Saturday, December 20, 2008

Angela's Cookie Exchange

Thank you so much to all who participated. I can't wait to start baking!!
I'll be happy to post any late submissions in later posts, so if you still have a recipe to share, send it to me at
angelascookieexchange@hotmail.com .


Linzer cookies from Jenifer:


Ingredients:
2 Cups All Purpose Flour, Plus more for dusting
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
½ Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
¼ Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Blanched Hazelnuts
1 Cup Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature
2/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
2 Large Egg Yolks
½ Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
½ Teaspoon Lemon Zest
½ Cup Raspberry Jam
¼ Cup Confectioners Sugar

Directions:
In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a food processor, pulse hazelnuts until finely ground. Whisk the ground hazelnuts into the flour mixture and set aside.

With an electric mixer beat butter and granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, vanilla, and lemon Zest; beat to combine, scraping down the sides of mixing bowl as needed. With mixer on low speed, add hazelnuts-flour mixture, and beat until just combined.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface, divide in half, and shape into flattened disks. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least one hour or overnight. Remove one disk of dough from the refrigerator, and let stand until slightly softened. On a large piece of parchment paper lightly dusted with flour, roll dough to 1/8 – inch thickness. Freeze until firm, about 20 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remove one sheet of dough at a time from freezer and working quickly, cut into round, scalloped shapes with a Cutter or self made template. Cut out center from half the shapes with a smaller cutter. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until dough is crisp and lightly golden all over, about 15 minutes. Transfer “cookies” to wire rack to cool. Spread the flat sides of the whole cookies with raspberry jam. Sift confectioners’ sugar over the cut-out cookies. Just before serving, Place cut-out cookies over whole cookies; serve.


Oreo Cookies from Leslie

Ingredients:
1 devil's food cake mix
1/2 c. shortening
2 eggs

Directions:
Mix the above ingredients together. Roll the dough into balls just a bit bigger than a marble and place on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. Cool cookies.

Frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 square butter
2 tsp. vanilla
2 to 4 c. powdered sugar

Mix all of frosting ingredients until smooth. Frost BACKS of cookies and place together to make sandwich cookie.


Thumbprint Cookies from Megan


Ingredients:
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
2 egg yolks
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup jam or jelly, any flavor


Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F
In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, white sugar and egg yolks. Mix in flour a little bit at a time until a soft dough forms. Roll dough into 1 inch balls. If dough is too soft, refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes. Place balls 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Use your finger or an instrument of similar size to make a well in the center of each cookie.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown on the bottom. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks. When cool, add your favorite jam or jelly.


Chocolate Minty Cookies


Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup cocoa powder
1 egg white
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour

Peppermint cream filling:
2+ cups powdered sugar, sifted
10 - 15 drops peppermint extract (to taste)
1/4 cup half and half (or water if you are going to keep the cookies around unrefrigerated for a while)

Directions:
Pre-heat the oven to 350F degrees, position the racks in the middle of the oven, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat.

Using a stand mixer or handheld mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and cream some more, scraping the sides of the bowl a time or two. Stir in the vanilla extract, cocoa powder, egg white, and salt and mix until the cocoa powder is integrated and the batter is smooth and creamy and the consistency of a thick frosting. Add the flour and mix just until the batter is no longer dusty looking. It might still be a bit crumbly, and that's okay.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface, gather it into a ball, and knead it just once or twice to bring it together into a smooth mass. Divide into two pieces place each into a plastic bag and flatten into disks roughly 1 inch thick. Put the dough in the freezer for 20 minutes to chill.
One bag at a time remove the dough from the freezer. On a well floured surface roll it out very thin (remember these are going to be sandwich cookies) - roughly 1/8 inch thick. Or you might find it easiest to roll it out between to Silpats or pieces of plastic. Stamp out cookies in whatever shape you like - I used tiny scalloped circles here. Place on the prepared baking sheets, and bake for 7-10 minutes, or until they small of deep warm chocolate with toasty overtones. Larger cookies will take longer to cook than smaller ones. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack (if you have one).

While the cookies are baking, go ahead and make the filling. Using a stand mixer or handheld mixer, whisk together the sugar and half and half until nice and fluffy. You want the filling to be thick enough that it doesn't ooze out the sides of the cookies after they are filled, so if you need to add more powdered sugar, do so in small increments. If you need to thin out your filling, add more half and half a few drops at a time. Whisk in the peppermint extract a bit at a time, and taste as you go, the peppermint flavor shouldn't be overwhelming. When the cookies have completely cooled slather a bit of filling on half of the cookies. Top each slather with another cookie and enjoy!

Makes about 3 dozen 1 1/2-inch sandwich cookies.

Buckeyes from Debbie


Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups peanut butter
6 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 whole graham crackers, pulverized into crumbs (optional)
4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper; set it aside. Using a wooden spoon, mix together the peanut butter, sugar, butter, vanilla extract, and graham crackers, if desired, in a large bowl. (The dough will look dry.)

2. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls. Set them on the prepared cookie sheet and insert a toothpick into each ball. Chill them in the freezer until hard, about 30 minutes.

3. Melt the chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl set atop a pot of simmering water over medium-high heat. Stir continuously until smooth. Remove the pan from the heat. Using the toothpick as a handle, dip the balls into the melted chocolate, leaving a small circle at the top uncovered. Place the dipped candies back on the cookie sheet and refrigerate until the chocolate is set, about 2 hours. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Although the centers are traditionally creamy, you can add graham crackers to the mix if you prefer crunchy. Makes about 7 dozen buckeyes.

Melinda's Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

(I borrowed the photo from Martha)

Ingredients:
½ cup Shortening
1 cup Sugar
1 egg
1 tsp Vanilla
2 2/3 cups Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
½ tsp Baking Soda
½ tsp Salt
¼ tsp Nutmeg
½ cup Sour Cream

Heat oven to 425 F.

Mix thoroughly shortening, sugar, egg and vanilla.
Measure flour by dip-level-pour method. Mix dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream.
Divide dough and roll out to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutters; place on greased baking sheet.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until delicately golden.
Makes 4 to 5 dozen 2-inch cookies.

You can sprinkle with sugar prior to baking or frost them after they cool. Cream cheese frosting is especially good!


Cream Cheese Frosting
Ingredients:
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract



In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners' sugar. Store in the refrigerator after use.

Surprise Package Cookies from Michelle and Marissa


"Each of these buttery cookies has a chocolate mint candy inside"
Ingredients:
1 c butter (no subsitutes) softened
1 c sugar
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 t vanilla extract
3 c all-purpose flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t. salt
65 mint Andes' candies


Directions:
In a mixing bowl,cream butter and sugars. add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt, gradually add to creamed mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until easy to handle. With floured hands, shape a teaspoonful of dough around 42 candies, forming rectangular shapes. Place 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Remove to racks to cool.In a microwave or saucepan, melt the remaining candies and drizzle over cookies. YIELD: 3 1/2 dozen


Cream Wafers from Maxine


Wafers
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/3 cup whipping (heavy) cream
Granulated sugar
Creamy Filling
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla, lemon extract or peppermint extract
Food color, if desired

Directions:
1. In medium bowl, mix flour, 1 cup butter and the whipping cream with spoon. Cover and refrigerate about 1 hour or until firm.
2. Heat oven to 375ºF. Roll one-third of dough at a time 1/8 inch thick on lightly floured surface. (Keep remaining dough refrigerated until ready to roll.) Cut into desired shapes with 1 1/2-inch cookie cutters. Generously cover large piece of waxed paper with granulated sugar. Transfer cutouts to waxed paper, using pancake turner. Turn each cutout to coat both sides. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Prick each cutout with fork about 4 times.
3. Bake 7 to 9 minutes or just until set but not brown. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
4. Meanwhile, mix all Creamy Filling ingredients until smooth. Add a few drops water if necessary. Spread about 1/2 teaspoon filling between bottoms of pairs of cookies.