in place of some of the chocolate chips and voila!…Instant holiday cookies.

    Part of me is fascinated by the fact that one can add red and/or green ingredients to a cookie, and suddenly it’s thought to be a “Christmas Cookie”. It’s amazing to me that these two colors are so iconic.

    Equally amazing to me is the fact that legend the “red” in the red and green comes from the representation of the blood of kings and then later the King of kings. Note that this is probably not a good tidbit of trivia to share with children and the more fundamentalist of Christians.

    Thanks to Tara for pointing this tidbit out. Oh, and the color green? As best as I can gather, it roughly represents the fertility of soil extrapolated from any number of myths and traditions revolving around death and rebirth.

    • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
    • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 large eggs
    • 3/4 cup plain M&M’s
    • 1 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
    • 1 cup chopped walnuts

    Preheat your oven to 375° F.
    In a medium mixing bowl, combine your flour, baking soda and salt.

    In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in the M&M’s, chocolate chips and walnuts. . Drop by rounded tablespoon onto parchment lined baking sheets.

    Place the cookie sheets in the oven and bake between 9 and 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes and then remove to wire racks to cool completely.

    Makes 4 dozen, give or take

    Technorati Tags: Cookies, recipes, Toll House Cookies, M&M’s

    12 days of Christmas Cookies: Ice Cream Kolackys

    12 days of Christmas Cookies: Day 6

    By no means should this recipe be considered traditional. Instead, it’s more of a novelty, what with the primary ingredient being melted ice cream.

    Read the ingredients below carefully consider them for a moment. We have a cookie made primarily from melted ice cream, butter and flour. It’s safe to say that this isn’t a recipe to share at the Jenny Craig Christmas party.

    • 1 pt. vanilla ice cream, thawed and melted
    • 1 lb. butter
    • 2 eggs, beaten
    • 1/8 cup sugar
    • 4 c. flour
    • 1 cup of your favorite jelly
    • powdered sugar, for dusting

    In a large bowl, mix together the ice cream and butter. Add the eggs and sugar, and mix until the sugar dissolves. Then add the flour, one cup at a time. Mix until the dough becomes relatively smooth and the butter is thoroughly incorporated. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

    When ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F.

    Roll out dough between 1/4″ to 1/8″ in thickness. Cut out into circles, placing a thumb imprint (or tablespoon imprint) in the center of the cookie. Spoon a teaspoon of jelly into the impression and place the filled cookies on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.

    Place the cookie sheet into the oven and bake between 17-20 minutes or until brown, whichever comes first. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes before dusting with powdered sugar.

    Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies

    Technorati Tags: recipes, kolackys, cookies, cookie recipes