Recipes, memories and random thoughts from my kitchen
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Favorite Ingredients Friday for October 5
For Favorite Ingredient Friday this week, it’s the Holiday Edition, and so I thought I would share some of our very favorite Christmas cookies!
SACHER TORTE COOKIES
1 cup butter, softened
1 (4 1/2 oz.) pkg. instant chocolate pudding mix
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup apricot (or raspberry) jam
1/2 cup chocolate chips
3 tablespoons melted butter
Heat oven to 325°. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter and pudding mix; cream together until fluffy. Beat in egg and extract. Gradually add flour, beating at low speed with mixer until dough forms. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Dip balls in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. With your thumb, make an imprint in center of each ball.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until cookies are firm; remove from sheets immediately to wire racks to cool. When cookies are cool, fill each indentation with about 1/2 teaspoon jam. In a small saucepan, or in microwave, blend chips and butter over low heat until chocolate melts, stirring constantly. Drizzle about 1/2 teaspoon chocolate over each cookie.
Yield: About 4 dozen cookies.
This is one of our very favorite Christmas cookie recipes. They look pretty and fancy but are very easy to make.
3 cups butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted if very lumpy
4 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups cornstarch
Colored candy sprinkles and/or halved candied cherries
Red or green colored sugar, optional
Using a heavy-duty mixer, beat butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add dry ingredients, beating constantly until well blended. Roll dough into 1-inch balls (dust hands with additional cornstarch if necessary); dip balls in either colored candy sprinkles or colored sugar. Place balls, decorated side up, on ungreased cookie sheets. Press lightly with a fork. To decorate with cherries, do not dip balls in sprinkles or sugar. Instead, place plain balls on cookie sheet and press lightly with fork. Top each cookie with a cherry half.
Bake at 300° for 20 to 22 minutes or until cookies are set but not browned.
Yield: 16 dozen cookies
This is a very big recipe, but it is very easily divided in half. It is
so easy, but produces many beautiful cookies quite quickly. These are
some of our very favorite Christmas cookies.
CHRISTMAS TREE SPRITZ
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. almond extract
14 tsp. salt
2 1/4 cups flour
Green paste food coloring
Colored candy sprinkles
Heat oven to 400°. Cream butter and sugar. Blend in egg and extract, then flour and salt. Blend in small amount of green coloring to tint dough a light green. Place tree plate in cookie press. Fill press with 1/4 of dough at a time. Form cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle cookies with colored candy sprinkles.
Bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until set but not brown. Remove to racks to cool. Makes about 9 dozen.
This is a favorite on our cookie trays because it adds a note of lively color. If you do not care for almond flavoring, substitute vanilla.
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
1 Tblsp. lemon juice
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
Beat butter until light; beat in sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in lemon peel and juice and egg to blend thoroughly. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture, blending well.
Fill the cookie press with one-fourth of the dough at a time. Use the plates of your choice to press out cookies about 1inch apart on ungreased baking sheet. (I traditionally use the camel plate for these
cookies. No idea why I started doing that.)
Bake at 375° for 10 to 12 minutes, or until light brown on edges. Remove from baking sheets to cooling racks. Makes about 8 dozen cookies.
These cookies have a very nice lemon flavor. It's a change from the
more traditional spritz flavors.
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
2/3 cup raspberry jam
1/4 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cups flaked coconut
1 tsp. sugar
For dough, cream butter and sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add egg; beat until well mixed. Stir in flour. Pat dough into a 13 x 9-inch pan. Spread jam evenly on top. In a small bowl, combine all topping ingredients; spread carefully over jam.
Bake at 350° for 25 minutes. Cool in pan; cut in very small squares (about 1-inch) as they are very rich. Makes about 5 dozen.
I found this recipe in a magazine one year when I was searching for a new recipe for my cookie trays. These cookies are very easy and have been a hit with everyone.
MACAROON KISS COOKIES
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 pkg. (3 oz.) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tsp. almond extract
2 tsp. orange juice
1 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
5 cups flaked coconut, divided
9 oz. Hershey milk chocolate kisses, unwrapped (about 54)
Cream butter, cream cheese and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add egg yolk, extract, and orange juice; beat well. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture until well blended. Stir in 3 cups coconut. Cover dough and chill it for about 1 hour.
Shape the dough in 1-inch balls. Roll balls in remaining coconut; place on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned on bottom. Remove from oven and press a chocolate kiss into the center of each cookie. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet, then carefully remove to racks to cool until chocolate is firm. Makes 4 1/2 dozen.
I found this recipe in an old Early American Life magazine being discarded by the library. These cookies are delicious and very festive-looking.
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar, divided
1/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
1 3/4 cups flour
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 Tblsp. unsweetened baking cocoa
1 egg, separated
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans
Candied cherry halves OR red and green M&Ms
Cream butter with 1 cup confectioners' sugar until well blended. Mix in 1/4 cup cocoa; gradually beat in flour, mixing until smooth. Chill dough for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, for filling, beat cream cheese in small mixer bowl; add remaining 1 cup confectioners' sugar, 2 T. cocoa, egg yolk, and vanilla, beating until smooth. Set aside. Slightly beat the egg white in a custard cup; set it aside.
Shape cookie dough into 1-inch balls; dip in egg white, then roll in chopped pecans. Place balls 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Gently press thumb into center of each cookie to make indentation; fill each with about 1 tsp. filling mixture.
Bake for 12 minutes at 350° or until filling appears set. Cool slightly on cookie sheet; top each cookie with a cherry half or an M&M candy. Remove to racks; cool completely. Store in refrigerator due to the cream cheese filling. Makes 40.
This recipe was in the same magazine article as the Macaroon Kiss recipe. These cookies are really pretty and delicious. The M&Ms are my own variation. If you would like vanilla filling rather than chocolate (even prettier!), just leave out the 2 T. cocoa in the filling mixture.
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 Tblsp. dark molasses
3 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 Tblsp. cinnamon
1 Tblsp. ginger
1 Tblsp. cloves
Juice and grated rind of 1 orange
Cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy; add molasses and egg. Mix until blended. Sift flour, soda and spices into creamed mixture. Add orange juice and rind; mix until well blended. Roll dough on lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into heart or reindeer shapes. Transfer to cookie sheets.
Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes, until brown. Cool on rack and store in a covered tin. Makes at least 3 to 4 dozen cookies.
I found this recipe in an old Country Woman magazine. The lady who submitted it said that these were the first cookies she baked each year to make her house really smell like Christmas. It works! Of course, you need not limit yourself to hearts and reindeer; that's just what I did. Sometimes I cut some pine trees and moose as well!
Cream butter and sugar in a large mixer bowl. Add nutmeg, sugar, and vanilla; mix thoroughly. Stir in flour to mix well. If necessary, chill dough for easier handling. Shape dough into logs about 3 inches
long and 1/2 inch in diameter. Place logs 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks and cool completely.
For frosting, cream butter until light and fluffy. Add 2 cups of the confectioners' sugar and the vanilla; mix well. Beat in cream and the remaining sugar. Frost cookies. With the tines of a small fork, make
lines down the frosting to simulate bark. Sprinkle with nutmeg (freshly ground is wonderful). Makes 4 1/2 dozen cookies.
This recipe was a winner in a Country Woman contest. It's been a favorite ever since I first tried it. The cookies are easy to make but rather time-consuming -- still, so many family members love these that I wouldn't think of not making them!
Well, I hope this is not too many recipes and that it doesn’t overwhelm anyone. For more of my holiday recipes, crafts, and gift ideas, check out my Christmas blog at Mrs. T's Christmas Kitchen !
I live in scenic northern New England with my handsome husband. We're empty-nesters with a bunch of adorable grandchildren. We love (tent) camping and traveling, but don't get away as often as we'd like to.